7 Habits Of Highly Effective Programmers

Wande B.
5 min readAug 29, 2022

Programming is basically poetry. It is an art, I see it that way because with a few lines of code you can create different kinds of visualizations, bots, and software and entirely brings something new into existence, you can also implement various kinds of customizations based on how sophisticated you are or want it to be. However, programming is a very demanding career that requires some level of discipline, to be a highly effective and successful programmer required not just skills but some habits that need to be cultivated and we will discuss seven of those habits below:

Read A lot
This is perhaps the most important habit to possess to be effective in the job market today and also for personal and career growth, continuous learning is very important because you need to equip yourself with the latest skills especially as a programmer because no matter how much you learn it’s never really enough, learning is needed to be up to date about the ever-shifting and evolving nature around your specialization, there's always something new to learn to get up to date on for example the software latest update, a newly developed library or a new technic introduced you need to catch up on, a new language, a new method, a new tool and so on. This is one field where you can get phased out pretty quickly if you are not constantly updating your knowledge due to its competitive nature. In order to survive in this competitive world, you need to continuously improve yourself. the world of work is ever-changing, so you are required to keep your skills updated and learn new ones as well.

Write Clean and Readable Code
To differentiate between an experienced and a novice programmer, it's easy to identify by how clean and readable their code is, Programming is not only about learning different languages or critical thinking, it’s also about writing clean, readable and easy-to-modify code simply because coding is also a means of communication, it also helps to save a lot of time when it’s easy to read a code in case of a bug, It’s important to create a habit of using simple and meaningful names for variables, functions, classes, modules, directories, packages etc. You should always organize your code using Classes, Functions or methods. You should leave meaningful comments wherever required for quick references. All these practices improve your code quality and maintainability.

Good Communication Skills
One of the most important soft skills to possess as a programmer is good communication skills, communication simply means the imparting or exchanging of information by speaking, writing, or using some other medium. as a programmer you must be able to communicate effortlessly through your technical skills, writing, speaking or by any other means related to your field. You should practice attentive listening and empathetic responses. An effective programmer relates well with people. This helps to build a good relationship among the team and with stakeholders.

Implement Version Control
Another important habit of effective programmers is they always maintain a system for Version Controlling. In software engineering, version control is a class of systems responsible for managing changes to computer programs, documents, large websites, or other collections of information. Version control is a component of software configuration management. While coding, there’s always a possibility to encounter an error, If you make any mistake in your project, you can easily roll back to a previous version of the code using Version Control, It helps track and manage the changes done in your code. Without version control, you would go back to the original version of the code to fix bugs and that would be time-consuming and as well frustrating. Using version control while working on a project is very important. The commonly used version control system are git, GitLab, ClearCase etc.

Good at Keeping Records / Documentation
Program documentation or record keeping is a necessary process for programmers, It improves the quality of an application. Documentation is essential for other programmers who want to contribute to your work for example an open source project either to modify or distribute the code as they see fit. A well-documented code will be easily understood and can easily be debugged or navigated which can make necessary modifications to the program. To be an effective programmer cultivate the habit of keeping a journal where you record all the important parts of your experiences in your career, project, goals, shortcuts, ideas, tips and tricks, successes, achievements, targets, lessons, important timelines etc. Apart from the fact that some tips from it might help up-and-coming developers, a record could help them keep their focus and goal in perspective. There’s something encouraging about seeing tangible proof that you can surmount challenges you once thought were unassailable.

Result Oriented
A results-oriented person is focused on the end result of any task assigned, as a programmer, you must fully grasp the end game, and the goal to be achieved and plan towards specific targets, you must set aggressive deadlines and follow through, organise teams efficiently with target and time in mind.
Prioritize problem-solving as well as problem-identification, and manage people in a way to maximize productivity including reassigning resources that may distract the team or company from achieving desired results.

Pay Attention to Their Health
Programming can be really demanding and as well can be extremely stressful because of its tight deadlines, often unrealistic client expectations, and because programmers feel pressure to continuously upgrade their skills. This all generates anxiety, which can ultimately lead to burnout and in some cases leads to isolation. It can take a toll that’s why programmers need to take good care of their mental health. A small break between the coding marathon can be a great way to go for a longer time than sitting and coding continuously all day long. Take short breaks in between coding sessions and ensure that you are going in the right direction.

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Wande B.

Self-taught Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, Curious about data, Statistics, AI, NLP....to be continued