Great Tips And Tricks For Assessing Your Programming Ability

When it comes to landing a job in todays tech industry, making sure your programming ability is up to par can be essential. Great tips for improving your code.

Gaining a job in the tech industry means being on the leading edge when it comes to your programming skills. By honing your skills, you’re providing more value to your employer while at the same time developing habits that increase your efficiency.

But without a nonarbitrary standard to measure your skills against, how do you know if your programming is up to snuff?

Read on to learn our top tips on how to assess and improve your programming ability!

Always Be Learning

The ability to find and learn from resources to expand your knowledge of coding is crucial. Here are a few recommendations:

Stack Overflow

This website is catered to programmers. Through their question and answer section, you’ll be able to seek specific answers to fixes, optimizations, and errors you need or encounter.


Practice making a habit of regularly contributing to open-source projects on Github. This is an easy way to get additional experience and learn from other programmers across the world. If you’re too busy to contribute code, you can also choose to modify a wiki or update existing documentation.

Existing Systems 

By examining existing system codes, you can see other programmers’ methods of writing code. Through this examination, you may find styles and approaches that you never would have considered.

You can also try to identify bad practices in coding, which helps you avoid them in the future.

Peer Review

Make a habit of letting your peers review any important pieces of code you’ve written. This gives you a fresh set of eyes that can better identify mistakes or optimizations. It also acts as another layer of debugging.

Likewise, be willing to engage in parallel programming and review other people’s code. By analyzing code and looking for mistakes, inefficiencies, and compliance with standards, you’re more likely to adopt the methods and fixes you recommend in your own code.

Ask Questions

Never be afraid to ask questions as they occur, especially if you’re new to the industry. Your coworkers and peers may have efficient practices in place that you could adopt or know company standards that you were unaware of.

Write Clean Code

It’s important that you develop a habit of writing simple code that’s easy for everyone to read, especially your coworkers. Your code will be accessed by many people in the future, as well as yourself.

If you’ve forgotten what a piece of code is for, making it readable will help you reacquaint yourself with your past work. You can do this by:

  • Using indentation
  • Using line breaks and spaces between key areas
  • Using consistent naming conventions
  • Use object-oriented programming
  • Ensure unit tests pass

There are many definitions of “clean” code. The most important thing is to be consistent with your style and syntax throughout the entire project.

Descriptive Names

Descriptive names are an important aspect and easily passed-over method of making your code more manageable. Creating specific names for variables and methods will make it far easier to read for others. Make sure to leave notes and comments to explain any complicated sections.

Plan Before Writing

Coding without planning may seem more efficient, but you can quickly get stuck at certain points that may require an entire rewrite. By thinking about your task and how you want to solve it, you’ll be able to find the most effective solution.

You can do this by writing pseudocode or even drawing a diagram. You’ll discover solutions that didn’t initially occur to you.

Don’t Over Develop

If you’re in your flow, it’s tempting to add features like error handling or extra intelligence. However, it’s possible to overdevelop code to the point that it’s unmanageable to other programmers. By keeping your code as simple as possible, it’s far easier to work with in the future if there are necessary changes or additions that need to be made.

Always Practice

You can only go so far when you learn from tutorials or modify other pieces of code. By creating something of your own outside of work, you can contribute to your portfolio while honing your skills at the same time. Some project ideas include:

  • Building a blog in PHP
  • Build JavaScript plugins
  • Create an FTP program
  • Create a download manager
  • Create a page scraper
  • Build a bandwidth monitor
  • Build an SQL query analyzer
  • Create a budget tracker
  • Create an address book
  • Build a report generator

These ideas are only a start. If you find something a problem in your life that a computer program could fix, try coming up with a solution yourself!

SOLID Principles 

Developed by Robert C. Martin, SOLID is an acronym for the first five object-oriented design (OOD) principles. When a programmer utilizes these principals together, their software is easier to maintain and extend.

The principles are as follows:

  • Single-Responsibility Principle – A class should have one reason to change and only one job.
  • Open-Closed Principle – Objects or entities should be open for extension, but closed for modification.
  • Lisbon Substitution Principle – Objects should be replaceable with instances of their subtypes without altering the correctness of that program.
  • Interface Segregation Principle – Various client-specific interfaces are better than one general-purpose interface.
  • Dependency Inversion Principle – Entities must depend on abstractions, not concretions. In other words, high-level modules shouldn’t depend on low-level modules. They should depend on abstractions.

By habitually integrating these principles into your workflow, your code will become easier to modify, test, extended, and refactor without any issues.

Developing Your Programming Ability for Success

As you can see, applying these tips can greatly improve your knowledge of coding while increasing your efficiency at the same time. The ability to accurately and quickly find solutions to tasks is valuable in the tech industry and shows companies that you’re able to grow and adapt along with the company.

Want to learn about more ways to improve your programming ability? Keep reading our blog to find out what hiring managers are looking for.

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