The ability to code and develop functioning programs is a skill that has its many challenges and at the same time many rewards. These challenges will come well before the reward and without the right approach, it may become too easy to find yourself feeling defeated too soon.
Inspiring software engineers are more likely to fall victim to these challenges before they reap their rewards.
An aspiring software engineer can be anyone in the starting stages of their journey in learning to code and aspires to become proficient enough to make a living from it. This can also refer to junior developers fresh into the field and looking for ways to escalate their skills.
Aspiring software engineers may find themselves overwhelmed at the starting stages of their journey. While there is an abundance of technical information to grasp, there is also coming to terms with the moments of frustration, demotivation and the likely feelings of imposter syndrome that periodically arise.
I present this infographic to help aspiring software engineers out there. This infographic focuses on defining 7 attitudes and traits that are core to developing a mindset that if adopted, will escalate your chances of success as a developer.
This will shed some light on the common struggles of aspiring software engineers and hopefully provides insight into how to overcome these struggles
P.S. Each attitude also begins with the letter ‘P’ to help with memorisation!
Develop an attitude of continuous practice and learning
Ultimately when it comes to it, programming requires the ability to code. This means opening that editor and writing some code.
This means knowing the syntax of a programming language and how to put together components to make a functioning program.
In the starting stages of your journey, the importance of practice can not be emphasised enough. Practice is perhaps the single most important activity to move you from that state of being clueless to some level of understanding where you start to feel comfortable with your skills.
You can also place an emphasis on being deliberate about your coding practice which according to Freecodecamp, will enable you to become a more efficient developer at a faster rate.
Whether it’s going through a course, completing tutorials, doing coding challenges, hackathons or working on your projects. Every activity involving coding will speed up moving out of that stage of clueless to a growing understanding.
Develop an eagerness to code, practice, and learn. After all, if you aren’t coding, you aren’t practising, and you aren’t learning.
Value the importance of planning ahead
As aspiring software engineers who may be still figuring out things, it may be difficult to plan for the future.
But having some sort of plan is essential to drive you towards success.
Whether it’s planning for the year ahead or the day ahead, always have a plan at hand for your own reference.
For example, list what milestones you want to reach and in turn what activities you need to get done to achieve these milestones. Make these as specific and detailed as you can.
Having a plan in place will set focus on your core activities. Having that reference is important so you can reflect on it and hopefully see yourself closer to becoming the developer you are aspiring towards.
Be clear about your purpose
Having a Plan will give you Purpose.
Why are you learning to code? How do you want to apply these skills? How will this influence your life?
Knowing your why is crucial for motivation. Your why will be the push you need and the driving force behind your ability to keep going.
Take some time to truly think about the purpose of your endeavour. It will surely play its part when you feel discouraged or feel like giving up.
If your why is strong enough, it will keep you going.
Be patient with your progress
You have your Plan and Purpose. Now Patience comes in.
Learning takes time and you must also simultaneously be putting in an appropriate amount of effort within a given time.
It might take a while before you begin to grasp certain concepts or before you complete a project. Be patient with yourself and embrace the journey of learning.
No one gains expertise overnight. Eventually, one day, the realisation will hit you that “wow I’m starting to get the hang of this!”
Patience is also vital when it comes to your ability to problem-solve. Developing your technique to analyse, debug and coming up with solutions requires patience.
The nature of a developer’s work requires patience and the journey of learning is one that goes on indefinitely. Hence develop your capacity to be patient as you’re certainly going to need it!
Be disciplined enough to stay on your path
This means seeing your initial plan through and giving enough effort to something before deciding to try another approach or calling it quits.
For an aspiring software engineer, this can mean sticking to whatever programming language you’re learning for as long as you can. Or it can mean doing your best to see a project through to completion and avoid having a trail of abandoned projects.
Don’t get distracted by shiny objects that might lead you away from the path you’ve chosen to follow.
While it may be tempting to switch if you feel you can’t grasp the language or a project isn’t working out, it could lead to even further discouragement if you feel the same about the next language or project you attempt.
Having the discipline to stay on the initial path you laid out in your planning stages will enable you to go a long way in your journey as a developer.
Related: 5 Typical reasons why developers fail to complete side projects
Persevere through obstacles
Obstacles are inevitable when learning any new skills. And for someone just starting in the world of coding, those obstacles will certainly appear.
There’s going to be days you feel clueless and frustrated. Whether it’s someone else’s code you just can’t interpret, bugs you just can’t fix or those overwhelming feelings of imposter syndrome…
Freecodecamp evaluates why many programmers quit before landing their first job which can all be overcome with some perseverance!
Perseverance is needed throughout your entire journey as a developer. Even down the line when you have 10 years of experience, you will face the same challenges and those feelings of imposter syndrome may continue to creep up.
Learning to always persevere and accepting it’s a part of a developers life is something to come to terms with sooner rather than later.
Related: 5 Powerful ways to combat programmer imposter syndrome
Acknowledge the importance of partnership
Teamwork is a fundamental trait of successful developers. Therefore, one of the most important mindsets to adopt as an aspiring software engineer is accepting fellowship with others.
This involves learning to be humble, giving credit to others where it’s due, not being afraid to seek help when needed while also sharing your own knowledge with others.
Also keep in mind the ability to collaborate with others is critical if you want to work with large scale applications.
The open source community emphasises this point, with several world-class projects resulting from the collaborative efforts of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people.
Joining developer communities is one way to gain support and interact with other developers if you’re going on the journey alone.
Growing in your ability to work with others is an essential trait for every aspiring software engineer aiming for success.
This infographic presents core attitudes that should be embraced by any aspiring software engineer.
We advise anyone with a determination to succeed as a developer to carefully consider each and develop a mindset to adopt them.
We hope this will help you in your journey and encourage you to keep heading towards your goals!
Are you an aspiring software engineer? Where are you now in your journey? Any advice for others? Leave a comment below!
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