Four New Year’s Resolutions to Become a Better Developer

Four New Year’s Resolutions to Become a Better Developer

Four New Year’s Resolutions to Become a Better Developer 732 312 Heather Post

Many see the start of a new year as a life.restart(); execution, and a time to create new habits that will bring success. With this in mind, I created four New Year’s resolutions that will help you build great habits, stay organized and become a better developer in 2022. Some are habits that I have found to be extremely helpful in my career, and others are suggestions from our engineers here at DataMotion that, for them, have made all the difference. To help these resolutions survive past January, I will also provide you with some helpful tips on how to achieve each below.

These timeless New Year’s resolutions will help you build your skills, career, and gain a work-life balance. Get your champagne ready because we’re going to ring in a new year full of success and achievements!

Let’s dive in.

2022 Resolution #1: Expand Your Knowledge

My first recommended New Year’s resolution is to take time to explore and develop skills in a new side of the technology field. For example, if programming is where you’re most resourceful, you may want to expand your knowledge and skill set in networking or operations. Expanding your knowledge provides a bigger picture on how your software will work in the grand scheme of things. Making a habit of expanding your knowledge and skill set will also make you a better, more marketable developer and allow you to become more resourceful in your current position.

If you’re still starting out in the programming world, you might want to take another step towards becoming a full stack developer. This doesn’t mean you have to choose a full stack role going forward, but this will give you flexibility in your current position as well as in future endeavors. For instance, if your current forte is front-end development, learning back-end development can be extremely useful. Understanding back-end development will again give you insight into how your DOM objects are being used. Doing so will also allow you to make your front-end work exactly as you have imagined as you will have control over how front-end objects are manipulated.

To help acquire new knowledge and skills, you can find courses on Udemy, Coursera, and YouTube. You can also find a wide array of blog posts online. Some courses might be a paid venture, but there are many free online alternatives. I am personally a big fan of w3schools.com, developer.mozilla.org and, of course, StackOverflow.

2022 Resolution #2: Personal Projects

Once you have learned a new skill or two, repetition and cycles will become your best friend. There are unfortunately no short cuts (I’ve checked!), and good, old-fashioned practice is the only way to improve your development skills and create mental “muscle” memory. A great way to practice a skill is through my second New Year’s resolution recommendation: get to work on some personal projects.

Meme of man reading a book about how to develop a new skill. Book reads "practice. practice. practice."

In order for these skills to truly become part of your arsenal, practice is critical. But your college course, work project, or personal business activities might not quite align with your new learnings. Therefore, you may need to create a project of your own to hone your newly-acquired skills.

Where to start? Your personal project could be something as simple as creating a personal portfolio with the new JavaScript framework you just learned. Perhaps you create an app to help automate some of your manual tasks. Another option is to create a pseudo-demonstration project, which has no other benefit aside from helping you practice.

These personal projects don’t have to be something you solely own, either. If you are learning back-end development, for example, find an open-source project where back-end development is needed. You might also consider taking a freelance position where you get to practice these skills. That said, I recommend these two options when you are more confident in your new skills but need repetition to stay sharp.

2022 Resolution #3: Build your Network

Developers often shy away from networking. It’s just a fact of life. But this is an extremely important skill to have, especially in the programming world, and is therefore my third recommended New Year’s resolution. Networking is an excellent way to gain career advice, learn of new developer events and industry news, and gain professional support. For example, if you are stuck on a project, it can be very helpful to have someone knowledgeable in the field to turn to. They may have run into the problem in the past, and unlike a stranger on StackOverflow, they may be willing to jump on a call to help walk you through a solution.

There are a number of options for networking with fellow developers. LinkedIn, of course, is a great place to network. There are also Discord and Reddit groups you can join. I also strongly recommend attending meet-ups, whether in person or virtually. I have personally found a ton of great groups to network in through meetup.com! Groups tend to meet on a timed interval (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) to discuss a specific topic, or to work on a new development skill together. Making a habit of using these avenues to grow your network will help you expand your knowledge, gain, and refine new skills, and stay up to date on new technologies, malwares/threats, and job listings.

2022 Resolution #4: Know When to Step Away

Now the hardest resolution of all: knowing when to step away. I acknowledge this blog post has now asked you to take time to expand your knowledge, dedicate cycles to practicing new skills, and put in time to network, all on top of your current job and everyday life activities. But lighting the fire under your professional life can lead to burnout, which begs the question: when in the heck are you supposed to take a break?

This answer depends on you and your unique situation. For example, if you have a lighter workload at the moment but your personal life is busy, you may still need to take a break and focus on yourself. If your workload is becoming too much, a week away from these resolutions might be exactly what you need. I personally like to work in intervals, followed by a few days to myself. I find this gives me a great balance. You may need to do some trials to find a system that works best for you. You can also talk to a mentor or professional to help find the right system for you. Working to find this balance however is the key to staying consistent and sticking to your goals!

Here’s To 2022!

Well, there you have it! Four ideas for New Year’s resolutions to help you improve your development skills and gain success in 2022. Hopefully these resolutions will become habits that stay with you moving forward all year.

Be sure to follow DataMotion on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to learn about new features and products as well as find developer tips every Tuesday! We will be adding a new open-source project to our GitHub account this 2022 and would love for your contributions.

If security is already part of your 2022 resolution list, be sure to sign up for a free trial today!

Happy New Year!