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Kamen takes a look back at his last 10 years working as a software developer and offers some advice that any young developer could learn from.

It’s been more than 10 years since I started working as a software developer. Looking back, I sure have made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve learned a lot from these mistakes too. As I think we all do, sometimes I wish I could go back in time and give some advice to my younger self—it would make things much easier!

If I could go back, these are the five things I'd teach my younger self about programming:

  • A technical degree doesn’t make you a programmer. Coding does. You become a programmer after you write your first one million lines of code.
  • Learn to code, not the language. Programming languages change constantly. Learn the underlying concepts behind how things work.
  • Your code should make the user's life easier. It doesn’t matter how good your code is if it doesn’t solve any problems. Always keep the user in mind.
  • Always be on the lookout for that ONE thing that can make your other tasks much easier or eliminate them altogether. Focus on the things that matter, don't get stuck in the weeds.
  • Have fun. Programming is your hobby and you should enjoy every minute of it!

Okay, everyone likes bonus tips (including my younger self), so I’ll give one more piece of advice. Dear younger me…

  • Two weeks of coding can save you two hours of planning. Learn how to plan your work ahead of time and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to get things done.

Based on my experience, these are the six most important things I've learned over the years. What advice would you give to your younger self?

Kamen Velikov
About the Author

Kamen Velikov

Kamen is software developer and manager of the Fiddler team at Progress. He has more than 11 years of professional experience in software development. Programming has always been his passion and he feels lucky to work his hobby. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, motorcycling, freshly-roasted coffee, and trying new experiences. Geek by design. Writing is a new thing to him and he’ll appreciate your feedback and comments. 


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