If you're new to programming you might be feeling a little overwhelmed.
You're in no doubt that it's the career for you — but wow — there's just so much to learn!
Well, don't worry. While life as a programmer allows you to put your technical creativity into action for the rest of your days, once you've learnt the following eight skills, there'll be no looking back.
Here are eight things you need to learn if you're new to programming to help you lay the foundations for a solid career.
1) The significance of your job
While this might not be a programming skill, it's something that's often overlooked by those who are new to programming. As a result, undervaluing how significant your role is can lead to either undercharging your clients or have them try to run the project for you, which is just as detrimental.
As a programmer, you're enhancing your client's business by building a website that provides significant value to their company. This is something that's commonly overlooked by clients and can result in a lack of respect for your skillset.
No more low hourly rates or painful clients who don't appreciate your significance! But that must all come from you.
2) An understanding of business
This is another valuable non-programming skill you'll need if you want to achieve success as a programmer. Having a good understanding of marketing strategy, accounts, and sales delivery will help you run a business efficiently so you can get clients, and keep them!
3) Learn how to write
And by this, I mean words, not just code! Throughout your career as a programmer you're going to need to write plans, briefs, and communicate your ideas with clients and a team. It's vital that you can communicate concisely and effectively in a manner that everyone understands. Programming isn't something that's easily understood by clients so you'll need to learn how to convey your ideas in 'non-programming' language before you start a project. This will avoid any misunderstandings partway through the project.
4) Learn C
Obviously, this suggestion won't be met with a clap and a cheer from all potential programmers, but it is one that's worthwhile considering!
C. is one of the most widely used programming languages of all time. The reason C. is so important is that it will give you a solid foundation for your future career. It goes without saying that Java, Python, and Ruby are programming frameworks that you'll eventually immerse yourself in, but, as a beginner, you'll focus on the fundamentals of programming first. A solid understanding of C. will help you solve problems and it'll give you a wider understanding of the intricacies involved in programming. All things which will stand you in good stead for a very successful future.
6) Learn problem-solving skills
There's no doubt about it, as a programmer your career will be filled with problems and you're going to need to have the skills to solve them. You'll need to develop patience and perseverance as personality traits but you'll also need a methodology for solving problems. Do you have a support network? A mentor? Or do you rely completely on Google? You'd be naïve to just jump in and think it will be plain sailing so make sure you have a plan of action for logically figuring things out. Never forget that ALL problems can be solved, you just need to keep going!
7) Learn how to take a risk
As a programmer, you can plan and prepare something but you won't always be able to fully guarantee the outcome. You'll need to learn how to be bold and take risks and accept the fact that if something breaks, you'll then have to learn how to fix it! If you're fearful of taking risks to the point that you don't get anything done, you won't succeed as a programmer. Often, it's jumping into the unknown that sharpens your skills as a programmer and will help with your learning.
8) Learn how to work under pressure
Programming can be a very stressful career! When deadlines are looming and things aren't going as planned, it can be easy to bow down to the pressure which could spell disaster for your project. A successful programmer will remain calm in the face of an upcoming deadline and will continue to work methodically until they achieve their result. As a programmer, you're just one integral member of a whole web development team so you'll have to learn how to work to the timescales of others regardless of the problems you encounter.
Programming is an extremely rewarding career with limitless potential. Once you've mastered these basic skills, the world will be your programming oyster!
Have we missed any skills? What skills helped you when you first learnt how to program? Let us know in the comments below!