Actually a significant proportion of computer programmers are self taught. What everyone who has started a programming career outside the confines of college have in common is that they all focused on becoming as good as or even better than those who attended college. If they felt dis-advantaged in the beginning, they ignored that and focused on sharpening their technical skills until they became expert, highly skilled and competent programmers. Yes, there are several careers where your formal education or college degree will literally make or break your career. However, computer programming is not like that at all.
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Congratulations because you have just made a decision that will change your life and open up a whole range of career paths for you. The problem is knowing where to start though. There is so much that you need to learn in order to master the basics, let alone the more complex skills that you will need to make it as a programmer at the highest level.
So where do you start? Do you start online, where there is a wealth of information? No, you start right here. Here you will find the ultimately guide to becoming a computer programmer with all of the defining principles listed in the definitive A to Z. Learn just one of the sections a day and you will soon have a firm grasp on the information you need to know to be successful as a programmer.
Whether you are just starting out or looking to advance your knowledge, everything you are looking for is summarized in a quick and easy reference guide. Abstraction and Brevity Balancing the abstraction and brevity of a program is vital.
Programmers do tend to use too much abstraction when starting out and so create classes that do little but abstract something, thus offering little value. As such, brevity must be measured against it to make sure that the final result is finely balanced between the abstract and the simple.
The benefits must outweigh the costs and achieving such a balance is the correct way to go as a result. For more information , go to: Brevity is Not Power Applying Computer Science When should you use fancy elements of computer science in programming?
There is, after all, plenty around. You have various algorithms, mathematics and advanced technologies available to you but most are unnecessary. Unless they can be of benefit, provide a low risk to other systems and enhance the final system, it is best to avoid using them.
Every programmer should be aware of data and analyze it during every single step of the way during the design and production of an application or system. Data flow diagrams are useful and should be utilized effectively. It is also necessary to analyze your own data as well as research before the completion of a project. For more information, go to: … Behavior During your working life, you are guaranteed to meet people who are difficult and do not behave in a manner that is conducive to a good working environment.
You may have to work in a team with them. Behave in a way that offers them a degree of respect but also learn to stick to your guns.
Communicate appropriately at all times and refuse to be bullied. Always leave personal feelings at the door and do what is best for the project and you will not go far wrong. For more information, go to: Computer Programmer Code of Ethics Bottleneck A bottleneck is an element of performance that is defined as an area of a system where the majority of resources are consumed.
Finding the bottlenecks is an important task when you are trying to optimize performance because a failure to find them and improve the flow of resources could limit a system even further and hamper performance.
Finding the most expensive bottleneck in a system and improving it is vital to improving performance. Build If you are looking to use a specific program or application in your work or for the establishment of a business, it is essential to decide whether to buy or build.
Should you choose freeware and open source or should you build a new program. It is necessary to weigh up the costs and time needed to build as well as asking questions of the existing software and applications. Evaluation is absolutely vital. For more information, go to: Dan Oliver — Buy vs. Build: Six Steps to Making the Right Decision Calling it a Day As a computer programmer, you will undoubtedly put hours and hours into a project but putting too much time in can be counterproductive.
You are human so it is essential to take a break when you find yourself stumped and go home when you are tired and can be considered overworked. The pressures of individual jobs are immense and you may feel like you cannot go home but always listen to your instinct and communicate as to why you are doing so.
For more information, go to: Neil McAllister — Developer Burnout Choosing Work If you are lucky enough to have several projects available to you, you should attempt to balance your personal life and your workload. This is not always easy for programmers and taking risks comes naturally but you must assess each project before taking it on. Can you complete it within the deadlines given? Could you learn new skills? Would your team benefit in any way? All of these questions are valid so it is important to ask them before agreeing to a job.
For more information, go to: Become a Freelance Programmer Communication and Disagreement Communicating with colleagues is a must during a project, with informal communication during breaks being just as important as formal discussion. However, no disagreement should be taken personally. It is a part of the decision making process. Be sure to express your thoughts and opinions and take others on board, using it as a springboard to fully explore your options and select the right one.
For more information, go to: Calvin Sun — 10 Ways to Handle Disagreements Effectively Communication Language Communication languages should not be confused with programming languages. Instead, they are designed to achieve communication through the guise of standardization.
For more information, go to: List of Programming Languages Communication Skills Communication is a key skill that absolutely has to be developed if you are to be a top programmer. Enhancing your listening skills and ability to put ideas across will help you but so will dealing with people who have flawed communication skills. Having the ability to make them listen to your ideas and objections can seriously work to your advantage so work on persuasion and negotiation too.
You never know when you may need them. Their knowledge is often specific but they do not have as much riding on the success of a product. As such, their work must be checked prior to the completion of the project because it could hamper the final product if code and other forms of input are not checked rigorously.
For more information, go to: Steve Tobak — When to Hire a Consultant Debugging One of the most important elements of being a programmer, debugging is essentially modifying code to remove imperfections that hamper the running of an individual system or program. It is necessary to gain an insight into the code, investigate any issues that arise and then remove the issue. This may involve modifying code by making the smallest change possible or splitting code to reveal the problem.
A good programmer will experiment in order to discover the problem and alter the execution so as to resolve it. For more information, go to: Ian Lance Taylor — Debugging Design Designing software is one of the key functions of a programmer and designing software that is well written is key to building a good career so studying the latest design skills is a must.
