Do or Die

Photo by Serghei Trofimov on Unsplash

About the title

Do: make yourself relevant in the world of software development by creating rich habits that will “automagically” feed right back into you.

A good accident

Since this is my first blog post ever, I’ll give you a little background of how I started. 3 years ago a brilliant mathematics professor, Dave Amundsen, suggested I’d take up software development, he sat there to watch me laugh hysterically for a few short seconds while shaking my head. And then I contemplated the idea right then and there; it didn’t make sense, but it did, it was bold, I had never considered it, and then I had the exact same expression like my man Christian Bale, without the hair of course. I thanked Dave and ran out of university and finished Programming at a college.

Why should you care?

There is one thing I have learned in the past 3 years:

👉 The secret behind talent is hidden practice

You must have tried getting in shape for whatever reason. And guess what?
It simply does not happen overnight!

If you learned a new language feature or design pattern, a new syntax shortcut or a debugging tool, use it intermittently and I guarantee you can master it in a shorter time.

👉 Leave your ego at the door

I have seen some developers, especially the ones right out of school, get bogged down in the idea that they know everything, that they know this design or that theory. They usually show inflexibility, are too sure of themselves, and take things personally, even if it’s a simple comment/feedback on their code.

Be humble, be open to others’ ideas even if they may seem incorrect, and simply show up to learn and have fun.

👉 Doubt everything

Do you know how you achieve conviction? Question everything.
You can take my word that it’s bright or dark outside, but it’s best if you check that out for yourself. For example, you read an article about a new React hook. Well, go ahead, try it out, see for yourself if what they claim is true.

Once you start questioning what you see or use and start messing around with it, you gift yourself the opportunity to understand its internals, and that gives you much greater comprehension than before.

👉 Get your workout

It goes without saying that sitting still and coming up with solutions for 8 hours every day takes a huge toll on your body if you’re also inactive for the remainder of your day. Make it a habit to go for a 10 min walk for your break, and fit in a workout after your work.

Trust me, it helps you immensely. You end up happier, healthier, sharper, and you know what? you won’t feel guilty about inhaling that ice cream on a Sunday!

👉 Be zen, Be here now

Earlier I mentioned that you are relying entirely on your brainpower to create anything. For your thoughts to actually flourish, for your brain to be able to assist you in any decent capacity, your mind should be present.

Leave distraction aside, limit your feeds, notifications, buy a pair of ear muffs if you have to, whatever places you in “the zone”, do just that.

👉 Your memory is volatile, write things down

The worst mistakes are repeated more than once, and most times are wasted asking the same question more than once. Groundhog day (not the movie) is no fun: you don’t need to and really shouldn’t refer back to the same tutorial or a bookmarked YouTube video to snake out one crucial piece of information that’ll save the day.

Writing things down has been scientifically proven to help material stay much longer in your memory. You are more likely to then refer to your memory than to dig through a collection to find what you need, saves time! win-win

👉 Don't half a$s two things — full a$$ one thing

You can get a quick round of PTSD in 1.2 seconds by just skimming through the list of many new technologies arising in our world of software development; there’s almost always a new topic, a new discovery, a better way of doing things, posted every single day. And yes, it can be overwhelming, I have a hard time with it and I’m sure I share the feeling with many of you.

So take a deep breath, find one thing that you really want to learn right now, and master it, no matter how small or big, simple or complex.

Ending thoughts:

This is not an exhaustive list, nor a comprehensive one, but it’s helping me a lot be a better version of myself in not only software development but in almost everything I attempt to do. I hope that you can take a few of these and implement them to be part of your daily or even weekly habits. And here’s the important underlying point, not only about the subject matter but in every aspect of your life:

In the end, it’s only you who can and will make a difference in your life

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