Good Habits of a Software Engineer
November 14, 2017 | by Timothy Chin | Posted In Software
I recently read a post on Quora about habits that can make you a better software engineer.
Here are three good habits that every software engineer should adopt:
Code and prototype frequently
I’d recommend that everyone cultivate this habit. I’ve worked mainly as a software engineer (and also as a support engineer and consultant), and I’ve realized that coding is like riding a bicycle or swimming: while you will never forget the basics of coding, it’s always good to keep yourself sharp. Coding often helps you try new technologies and frameworks that you may not get to implement in a work environment. In our current tech environment, technologies come and go in the blink of an eye. Prototyping is a really good habit to practice when you want to try out a new technology or framework. Frequent prototyping can quickly help you flesh out certain ideas and demonstrate the functionalities the new technologies or frameworks advertise. Getting into the habit of prototyping will also help you in your work environment, where you can quickly prototype a solution that has value to the end user.
Another habit to practice as a software engineer is to always write tests. Test-Driven Development (TDD), in my opinion, is a very important discipline to implement when writing Unit Tests. The idea is to test drive the functionality and the design. Having tests already in place makes sure the code meets the functionality requirements and proves that the code works. Coupled with automated testing, an error or regression in the code can be quickly captured and remedied by writing tests.
Last but not least, writing technical (or non-technical) blogs is a great habit to foster. Blogging helps you apply and share your knowledge as you learn. When you blog about something you recently learned, you are helping along someone else’s learning process. What better way is there to improve your knowledge about the item in question than to teach it to someone? When you blog about a challenge you faced and your approach in understanding and resolving it, you are influencing how someone else may deal with a similar problem. There are many technology-focused blog platforms, including Medium or dev.to that offer you the ability to connect with other people like you.
Blogging also gives you the opportunity to be fun and creative. I like to include memes in my blogs.
What about you?
What are the habits that make you a better software engineer? Write your habits in the comment section below!