8 tips to get better at coding

Codistwa

8 tips to get better at coding

Reading time : 4 min

Published : November 13th, 2021

Updated : December 3rd, 2021

You may be a junior, just out of a Bootcamp, and you can’t find a job, or in a job, but you feel like you’re stagnating. So you need advice that will help you improve your skills in coding and maybe be less frustrated. But, of course, you’ll have to be consistent to see the results.

So If you’re a front-end developer, back-end developer, data scientist, data engineer, etc., if you’re coding, here are 8 tips to get better at coding.

1. Know the main keyboard shortcuts

There are many keyboard shortcuts, but first, it is essential to know the main ones that you can find in all programs like code editors.

  • Ctrl C: copy
  • Ctrl X: cut
  • Ctrl V: paste
  • Ctrl Z: cancel
  • Ctrl S: save
  • Ctrl Shift Z: redo
  • Ctrl F: search

And when you have time, learn the other shortcuts. It helps to be faster rather than doing everything with a mouse, increasing your productivity. It must be a reflex for you.

2. Keep an eye on new things

Tech is evolving very fast, so it's essential to keep itself informed. There are two ways of doing that, with specialized newsletters and conferences.

The newsletters allow you to know what's new in a specific field, Front-end development, Machine learning, etc. In addition, you can find tutorials, events, courses. I advise you not to subscribe to too many newsletters. You may be overwhelmed and won't have time to read them. I would say 3, 4 newsletters maximum. Also, create filters in your email, for example, a JavaScript filter or web development, data science, etc., so when you have time to can read them.

example:

  • JavaScript Weekly
  • Node.js Weekly
  • Python Weekly
  • KDnuggets

Conferences allow you to learn new topics, to be inspired, and to network, even if today it's more complicated from a distance. When I go there, it motivates me. You can even try to get started to make your presentation. There are big conferences that last all day or meetups that last 2 hours. There are often recruiters at these conferences/meetups.

example :

  • meetup.com
  • DotJS

3. Create tools to automate redundant tasks

Creating tools allows you to do cool little projects that can improve your daily life, so it's practical and valuable. Every redundant task takes time that can be automated as much as possible. This also helps to avoid errors.

example: a file converter

4. Follow guiding styles

Even if each person codes personally, it is essential to unify the programs not to make them too complex. Your colleague must be able to resume your work if you are absent or on another project, and even for you if you have to dive back into it 6 months later, it will be easier for you (even if we are still shocked to see our code 6 months later!)

A guide style allows you to code in a uniform and logical way. There are very used guide styles like the Airbnb style for React. It really helps to code better. The style guides can be integrated into the development with so-called linters (a tool that analyzes the code for errors).

example: Airbnb style guide, pep 8 pour python, the style guide of google for ML, the style guide SQL of GitLab

5. Do personal projects

This is a mandatory step because it allows you to show your skills and to work on interesting subjects. This gives experience. Don't forget to put them on GitHub. You can find ideas on Medium, Dev.to.

example:

  • todo app
  • dashboard
  • e-commerce website
  • music interface
  • sentiment analysis with Twitter
  • animal image recognition

6. Do code challenges

Challenges allow you to train on a specific subject, for example on algorithms or logic exercises. Especially if you have a job interview. Try to do it at least once a week.

example:

  • Code Euler
  • Codewars
  • Kaggle
  • Codistwa (coming soon!)

7. Find a community

There are communities on Slack, Discord, Quora, or Stack exchange that can help motivate you. You can find 100% women groups or communities that only talk about JavaScript for example.

example: Women in ml & data science, Babel.js, Open Data Community, welearnJS, workshops

8. Give courses/write technical articles

Writing an article may seem complicated, but several types of articles can help you get started. First, you write a technical or non-technical article. There is, for example, the good old feedback on a project you had a hard time on. Or a guide on a specific topic or tips/advice. A course will help you to see if you master this or that subject, and in the worst case, thanks to the research done for this course, you will be able to update your knowledge. Finally, you will be able to explain a concept to a colleague, which is a highly sought-after skill.

example: how you struggled with D3.js or simply "My last project with D3.js"

Conclusion

It's hard to find ways to get better at coding, but fortunately, there are many options:

  • Know the main keyboard shortcuts
  • Keep an eye on new things
  • Create tools to automate redundant tasks
  • Follow guiding styles
  • Do personal projects
  • Do code challenges
  • Find a community
  • Give courses/write technical articles
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Written by

Avatar of Assitan koné

Assitan Koné

Software engineer - Technical writer

@Assitan_k

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