Written by: Stefan Bradstreet
Having being ranked as one of the top most programming languages in 2019, the stakes for Python are high for 2020. The relevance of python keeps climbing as it finds applications in Data Science, Machine Learning, library and framework developments, web development, automation, etc. Each of these applications is broad and keeps evolving. To be a part of the wholesome market, it becomes profitable to set strategic goals that would position you in the fore of reaping from this programming tool. Here are some things to do during the coming year.
Keep growing your python and programming skills
I wanted to start with the most obvious and as a reminder there is always more to learn about what does a python developer do. If you haven’t mastered different patterns yet try to thoroughly learn a few of these next year. Here is a list of deliberate activities you can do that will grow your valuable python programming skills!
- Go to the python standard library page and read through the API of a library you haven’t used, then make a toy program using that functionality
- Practice system design problems and think through what kind of classes you would use in your application and how you would extend your program as more and more people use it
- Study ways to effectively manage a software development project
- Check if there is anything on the 11 things everything python developer should know article that you don’t know and explore those
- Enjoy your coding adventure and avoid stress
Join a Community of Coders
The best way to learn the nitty-gritty of anything is by being inside. There are coders’ communities on various digital platforms. You can find about the cliques of python developers and join them before the year 2020. You will have an insider-information about new developments, hacks, and various “what’s hot in Python”. The amazing thing with a community of coders, especially those who develop with Python, is that you can ask questions about things that are confusing, and those who have been in the place can answer your questions accurately. You should also offer contributions when you know you are knowledgeable about an ongoing discussion. Contributions in the community can open collaborative opportunities for you.
In every profession, everyone learns better on the job than what an academy would teach you. Learning on the job is a part of the job. Hence, challenge yourself to pick up on a small project or task and complete it within a week.
Everyone emerges better and stronger on the other side of a challenge. It helps to build up your skill set. If you already belong to a community, you could ask questions if you start falling behind. The earlier you overcome challenges, the earlier your growth. If you wait until you get a new project before you pick a coding challenge, then you are delaying your growth. So, pick up a personal project or start doing coding challenges today and move on through 2020 a better coder.
Learn self-development skills
You need to develop yourself with skills such as handling communications, disappointments, leadership, and effective team management. As a coder, you will surely need these skills in your career, notwithstanding if you are working with a localized organization or you offer freelancing services with Python, as a part of a team working remotely. Your talent prowess can get you a new client, raise, or promotion; however, these soft skills will also help you to have prolonged relationships with existing clients, coworkers, friends, and family and live a more balanced life.
My favorite self-development books:
Attend Python-related Events
Attending meet-ups on tech events brings you two things. The first is that it brings you exposure to what is happening in the tech world, first hand; and not just rumors from others around the water cooler. Another value that events provide is networking for growing your personal brand. You have the chance to speak with developers, programmers, and even CEOs of different tech solutions. Should the conversation go well you can then exchange contact information for future meetups and job opportunity leads.
Read a book or twelve
It may be funny how the digital age seems to have people revolting from reading from prints. This should not be your case as a programmer. Books are usually the best guide to gain step-by-step insights about implementing a coding process. It is easily reachable and provides the know-hows behind each process. Don’t see this as a boring routine; see it as a learning process to get better in 2020.
There is something about reading a book that you should know. When we learn on the job, most times, we get to learn quick access and; we learn shortcuts, without the basic knowledge of how certain things work the way they work. Through reading, you learn the basics of certain protocols and the technicality behind how it really works. Consider the book as a tutorial. You can go easy, by taking one book a month. You can also watch tutorial videos. For videos, though, the precepts on precepts may not be as clear as a book would lay it down; however, you are able to see visuals to know what is expected on the backend and the frontend. So, if something does not look the way it should, from your practice, then you can guess what to check in your line of codes.
My Technical 2020 read list:
- Building Microservices: Designing Fine-Grained Systems
- Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems
- Building Serverless Microservices in Python: A complete guide to building, testing, and deploying microservices using serverless computing on AWS (Check the Packt website to get a cheaper PDF version of this if you’re interested)
Other general books I plan on reading this year:
- Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
- The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google
- Fire & Blood: 300 Years Before A Game of Thrones (A Targaryen History) (A Song of Ice and Fire)
- Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
Study New and Upcoming Tech Trends
Every technological tool evolves. You must have heard about the latest version of Python, the 3.8.1. The newer version shows that the program developers are incorporating new features to catch up with the trends. Learning trends lets you know what is the latest in the industry and the prospects of upcoming events. Knowing the trends early will help you take advantage by learning to position yourself at the right spot that can make you get a good chunk of the market, early.
Setting Measurable and Achievable goals for Python Programming in 2020
Achieving each of these things may seem difficult, especially if you have other time demanding commitments. But really, no goal is unachievable. All that is needed is to set your mind to it and strategize the time to execute each step of the goals.
Set out the clear goals that you want to achieve before the end of the year; this is not a new year resolution. It is a strategy for your growth. And you know what? Set realistic goals -ones that you can imagine to be executable. Having clear goals will help you know what you have achieved so far and what more can be done.
- Specific – What is the mission statement for your goal
- Measurable – What is the outcome you desire from this goal in terms of tangible units. Think I want to complete 5 coding challenges this week instead of I’d like to finish more coding challenges.
- Achievable – This goal should be within your limits even if it means learning new skills.
- Relevant – Does your goal fall in line with your overall values and priorities?
- Time-bound – Set a deadline for your goal to create urgency, even share this with your friends and families to give more accountability to what you’d like to achieve.
A weekly or monthly challenge for yourself is something you can do. See your goal process as a milestone that can be attained in parts. That way, it won’t appear cumbersome to you. An important secret to learning anything is ‘focus’. You don’t have to learn different applications at a time; just go a step at a time. There is a psychology behind achieving goals: When you want to set goals, you aspire big and feel eager to walk into those goals. However, when you begin each step and you look at how much you still have to go, you feel overwhelmed and lose the motivation to achieve them. However, if you set the goals in milestones towards one target at a time, achieving them would not be so mountainous.
About Stefan Bradstreet
Stefan is a Senior Software Developer at Amazon with 8+ years of experience in tech. He is passionate about helping people become better coders and climbing the ranks in their careers, as well as his own, through continued learning of leadership techniques and software best practices.
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