How to Grow As A Self-taught Software Developer

With such a high demand for software developers,comes with the rise in self-taught developers.

Most self-taught developers feel inadequate,compared to  the graduate developers .

So today i will point out a few things you can do to go past your inadequacies and be  a strong developer.

1.Have a Growth Plan

You can’t hit a target you cannot see, and you cannot see a target you do not have.

— Zig Ziglar

To grow you need a plan.

Know who you are  and your limitations and then develop a growth plan,with clear goals,action plans and time frames.

2.Master Computer Science(CS) concepts.

Mastering those makes the developer see the big picture of why we code the way we do and be efficient programmers.

Master concepts like data-structures,algorithms and recursion.

Most self-taught developers struggle with such concepts which stoops them from writing elegant code,which is easy to read and runs faster.

3.Read Documentation 

Most of us developers learn through channels like YouTube,stack overflow.To truly understand your tech stack,read documentation.

Documentation is not as easy to understand, but remember with any growth it’s hard before it becomes easy,keep at it eventually you will get the hang of it and then start reaping the rewards.

4.Find A Code Mentor

Every master was once a protege.To perfect your craft you need a mentor.

Your mentor doesn’t need to be a physical person you meet like everyday.You can follow writings by respected authorities in your field e.g Robert C. “Uncle Bob” Martin.

You can even ask your immediate supervisor to mentor you.

A great way to find mentors is by attending meetups in your area.

5.Embrace the Impostor Syndrome 

I know for most self-taught developers it feels like you in over your head and feel like an impostor,because at the back of your head you fill like you not qualified because of lack of formal qualifications.

Instead embrace that feeling and let it propel you to learn more and be a better developer.

6.Deliberately Practice

Imagine Cristiano Ronaldo practicing once a week or whenever he feels like.Do you think he will be playing at the level he is currently playing?

To be world-class you have to be willing to put in the time,practice those algorithms,puzzles and implementing those data-structures everyday and be deliberate about it.

It wont serve you to be doing the same stuff,playing at the same level,you don’t grow.

Use sites like Topcoder and hackerearth to practice and compete.

7.Teach Others

To grasp any concept,teach it to another person,especially a non-technical person.If you can rephrase it in layman terms,sure you have mastered it.Utilize local meetups,sign up to give a talk there.

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