Development is a constantly evolving trade. It’s also a competitive field, with a lot of talented and qualified people vying for work.
Luckily, there’s also a growing need for solid programmers. In fact, recent years have seen a shortage of qualified developers. According to the IDC, this global shortage will increase from 1.4 million in 2021 to 4 million in 2025. So, moving into 2023, you can expect more opportunity and more competition, and you should look to up your game this year to stay ahead of the pack. Here are our tips for leveling up your programming skills in 2023.
Why Programmers Must Keep Improving Their Knowledge and Skills
The key to staying competitive and to finding great new opportunities is growth. Programmers can’t afford to rest on their laurels too long, or the field can pass them by. This is true in any field — ongoing growth, learning, and deepening of your knowledge can turn you into a trusted guru over time. On the other hand, failing to keep learning can leave you out of touch.
This is doubly so in programming since technological advancements in development are so quick and plentiful. Tech trends come and go, established paradigms evolve, and the business demands that drive innovation keep changing. Keep learning, and before long, you’ll be doing the innovation rather than just following.
Top Tips for Programmers Going into 2023
While some things change, some basic ideas remain the same. As we head into 2023, you’ll want to grow into a programmer who can weather economic downturns and stay valuable no matter what happens. Here’s our best advice:
Improve Your Efficiency
Speed is important in programming, but so is accuracy. For 2023, look to improve your efficiency so you can finish jobs quicker without being in a rush. Audit your workflows, eliminate roadblocks, learn shortcuts, and gather resources that can make you faster — like a great integrated development environment (IDE), text crawling software, or a good project manager. Start with this list of awesome productivity tools.
Focus on Fundamentals
The best way to keep up with rapid change is to have solid fundamentals. Don’t just learn new languages. Instead, understand the underlying principles that programming relies on, including algorithmic design, pseudo code, and math. When you really master the underlying concepts, new languages are just slightly different ways of saying the same thing and not whole new worlds. To get back to basics, try one of these books on programming fundamentals.
Master Perennial Technologies
Hot, hip tech comes and goes, and it’s tempting to focus on the latest and greatest. But some tech has become fundamental and isn’t going anywhere. Make it a point for 2023 to master at least one foundational technology. Linux/UNIX, SQL, and networking technologies are all good to know. Try the Linux Bible to really dig into Linux, or to get serious about SQL, try Berkeley’s online boot camp.
Improve Your Business Sense
If you’re a freelancer, it’s always a good idea to get better at the business side of things. This includes time management, budgeting, accounting, and marketing — to name a few key skills. Don’t be afraid to take a business course in 2023, or find a consultant to teach you.
Finally, make sure you take breaks to attend to your health in 2023. You can do more when you feel good, and a big part of that is getting out and getting some fresh air. 2023 would even be a great year to get a coach and get fit.