4) Attention to Detail
Many programmers and coders don’t go to school to learn their trade. There are different ways to measure aptitude for coding, but nothing can substitute the effort a person makes, on their own. It’s one of the few areas in the world where self-taught hard work can lead to a lucrative, highly demanded career. What you won’t NEED to have learned, or have prerequisite abilities, will be mitigated by how closely you can pay attention to details. The understand of the interconnectivity in commands, general awareness and lingual precision are all extremely important parts of a coder’s toolkit. One way to do this is through organization. Instead of hammering yourself each time you overlook an important detail, build a game plan from which you can assess, review and improve your work. Maybe taking laps through the code you write, or promising to reread pertinent information at different times of the day, while working intermittently. Whatever works for you, just make sure you have a system beyond, “I will pay attention to the small stuff.” Scheduling your time leads to more productive, efficient work.
Improving your attention to detail has a lot to do with knowing what to look for. Towards that end, make lists. When you learn something that you know will be useful again and again, write it down. When you have work, research, new skills or languages to do or learn, list what you’re hoping to accomplish, and how you do it. When you achieve something on the list, put a check mark next to it (don’t cross it off, you may need to come back to it). Another way to improve your prescience is maintaining a schedule. You may not going to be as sharp after big meals, or first thing in the morning. You’ll figure out best when you’re most on point, but take note of it, and do your programming or coding work when you’re on top of your game. Another time-honored way to improve focus is meditation. Even focusing on your breath for 10-20 minutes a day will pay dividends in the rest of your life. Another surprising way to improve concentration? Exercise. At least 30 minutes a day leads to a marked improvement in focus. Most importantly, be gentle with yourself. Develop a sense of when to push through despite wanting to break, but also make sure to give yourself brief breaks when you’re feeling unmotivated or having trouble paying attention to details. Then when you come back you’ll be fresher and get better use of your effort.