Book Image

Skill Up: A Software Developer's Guide to Life and Career

By : Jordan Hudgens
3 (1)
Book Image

Skill Up: A Software Developer's Guide to Life and Career

3 (1)
By: Jordan Hudgens

Overview of this book

This is an all-purpose toolkit for your programming career. It has been built by Jordan Hudgens over a lifetime of coding and teaching coding. It helps you identify the key questions and stumbling blocks that programmers encounter, and gives you the answers to them! It is a comprehensive guide containing more than 50 insights that you can use to improve your work, and to give advice in your career. The book is split up into three topic areas: Coder Skills, Freelancer Skills, and Career Skills, each containing a wealth of practical advice. Coder Skills contains advice for people starting out, or those who are already working in a programming role but want to improve their skills. It includes such subjects as: how to study and understand complex topics, and getting past skill plateaus when learning new languages. Freelancer Skills contains advice for developers working as freelancers or with freelancers. It includes such subjects as: knowing when to fire a client, and tips for taking over legacy applications. Career Skills contains advice for building a successful career as a developer. It includes such subjects as: how to improve your programming techniques, and interview guides and developer salary negotiation strategies.
Table of Contents (5 chapters)

Throughout this book, I have written quite a bit about improving as a developer, specifically discussing various ways to study from a practical perspective. However, in this chapter, I want to specifically answer the question: is reading important for developers?

The short answer to the question is: yes! However, as computer scientists it's poor form to simply take someone at their word. So, let's dive into why reading is critical to improvement.

Let's analyze a few key statistics with regard to reading.

So why do some of the most successful individuals in the world take the time to go through so many books? At a high level it may seem excessive, but if you truly believe that knowledge is power, wouldn't it make sense to dedicate whatever time is needed to attain more knowledge?

If you look at reading like a form of linear learning, then yes, reading would be a waste of time. Linear learning would be a 1 to 1 transfer of knowledge. For example, if it took the author of the book 10 years to research a topic and it took me 10 years to go through the book, that would be pretty pointless. At the end of the day this type of reading would be pointless.

However, I look at reading like it's compounded learning. What is compounded learning? Good question! Compounded learning is the process of taking the knowledge from an individual, but not having to spend the same amount of time that it took that individual to research the topic.

For example, imagine that you read a book on How to Become a Better Developer. The author of the book had to spend years researching the topic (assuming that it was a well-written/well-researched book). However, if you go through the book in a few weeks, that means that you were able to gain years worth of knowledge in a few weeks!

Research ( shows that top authors will spend a minimum of two years researching a book. And that research time doesn't take into account the fact that authors draw on their entire lifespans to write a book. All of this means that each time you read a book it's as if you were able to gain a lifetime's worth of experiences and wisdom from the author.