It's that typical lazy hot friday afternoon, and you are wasting time, staring at your Facebook feed. And then some friend shares a video, you see it, and you are
Happens to you?
It happens to me a lot. And It happened to me today.
Found this amazing piece of advice floating on youtube.
Neil Gaiman encourages aspiring writers to get better.
The same advice can be more or less ported over for programmers ( or well, anyone in a creative profession ).
Nobody, I repeat, Nobody is going to see, or care about your first draft.
Nobody cares about how good your first commit was. But then, what matters is the end product and unlike writing, you can edit your software even after its released. Updates. Patches. Upgrades. Whatever.
Dont wait for that kiss of inspiration to write that beautiful code. Just write whatever comes out. It may be ugly. It's fine. Just get it out.
For example, Ruby on Rails wouldn't have existed, if DHH in 2003, had set out to write Rails, the way it is today. But what he did was, he just started. He wrote one small piece at a time. And when he felt he had something, he released it to other developers. And the rest is history.
So the secret (I think) to being a good programmer, is to start writing code. Every single day. In small steps. Even when you are not inspired/motivated.
Another very interesting thing Neil Gaiman talks about is, exploring different genres of writing. To read/see outside of your comfort zone.
And this is the most important takeaway from the video.
If you want to become a better Ruby/Python programmer, you will obviously need to write and practice a lot of Ruby/Python code. But you should also try to learn new languages. Languages, that are totally orthogonal in their design philosophy, with your current language.
That will definitely change the way you think about writing programs in your current language. You will have new ideas. You will be able to do things in a different way!
Pick a language not similar to the one you are currently working on, and learn it. Even better, build something with it.
So, if you want to get better at programming,
Start now, Start small and Just Do It.