Geeks With Blogs
Gary Pronych 1 Part .NET Developer, 2 Parts Personal Developer; 100% Canadian
Last year, a number of developers participated in a 'Becoming a Better Developer' challenge issued by Justice Gray; I commend their efforts.

As a software developer, your entire career is devoted personal development.
What I love about this challenge is that it forces you to take a look at your goals and commit to a plan.

Not everyone can accomplish reading 27 books in x days, or even 1 year (myself included).
It requires a strong desire and commitment; a minor set back can easily cause derailment.

In my creed, I have 2 personal challenges everyday to make me a better developer
1) Learn something new
Make something better while using good practices

Some days I don't succeed both challenges; the beauty is that the next challenge is only the next business day away.
You only need to win the battle, not the war.

In a constantly changing industry, we are forced to revamp our skill set every 1.2 years!

For example, let's look at the .NET framework release schedule (RTM)
In 6 years, we have had 5 major releases.
For you veterans out there, I am sure you can look back at 1.0 and compare it to what you have seen of 3.5; even minor steps from 1.0 to 1.1 were significant.
Sure, a developer can transition from VB6 to .NET with a slight curve using VB6 development practices; but does that make them a .NET developer?
Does that make them a good .NET developer?

What makes a good developer? 
Using the tools available to you at their full potential; where tools include IDE's, utilities and soft skills.
For .NET, using good OO design, recognizing design patterns will get you started.

I love the quote, 'Once code is written, it has entered maintenance mode'; which came from JP Boodhoo in his 'Nothin' but .NET' course.
I am firm believer in building a solid core that JP and Donald Belcham teach in this series; if you get an opportunity, attend one of these courses.

I worked with JP in 2007 to bring 'Nothin' but .NET'  to Regina, SK Canada; If they will come to share the gospel with us, they can work with you to bring this course to your area.

As a developer, what can I do to build a solid core?
Go back to basics, take manageable challenges
1) Learn something new
2) Make something better using good practices
3) Read articles on your topic of interest - Increase your knowledge

Because of the way the industry continuously is changing, it is very important to have a continuous learning plan.
Hence my subtitle; 1 Part Developer, 2 Parts Personal Developer.

I challenge you to consider a similar creed; become a better developer everyday. Posted on Saturday, February 16, 2008 6:31 AM Perspective | Back to top

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