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  • Lokajit Tikayatray

7 Habits of Highly Successful Coders

Successful coders are a breed apart. They think differently, work differently, and their habits set them apart from the rest.

Successful coders take pride in their work and constantly strive to enhance their skills. They’re always looking for ways to improve their code, whether by learning new techniques or finding efficient ways to solve problems.

So, what makes them so successful? And can you emulate their success?

Let’s take a look at seven habits that make successful coders stand out from the rest and how you can develop them too.

1. They take their time to think before and after writing the code

Programming is not a race. It’s essential to take your time and do things right early in the development cycle rather than rushing through and making mistakes.

Successful coders know taking upfront time will save them from a lot of pain in the long run. Hence, they spend more time ideating their implementation plan than actual coding.

Before writing even a single line of code, competent programmers spend sufficient time analyzing all possible scenarios and solutions. After their code is done, they spend time reviewing it, ensuring they did not miss any edge case.

The effort spent thinking through the plan is directly proportional to the programmer’s success in delivering high-quality code.

An experienced programmer might perform the analysis and review task faster and more accurately. Nevertheless, even novice programmers should build the habit of spending time on these activities to master the craft.

2. They have excellent attention to detail

Programming is all about details. A tiny mistake in the code can cause significant problems. That’s why successful coders pay close attention to detail, both in their code and in the specifications they’re working with.

They also take the time to read the requirement documents carefully to ensure they’re coding as per the requirement. By being detail-oriented, they avoid costly mistakes and deliver high-quality code.

In addition to being able to spot errors, programmers must also have a strong understanding of the logic behind their code. They need to see the big picture and understand how all the pieces fit together.

This requires both analytical and creative thinking and the ability to visualize problems and their solutions. Programmers who can think abstractly and see the forest for the trees are destined to be highly successful in their careers.

3. They read more code than they write

Highly successful programmers treat reading code as an essential part of the job. For them, the code is the bible. They know that the best way to understand an existing application is by reading its source code.

It isn’t easy to maintain or enhance any software without proper understanding.

Well-written code can provide valuable insights and expand developers’ knowledge. It can help them learn new techniques and sharpen their skills. For this reason, successful coders never hesitate to dig into the source of any application.

Reading a lot of code can be time-consuming and exhausting at times, but highly successful coders see it as an investment in their success.

4. They check-in code better than they checked out

Most programmers check out the code, implement their requirement, and commit it back to version control. They hardly pay attention to the existing code or try to enhance it.

Even if they see simple issues that can be improved by spending a small effort, they tend to ignore them.

Successful programmers do not overlook issues in the existing code. They always have a keen eye for quality. They understand that leaving known issues in the code can be detrimental to the overall product.

Programmers passionate about their work spend extra time cleaning up the periphery of their new implementation. They always try to leave the code in better shape than they found it.

5. They write code that is easy to understand and maintain

Many programmers think writing complex code is a sign of brilliance. The truth is, it’s just the opposite. A readable working code is much more effective in the long run than a highly complex code that people find hard to comprehend.

Successful programmers write code that is easy to read, easy to understand, and straightforward to maintain. They spend time writing self-explanatory code and adding documentation wherever necessary.

They understand that code is written not only for the computer but also for other developers who will read and maintain it in the future.

6. They don’t over-optimize their code

Over-optimizing code is a common pitfall for many programmers. The temptation to make code as efficient as possible can often lead to hours of wasted time chasing down minor performance gains.

The resultant code may run slightly faster, but it is often more complex and harder to read. It is also more likely to contain errors and be challenging to maintain.

Successful programmers know when to stop optimizing and focus on other implementation aspects. They understand performance is just one part of quality.

They make it a habit to maintain the balance between efficiency and maintainability to produce the optimal implementation in much lesser time.

7. They embrace change


Successful programmers continuously improve their skills and stay ahead of the curve by embracing change.

Change is an inevitable part of life, especially for tech professionals. Whether learning new programming languages or adapting to the latest technologies, developers must continually evolve to stay competitive in today’s fast-paced tech landscape.

While adapting to change can often be difficult for some people, successful programmers embrace it wholeheartedly. By being flexible, open-minded, and willing to take risks, they stay ahead of the curve and thrive in their careers.

Instead of resisting change, competent programmers like to acquire the tricks and tips of the new technology and use them to enhance their productivity. They stay one step ahead of the competition by reading about current industry trends and adapting their skillset as necessary.

Final Thoughts

The seven habits of highly successful coders outlined in this article are essential for any programmer looking to improve their skill set and stay ahead of the curve.

By embracing change, writing easy to maintain code, and focusing on quality over speed, you too can become a successful coder.

So, what are you waiting for? Start practicing these habits today and see where your career takes you.

And, if you are already putting these principles into practice, spread the good work and encourage others to do the same. After all, we are all in this together.

What other habits do you think are essential to becoming a successful programmer?

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