3 Habits That Made Me A Better Software Developer

4 years ago I was still a kid in high school with a dream that when I finished high school, I wouldn’t go to uni like everyone else but instead I’d start working as a software developer… because I really hated studying

And I read a lot of books throughout my life so I knew that if I wanted to achieve my goals, I needed to develop some good habits

So I decided to quit sugar, take cold showers, wake up at 2am everyday-

No I’m just kidding, I didn’t actually any of these.

But there are 3 habits that I did do which led me to becoming a better software developer, at least good enough, that I was able to reach my goals.

Habit 1 – Creating Content

The first habit is creating content.

When I was still in school, I started my blog where I would make a post every week about libraries, frameworks, and techniques in Android Development.

They say, when you teach something, you tend to remember that information better.

And this was very true for me but what really was the benefits of this habit was that after only a few weeks of starting the blog, I arrived at the point where I wouldn’t know what to blog about anymore so I had to learn new things every week.

And it just turns out that by doing this, I learned so much that by the time that I finished high school, I was knowledgable enough to get a mid-role job as an Android Developer.

Ever since I started my blog, I wouldn’t ever stop making content. I stopped blogging at one point but I started making YouTube videos, they were not great by the way. And then I got into TikTok… and then YouTube again.

Now it doesn’t matter whether you do a blog, a youtube channel, or even an email newsletter. As long as you are making content and you’re doing this regularly enough that you have to keep studying new topics to talk about, you’re going to be learning even more than the people who see your content.

And if you make content about web development, mobile development, what ever you’re into, keep talking about all the libraries and frameworks, you’re going to learn so much just by doing this.

Habit 2 – Reading Books

I’m not somebody who reads books like Bill Gates who reads 50 books a year. I’d be lucky to read 2 books in a year.

But there are some books I have read that have completely changed my life as a software developer, and that’s these two.

Soft Skills by John Sonmez is like a life manual of sorts for the software developer. It covers a lot of areas of your life such as career, learning, productivity, fitness, and even marketing yourself which can be very beneficial in the long run.

This second book is Clean Code by Bob Martin, otherwise known as Uncle Bob. The ability to write clean code is what separates the good devs from the great devs and is a necessary skill that is often the difference between a company hiring you or somebody else.

Most devs learn this by feel as they write more code over the years, some devs never learn this unfortunately, but this book sets objective standards for how to write clean code and for me, after I read this book, my coding style changed completely and both myself and the people I work with have enjoyed the benefits of it.

Habit 3 – Building my own app

One of the best ways of learning is by doing.

I used to wake up every morning, and before I go to school, I would spend 2 hours building my app. This app took me a year to build, but in the end, I not only won an award for it, but I learned a massive amount from building it.

Afterwards I published this app to the Google Play Store, I updated it a few times, and then after a few months of doing this, I took it down. The code was just really bad, and I couldn’t bare working with this monolith of spaghetti that I had spent the last year building.

But this also taught me what not to do when building in app so I didn’t repeat these mistakes when I went into interviews, when I started working as a dev, because I had already made them once and knew not to do it again.

Conclusion

Those 3 habits were definitely the most impactful for me, especially as I was still sort of finding my way as a software developer. Today, about 3 years after I started working as one, I’m most definitely still making content, I still read a book or two every year, and up until a few months ago, I had a shopping list app I was building as sort of my playground to get better at writing clean android code.

So thank you guys so much for watching, and I’ll see you soon.