Do not expect to grasp all concepts right away because experience certainly enhances judgment. However, be sure to learn the basics right away and master them so that you can improve quickly without forgetting acquired knowledge.
For more information, go to: Seven Principles of Software Development Developing Talent If you manage a team or lead a project, it is advisable to try to stretch the talent of those working with or for you as much as it is for stretching your own abilities and pushing yourself to the limit. Challenge your team by motivating them, testing their skills and apportioning the workload well. Praise them and make sure that they understand how much they are valued.
This is certainly the way to develop a next generation of programmers. For more information, go to: How to Manage a Team of Geniuses Document Learning how to document wisely is a must with this mantra in mind — a little good documentation goes a long way. Do not write reams and reams of information that nobody will ever read. Instead, be concise, to the point and say only what needs to be said.
Learn how to write correctly and, if you are documenting code, write it in a self explanatory manner when you would be unable to make it clear by writing the code itself. For more information, go to: Writing Program Documentation Embedded Languages Embedded languages are tools of the best text editors in the world and embedding a programming language is amongst the most creative acts.
However, creating a new embedded language is something that is often redundant because it would be narrowly used, create the need for others to learn it, and fail to appeal to the culture of its audience in many cases.
As such, it is often worth sticking with the programming languages already created. For more information, go to: Conal Ellliott — Compiling Embedded Languages Estimation Estimation is a vital skill that all computer programmers should master. It does not relate directly to systems, software and programs but rather the human side of it. For example, if asked to work on a specific project, you must be able to estimate how long it will take you to plan, document, deploy and market specific values for that job.
It provides a degree of predictability and one that is essential for good team work on an individual project. However, this is not the case if you are a programmer. Instead, it is all about experimenting to make sure that you have successfully debugged code, checking data integrity, ensuring systems conform to documentation and various other reasons. In short, a programmer must experiment to ensure that systems work as they should and are fixed or improved where necessary.
For more information, go to: Experimental Programming Fighting Pressure Every computer programmer will have to fight pressure at one time or another because there is always time to market pressure in addition to the pressure to create a good quality product.
You can reduce it though. Avoid setting an impossible schedule for yourself and always be realistic. Also, communicating with those who exert pressure can often create breathing space. Creating detailed plans and schedules can also help you and others around you to remain on track. For more information, go to: 10 Ways to Deal with Stress in the Workplace Handling Boring Tasks Programming is not all excitement and interesting tasks.
There are undoubtedly going to be some boring and monotonous tasks at some point. Giving those tasks to somebody else every time is not an option as it will damage morale and prevent members of the team becoming motivated.
As such, make it into a challenge for yourself or someone else. Try to find a program that can help you to do it. This will enhance your skills and make it more interesting even if you ultimately have to do it the boring way. For more information, go to: Esther Schindler — Managing and Motivating Developers Heavy Tools This is a term that acts as an umbrella term for objects and elements like rational databases, math libraries, search engines, spreadsheets and XML parsers amongst others.
They do require investment initially but become widely available when fully developed. As such, programmers that are considered intermediate or expert in the field should be able to manage them accurately.
It is commonly perceived as a cost in a system because communication can hinder the performance level of a system and slow it right down. It is the testing of components as a single integrated unit after they have individually been unit tested. Integration can be very expensive and so it is important to make sure that it is integrated properly during the testing phase. Gradual integration is preferable to it being a dedicated phase towards the end of a project. For more information, go to: Microsoft — Integration Testing Intermittent Bugs Intermittent bugs are the stuff nightmares are made of for programmers.
They occur very rarely but when they do cannot be found.
Essentials of Programming Languages In
However, if you cannot afford to spend years in college before you begin your programming career, you may also gain knowledge of computer programming from software developers or teach yourself computer programming using reasonably priced textbooks, training courses or software developer mentoring programs. In this article I will show you how to become a computer programmer without having to invest a fortune in a college education. Getting your first computer programming job without a computer science college education is not as hard as you may think. This is because when it comes to computer programming, employers put more emphasis on your ability to write good quality code than on your educational credentials. Many professional computer programmers have taken advantage of this to forgo college and focus on developing their computer programming skills to the best of their ability. After you are hired as a computer programmer, employers also expect you to document and design software applications and write good quality code, regardless of how or where you learnt computer programming!
About Your Computer Programming Career Goals
Yes, there are several careers where your formal education or college degree will literally make or break your career. However, computer programming is not like that at all. Computer programmers come from all works of life and all levels of education. There are computer programmers with PhDs and there are computer programmers with a high school diploma. It will shave years off your learning curve by showing you how to learn programming fast, how to prepare your resume so you get noticed by hiring managers, how to prepare for and excel at technical job interviews so you get job offers more easily and how to consistently gain the kind of programming experience that keeps your career moving fo Copyright c Freelance Press NetworkProgramming and tech are inseparable. Computer programming has come from a very primitive age to a very intelligent generation.
How To Become A Computer Programmer – Your Complete A to Z Guide
Let me tell you that from my experience as a software developer mentor, I have discovered that people make excuses to themselves because they are not ready to hold themselves accountable to results. So, they either complain about how old they are or how poor they are or they complain about the time it will take them to learn programming or complain that they cannot afford to go to college and study computer science or complain that programming textbooks are too expensive and they go on like that. Yes, there are several careers where your formal education or college degree will literally make or break your career. However, computer programming is not like that at all.