New to Programming - Learn, Help and Seek

Programming is always fun and it gives you an immense satisfaction of creating something new. If you are at the beginning of your career as a programmer, exciting things awaits you. Unlike most other careers, programming is easily accessible to gain some experience even before you start as a professional, thanks to the open community and internet. You will find that you do not solve problems all by yourself but have a large community helping you solve it. Here are some tips that can help an entry-level programmer grow quickly in career and to become part of a larger community of programmers. As an entry-level programmer, one has to focus on learning, community and exploring

  1. Keep Learning: Technology is changing very rapidly. It’s important keep yourself updated with the latest trends in your area of focus. There is no room to be complacent. If you stop learning, you become obsolete soon.
  2. Try to get the big picture: While you have to excel in writing an efficient code, it is equally important to understand the business/ technical problem you solve. So even if it is not in your scope, try to understand big picture: how different modules of your system interact. This will help you to find the purpose of your work.
  3. Become a specialist but do not hesitate to explore: Become a specialist in your area. For example, if you work on machine learning, become an expert in that area. Dive deeper into the advanced concepts. This is how you can create niche for yourself as you progress through your career. However, just like a child, it may be difficult for you to know what is good for you. So keep exploring outside your comfort zone.
  4. Learn more than one programming language: While you try to become a specialist and then an expert in an area, you will also find that knowing one programming language will limit your ability to try different technologies emerging in your area. Try to learn more than one language at a time and this can also keep you excited
  5. Work outside your job to excel in your job: If you are interested in programming like I do, you cannot keep away from coding even if your job does not need it. When you code for yourself, there is a lot more flexibility and freedom to hone coding/ solution skills by working on experimental tasks. This will eventually help you in solving problems at work and scale faster.
  6. Take advantage of open source technology and community: The open-source technology and community will help you grow faster and prevents you from reinventing some basic things. Github is a great resource to find lot of open-source resources. Leverage these open-source resources to gain momentum in your career and become part of it
  7. Use Online Technology Forums effectively: These technology forums are a great place to seek help and share your knowledge when someone else is seeking help. StackOverflow is a well-known online forum but there are many depending on the technology and domain you work in. It will amaze you to see how people take time to solve others' problem for no monetary benefits (directly) and that is the attitude you would want to develop as well.

These are only few tips that can get you started and you will find more good ones from your co-programmers that will shape up your career. However, remember to keep learning, help others, participate and contribute to open programmer's community.Happy Programing!!! Welcome to the community!!!By: Vetrivel Natarajan