Programming Tips for Self-Taught Software Developers

In this today write up I've got three tips for self-taught programmers. So that's people who haven't gone through to get a formal degree or some sort of training from a university or college.

Let's talk about that in this presentation. This presentation is brought to you by Apata Code.


Welcome back, this another programming tip of the day. Well, actually specifically I've got three tips today, and it's relating to people who have been self-taught or are in the process of teaching themselves how to program. Now the reason I'm bringing this up, is because there's really two types of people. People who go through a university degree or a college and get training that way and learn how to programmer, and people who come through the ranks and have learnt to programing by themselves.

Perhaps going through a course or an eBook, or just learning basically at their own pace in some way, shape or form. So, three tips that I've got, if you're actually of the type who is self-taught or going through that process:


Number one, BEST PRACTICES. So, make sure that you've learnt, or are learning best practices when it comes to code. So, what do I mean by best practices? Well, there's a right and a wrong way to approach problems, but also to solve them with programmers. And the right courses, the right textbooks, the right eBooks it cetera, the right training in general teaches you best practices.

And this is one of the things that universities are hot on. With some of their training and material, they go through a lot of those concepts so that you actually understand how to approach things, you've got the right mindset and so forth. So, if you haven't gone through that type of training because you've actually self-taught, it's important to try and make sure that you've learning these best practices. The reason why it's important, is when you start a job, it'll be assumed or they will want you to have those best practices.

So, how do you get these best practices? Well, make sure the study material that you're going through is created from someone who is actually an expert programmer, number one, or has a lot of experience as a programmer and have been through that process. So, in other words, vet the instructor

or the author of the material that you're looking at, to make sure they do actually know what best practices are, because if they don't know that, but they haven't got the experience, if they have just gotten a little commercial experience, how can they possibly know what real world industry best practices are?

So, make sure you bet your instructor, and make sure that the material you're going through

is actually teaching you best practices, and that's really essential if you're going to obtain those best practices and be able to implement them and basically fit in with a team when you do actually get your first job.


Number two, in light of that, and this will help you with future employment possibilities,

is to actually GET YOURSELF A PROJECT. Create a project of something and start putting your code on GitHub. So, it's really important to make sure that you've got something to show prospective employers. Now the reason that's important, down the track when you actually start applying for jobs,

or looking for a promotion, is that you've got something to show them. Because what's goanna probably happen is, your goanna be compared to someone, if you're applying for a job, and there's two people,

there's yourself, who is going through the self-taught method, and someone else whose perhaps got a formal qualification, university degree, college or whatever it is. Your goanna be compared, so you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from this other person. Because all this being equal, you may well find that the employer will choose the person with the university degree. Rightly or wrongly they'll assume

that they are better qualified. So, if you've actually created a project, and look it doesn't need to be the next Facebook app or the next Instagram app or anything like that, but if you've shown that you understand the concepts of programming, and you've put together some form of project and you've published it on GitHub, that's a way for the employer to then check your code, check that you actually are someone who knows what they're talking about, and has put a project together. That'll give you enormous credibility in the minds of an employer, because you've actually created something. And again, it doesn't need to be a really complex or huge application or anything of that nature, but really important for you to do that. And then just the process of you actually going through and creating a project, you'll learn a lot in the process as well.


 And, number three is also, really it relates to a large degree to the first one, with best practices,

is STUDY OTHER PEOPLE'S CODE. And you can do that again on GitHub.  GitHub's really a great resource for finding code. Because the more material that you study and understand, the better those practices, if you're actually finding code that actually is employing best practices. And you start applying some of those concepts, you're basically telling them that to the code that you're actually writing yourself.

So, basically be checking other people's code, is really important as well because that's what you're goanna be doing. If you think about it, when you actually start a project or start working for an employer, you're going to be given a code base to work with, and you'll need to come up to speed with that.

So, the more time you're spending looking through other code and understanding it and figuring out bits and pieces, is you're goanna be a more productive member of a team as well. And that's just another important skill that you can have as a self-taught developer.


So, in summary the three things, the three tips for people who learnt self-taught programmers,

number one, best practices, learn best practices, make sure that the material you're studying, the instructor, the author, or whatever, is teaching you the best practices. Number two, make sure you get a project. Create a project for yourself, put it up on GitHub. GitHub is probably the site I recommend most.

But basically, any version control type site, and going through that process will make you a better programmer. And number three is make sure you learn to study other people's code, and use that code and go through it and understand it. And that sort of links in to a degree with best practices, because you're basically understanding that process better. And that's making you more of a person who will fit in more as a team member when it comes time to actually get your first programming job.


Alrighty, so I hope that helped. If you've got any questions feel free to leave a comment

and I'll get back to you.


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