30 Important Points From 30 Months of My Career as a Programmer

Some say that experience is the best teacher.

But what is experience?

Is the time and events that we have passed can be called experience?

No!

Experience is a lesson taken from events in life that we use to become a better person.

So even though I’ve experienced a lot of events, but not getting better, it means we have no experience. For example, if you are a poker player and you have attended many poker tournaments, it doesn’t always mean that you are a skillful player. You have to get more practice, especially if you want to be a more professional one. You can start from a scratch, use your strategy and beat the opponent. Other than wasting your time on such useless activity (where it actually takes more time), poker will give you a much more experience, like various strategy,  decision making, and so on.

Talking about experience, we’ve come close to a conclusion where you can’t simply say you are a skillful programming if you haven’t try to work in a office. See, i have worked for more than 2 years in 2 different work office.

And these are 30 important points from my 30-month career as a programmer:

  1. When you want to start your career as a programmer but confused about the way, then the answer is only one: just start.
  2. Programming is not a matter of programming languages, but about solving life solutions with a programming language. So don’t be bothered about which language you should choose. Pick one, learn it.
  3. The basic foundation of every programming language is the same — variables, data types, arrays, objects, operators, conditionals, looping, and functions.
  4. When we stop learning, it means quitting the world of programming.
  5. In the programmer’s world, that change always happens on every line. One thing that hasn’t changed is the change itself.
  6. Want to be a programmer? The main motivation, not money. You will be disappointed by the start. The money will come alone, according to your ability. We do programming because we love it.
  7. The text editor is the main weapon of the programmer. So, choose the right because the text editor is a friend until the end of the programmer’s life.
  8. Use vim for the best investment.
  9. Are You a Programmer? You must control terminal. Like learning tmux, learning vim. Now 80% of my time is coding. I am in the terminal. The rest, read the documentation, test the app or the web, usually using a browser.
  10. Use Unix os, like Linux or osx. If you use windows, like there are unclear errors, whether it’s a myth or reality, but I feel it myself. Instead of the error that only happens in Windows, switch immediately to Linux or OSX.
  11. So the programmer must be good at giving names; the programmer’s life is full of names. Name variables, classes, properties, functions, and so on.
  12. As much as you read the tutorial on various programming websites, it looks like we are learning, but not really if you have never practiced it.
  13. Fundamental Programming is First and Foremost.
  14. In the world of programmers, there are many tools that will help programmers work. The programmer is surrounded by the same tools. Tools can indeed help but can backfire for beginners. He thought the make tools were easy; why should it be difficult to learn from the start. Case in point is git. It’s good to use git GUI like GitHub Desktop, Git Kraken, but it’s the turn to use the command line, you can’t.
  15. If you are learning to program, don’t use the build-in function programming language yet. It’s better to make the function yourself. Later, when it is produced / when working, then it can be used to speed up work.
  16. It is important to understand and be able to practice sorting and searching algorithms. Not only used when coding, but during job interviews, you will be asked about this. Has years of programming experience, can’t answer this, it won’t be considered.
  17. Many completed the challenge on sites such as codewars or hackerrank, worth it.
  18. Want to be known as a pro programmer? Start making online content. Such as copywriting, make videos, podcasts, and so on.
  19. Join the community, don’t just make it a place to ask questions, contribute, give solutions, provide knowledge.
  20. To contribute. The best way to manage stress.
  21. There are fellow programmers on the team who are better at us? Don’t feel inferior. Approach, take knowledge.
  22. Feel unworthy of contributing? Try it first. It’s just a delusion trying to frighten us.
  23. When coding, always remember that we are coding not just for the computer to understand, our colleagues must understand the code we write, the user must understand what we make.
  24. Are you a night programmer? Who can only work at night? Not again. Not good for health.
  25. When coding stuck, I can’t find a solution. Rest first, stay away from the laptop first if you can, sleep first. Sometimes, instead, we find a solution hehe.
  26. Before typing the code, first, make the solution. Then find out how to write the code, Confused on how to write it? Search Google, read the documentation. The documentation is the programmer’s book — the programmer’s reference place.
  27. When coding, stay away from cellphones, turn off the sound, never open social media. The programmer needs hyper-focus.
  28. O, product manager! You have to understand when adding a new feature, which means it will add a new bug. There is no perfect program. So think carefully.
  29. Programming is not the same as building a house.
  30. Don’t ever plan everything from the start. Try to plan a bigger structure. Don’t ever plan for details because it will never be the same, aka a waste of time.

Build a Passion to Become a Programmer

I have never swear so often in my entire life. I looked at the computer screen for hours, trying to fix a bug in my application. The source of the problem seemed to avoid me, pushed me into a cycle of anxiety, self-loathing, and venting anger at the keyboard.

The cause is one typo in a file name.

There was also a time when I felt proud. Like when I wrote my first script and ran it successfully. Or when I enter my first application on the server, it says “hello world.” Or when I first write a crawler to fill a database. I feel like God ordered the minions in code to carry out my orders.

Programming is an opiate that makes me come back again despite the bitterness of the first experience that I got. And that sums up my experience of two years of learning to code.

We laugh at the engineers

Like most wannabe technologists, I was fascinated by the shining world of Silicon Valley and the expertise that geeks have. In fact, I was the type of person who didn’t really attach great importance to engineers. I attended a technical university but majored in communication dominated by women. We underestimate engineers because they have no sense of fashion or social ability, feel awkward when in the midst of women, and have poor grammar. Someone once said that I looked like an engineer – and I felt ashamed.

a programmer

Of course, this sounds stupid now. However, at that time, I was in college and had not seen what the real world was like. “Silicon Valley” means nothing but a place far away.

But one thing about me that you don’t know – I was the president of the IT club in middle school. I learned HTML and flash, spent my free time playing Sim City 3000, and created a website about the game. I always have a geek side in me.

It didn’t take long for me to embrace that side again. The film The Social Network was released in the last year of my university. After graduating, I joined the young Singapore startup scene as a technology journalist.

I seemed to be surrounded by a trend that everyone should learn how to code. Being a programmer is cool, and I lie if I have never fantasized about it.

Circumstances have reversed. Many of my college friends at communication schools eventually joined internet companies or became public relations for technology companies. The technology created by the geeks we were laughing at is changing the world of journalism.

And this coding learning movement is more lively because it’s very easy to start learning it. At that time, the open-source movement had developed in such a way that anyone could easily seek help, resources, and documentation through Google.

This coding learning movement has developed into an industry, and there is still plenty of room in the market, due to the insufficient supply of engineers.

If you want to learn programming as a new year’s resolution, then this article is for you. I share this personal history, not because of narcissism (well, maybe a little), but to illustrate the reality that exists:

Your past determines how to learn to code

I started learning programming at the end of 2012 – more than one year after starting my first job. This puts me in a very disadvantageous position if I want to make this a career.

programmer as a career

I will compete directly with new university graduates who may have started learning about the program since they were 12 years old. Their salary expectations are lower, and they may have less serious relationship commitments. I had to change my life goals, postpone financial targets, and pursue an alternative career while facing small sacrifices. In fact, it is unlikely that I will continue to pursue this field.

It all ended in this: I have invested years of my life in a changing but still healthy career in the media industry. I enjoy what I do and am not experiencing a 25-year crisis. I do not have the financial ability or incentive to enter fully into this new field.

So this is what happened: I learned coding in my free time and made sure that my hobbies did not interfere with my main job. It is difficult, but the only way is to sacrifice my free time.