The Pragmatic Programmer by Andrew Hunt provides practical suggestions on all aspects of software development.
Guideline 1 – Develop a Knowledge Portfolio
“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin
Programming is an intellectual activity and the value of a programmer is based on their knowledge portfolio. The portfolio must be built and maintained with regular investment and diversification:
- Read at least one technical book per quarter
- Learn a new programming language every year
- Keep up-to-date with emerging technologies
Local user groups are a good way to improve your knowledge portfolio and provide an environment to hear about career opportunities.
Guideline 2 – Communicate Well
Strong communication skills help programmers to build influence in an organization.
- Choose when to communicate based on audience needs
- Adjust your message to suit the level of understanding
- Listen first, then respond
Use the WISDOM framework to target your presentations:
- What do you want them to learn?
- What is their Interest in what you’ve got to say?
- How Sophisticated are they?
- How much Detail do they want?
- Whom do you want to Own the information?
- How can you Motivate them to listen to you?
Guideline 3 – Pick the Right Tools
Tools amplify talent. Aim to:
- Use a single editor well
- Understand the command shell
- Use source code control
- Automate the build process