What advice would you give to someone starting out programming after more than 5 years doing?

The world of programming is based on continuous learning. Engage in software development requires always be aware of the new, of what is to come. Conformism and stop learning every day Aboca programmers to work exile. Sooner or later it comes. Any newcomer to the world of programming should be aware of it.

That said, we have all wondered, to a lesser or greater extent, if we retrain as programmers. Or more dramatically, if we get out of our comfort zone apparent, i.e. learn something radically new or even try another job prospects.

Always keep in mind the question is it time to retrain?

Ask this question from time to time is essential. Sometimes we do not realize that excessive workload prevents us from assessing the quality or type of work we do. We do not see how they have emerged other technologies or paradigms of work. Although our professional staff say that we are Senior we have not evolved as such.

Programming

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Programming is a complex task. We must know specialize in certain areas. It is impossible to know everything (only suitable for unicorns or authentic full stack). Years of experience are very different from each programmer. You may have been overcome and professionally evolving goals or, sadder version, have constantly repeated the same thing year after year in non-loop learning.

Is the language I’m using is appropriate for the complexity of the new problems? Does the platform on which I program continue future (or present)? Should I use other tools in my day to day? Will I or meet up enough developer conference? Am I on the wave of programming?

The above is just one example of addled thinking of any programmer who begins to realize that you may need to be recycled. Maybe a few years ago you could work several years with the same technology without problems, now that’s complicated.

Go out of your comfort zone

Programmers suffer, to some extent, an apparent comfort zone caused to be working for many years in one place, even without evolve position. Always dealing with the same technologies, the same people, the same processes, etc.. We applied in a loop the same without learning new things.

Although it is hard to make the decision, sometimes the remedy to overcome this phase certainly leave that little comfort zone lunging to face new professional challenges in another company. Or even embark on creating your own startup. It is not unusual to find in the labor market developers changing from time to time work to not stay stagnant.

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Technological Empathy: Learn how others work

It observance with something concrete is not good. In the changing world of software development it is advisable to encourage technological empathy. Programmers not only between but among other profiles involved in the construction of digital products. Take some years programming does not mean that you should not be interested in other subjects. Therefore, it is very beneficial to try to understand outside your field as they work (depending on your particular case) designers, people backend, front end, mobile applications, the database, system, etc..

A good way to extend your skills and make better decisions being programmer is to see how other people work. Practice surfing desk is an opportunity to integrate into another computer temporarily seeing how they work and, at the same time, exchange knowledge.

Self-learning the inseparable friend Programmer

You do not need to go to the university library to borrow an ancient book programming. Not even look at technical bookstores the last book of a certain technology. Amazon is willing to send the book you want from the most hidden place. But not only that, the internet knowledge has spread and democratized. We can see for free a lot of technical documentation, tutorials, articles, posts and online books. Learning to program from scratch is relatively easy today.

Self-learning requires discipline and knowledge extract relevant information from different sources and organize them. What could be a challenge sometimes insurmountable it is something much simpler through the dozen online learning platforms?

It’s not hard to get a degree through Stanford any programming language or master on mobile application development class.

For example, Coursera we can participate in courses prepared by university professors and follow a decent quarter of a course, with duties included. Even get an accredited certification if paid title.

There are other alternatives such as Udacity and nanodegree in which we can become experts in Machine Learning, Front-end, Android, etc … Backed by major companies like Google that makes available to students to their engineers.

We can also opt for other platforms like Codeschool more oriented to learning from scratch in some languages like Ruby or Javascript. And make your code training path to follow a career path.

Devour programming books

Reading for a programmer is not just entertainment. Constantly touches dive documentation SDKs, libraries, frameworks, new languages.

We should not limit this reading to simply find the answer to a specific question. The search effort recital plan on StackOverflow does not help the professional growth. But you have to understand and apply what we read.

Not only limited to books on specific technologies, because in a few years become obsolete. Such version of the platform or such other. It is necessary to strengthen the knowledge base reading the “classics”: Martin Fowler, Kent Beck, Uncle Bob, etc … more focused on best practices and software architecture books.

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Mentoring: learning when the car is not enough

When the car is hard or even learning are not mature enough (professionally speaking) mentor figure emerges. Many companies incorporated from day one within their own boarding process in the company, but when we want to evolve ourselves we need to have some more experienced professionals.

There are several initiatives, one of which is carried out by Antonio Leiva from Devexperto, a website with content focused on professional growth. Asking about running a mentoring program told us that “consists of accompanying the person from the current location to where you want to be as a developer, working on issues ranging from knowing our true goals in life to knowledge creation software quality, through planning, visibility or position in the sector.”

The side project: the escape Programmer

Get home and continue to want to program. Perhaps in your office work 9-7 do not have enough opportunity to apply your creativity. So have personal project, side project, it can be a good way to have an escape route. Even to try new things and learn.

Confronting yourself to a project that you are solely responsible and which can put passion is one of the most accelerated and fun to learn ways. Choose an idea you want to implement, choose a technology that have not yet been proven, have the perfect ingredients to spend evenings programming and learning.

Github is a great tool. The nature of your side project can be very diverse. From a small mobile application to a bookstore Open Source. Using Github can find a huge catalog to learn from code. Besides being the perfect repository of free software that will help your side project or even join the other programmers collaborating on the development of free software.

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