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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Leap from Beginner to Intermediate Developer

I feel we have been fortunate enough to have experienced (at the same time young and vibrant) marketing guru on Octaware’ board who has taken up the initiative of taking Octaware into Social Media arena. The biggest advantage which I personally see about social media platform is, opening up the door for sharing the knowledge with internal team and external world.
I am planning to share few tips on things which a beginner in programming world can do to make the transition from beginner to Intermediate, not Expert of course as research shows that it takes about ten years, or twenty thousand hours of deliberate practice to become an expert. So to begin with,

TIP # 1: Learn additional language
It might sound little suprising as typical mind block with beginner is that they want to stick to one language. Remember career is all about “development” not “language”. It doesn’t matter which language you learn, but learning another language will make you a better developer. Even better is to learn one that is significantly different from what you already use on a regular basis. In other words, if you are a C# developer, learning VB.NET or Java will not help you as much as learning Ruby or Groovy.

There are three important realms of learning a language: 1) The syntax, 2) The built-in operators and libraries, and 3) “How to use it.” The first two are easy; I think that an experienced developer can pick up enough of a language’s syntax to maintain code in 30 minutes to a few hours depending upon the language. The operators and libraries are just a matter of slowly accumulating knowledge and ability to check reference materials. But it’s the third item — “How to use it” — that can only be learned over months of working with a language and that’s where the real magic happens. I suggest doing a project that is well suited for that language and doing it in that language’s style.

Truly learn another language, and believe me that your abilities as a developer will start to blossom. In my next blog, I plan to share TIP#2 Finding Information Technique.


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