How To Improve Coding Skills (With Practical Tips And Advice)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Technology roles and jobs related to coding require continuous improvement and skilling. With the advancements in new technologies, it is essential for coders to commit to lifeline learning. Knowing how you can improve your coding can aid career progression and development. In this article, we discuss how to improve coding skills and share some practical tips on how to become a better coder.

Related: What Is Coding? A Complete Guide To Coding Languages

How to improve coding skills

Follow these steps to find out how to improve coding skills:

1. Be willing to learn new things

The foremost requirement to improving your coding skills is a commitment to learning new technologies and always being curious about technological innovations. The tech industry is rapidly changing, and it is possible that the things you have learned and are used to have simply become redundant. By staying up-to-date on new developments in your industry and following industry leaders, you can strengthen your knowledge and skills. This also gives you the ability to approach challenges in work with new perspectives and approaches.

2. Learn the underlying concept and not the specific tool

While it is undoubtedly beneficial to get familiar with as many platforms and tools as possible, remember that most of them have the same foundation as a few limited languages. If you can become an expert in languages like Java, C, PHP, Python, Ruby and others, learning more complex coding can become easier. This is particularly important for young coders and professionals with limited experience. Instead of focusing on specific tools or technologies, focus on learning the underlying language and framework.

Related: How To Learn JavaScript (With Advantages And Functions)

3. Try different methods for learning how to code

Trying different approaches to understand and learn different code functions can significantly aid your skills as a programmer. Use different and creative methods to remember coding techniques and concepts, whether through flashcards, gamified learning or quizzes. You can also utilise tried-and-tested approaches to learning like spaced repetition and active recall to improve your understanding and skills further. If you are trying to learn a new language or technology, always take an incremental approach and spend adequate time learning the fundamentals.

4. Focus on one tech stack and master it

As you gain experience in certain languages and programming tools, a more practical approach can be to master some technology stacks and frameworks before learning new ones. This can help you develop expertise and specialisation. Higher proficiency and experience working in a specific type of tech stack can also improve your employment prospects and expedite career progress. Companies are usually willing to pay a higher salary to experts and specialists in certain programming tools and languages.

Related: Coder Vs. Programmer - Fundamental Differences

5. Review code by other developers

See how other developers solve problems and resolve bugs in their code. There are many open and active coding forums with thousands of experts from around the world. You can review different projects and applications on such forms and learn from others. Note these observations and use similar approaches when you code. You can also interact with experts and users to discuss their unique approach style or approach to coding certain kinds of applications.

6. Practise continuously

Develop a habit of practising new languages and coding tools outside of your work and professional responsibilities. You can dedicate some time, say 30 minutes, every day to work on a project and review it every few weeks to incorporate changes or additions. If you currently do not have a full-time job, you can spend even more time learning and improving your coding skills. Even the most experienced coders and programmers ensure that their practical skills remain strong and updated.

7. Perform refactoring regularly

Refactoring is the process of recoding older projects and applications. You can revisit some old personal and professional projects, remove their code and refactor them again. This habit of writing and rewriting code can help you improve efficiency, performance and knowledge. If you are a young professional and do not have many older projects to refactor, you can simply pick up legacy code from open source platforms and refactor them.

8. Get feedback from others

Whether you are working on your professional projects or updating old personal projects, get feedback and reviews from experts in the field. If your colleagues or friends are interested, you can review each others' codes and exchange feedback. Similarly, you can seek feedback from seniors, experts and online members of coding groups. Share your work with like-minded professionals who can offer improvement tips and advice.

Practical tips to improve your coding skills

Here are some other easy and practical tips to enhance your coding skills:

Utilise free resources available online

If you do not have an academic qualification in computer science or have limited professional experience, using free resources available online is a great way to improve and revise programming concepts. There are many courses, tutorials, e-books and guides to help familiarise coders with specific functions and concepts. Professionals with more advanced coding experience can also benefit from these resources. They can strengthen their understanding of fundamental concepts or update their knowledge as per the latest developments and best practices.

Sign up for a programming bootcamp

Coding bootcamps are learning programmes designed to provide specialised coding knowledge in an accelerated manner. The learning structure and curriculum is compact, and most courses last a few days or weeks. Bootcamps can help you become an expert coder in specific languages in just a few weeks. Fresh graduates and individuals with no academic qualifications can benefit from bootcamps as they conduct more practical-driven training. Again, these are not just for beginners but also for those at intermediate and advanced levels if they want to attain a deeper level of expertise in more technical concepts.

Get higher education in the computer science field

Many IT professionals today pursue higher education in fields like machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science and cybersecurity. These are emerging IT and tech fields that have significant employment potential. A dedicated and regular master's degree programme can help you focus on learning specific skills and may also improve your employability. A master's degree can also enable you to interact with like-minded peers and tech enthusiasts and build your network. Several tech companies and employers offer paid sabbaticals to their employees for pursuing master's programmes as well.

Related: How To Become A Python Developer (With Skills And Duties)

Work with a personal coding tutor or trainer

If you are struggling to understand some key concepts in a new language, you can consider taking personal classes from expert trainers. This way, you can get focused attention and feedback to ensure better comprehension and retention of information. Tutors can also direct you to more advanced resources and courses if you wish to learn and practice more. Fresh graduates who are looking to find their first job can also consult their professors or ask for their recommendations.

Practise debugging regularly

Programmers who do not spend enough time learning debugging concepts can find it challenging to find errors in their code and deploy corrective fixes. This also leads to a wastage of time and effort on fixing code rather than writing or enhancing it. So, it is important to spend adequate time learning about debugging concepts like divide and conquer, logging, control flow analysis and others. Having knowledge of common debugging tools is also essential to save time and improve the quality of your code.

Related: 15 Important Java Developer Skills (And How To Improve)

Enrol in a short-term skill development certification

If your work responsibilities leave little time to pursue personal projects or participate in online coding communities and you have no intention of pursuing a master's degree, you can consider pursuing a short-term certification course. These courses usually focus on specific language tools or programmes and cater to professionals with all levels of expertise. Leading learning platforms offer dedicated certification courses for working professionals where you can improve your coding skills by allocating just a few hours to learning every week.

Such courses typically have short course modules, visually-interactive classes, projects and regular evaluations. Many certifications are valid for a few years and can add value to your resume. You can also consider pursuing courses offered by leading tech companies or those with global accreditations.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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