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  • Writer's pictureTim Buchalka

Vital Skill To Be A Successful Programmer: Self-Reliance

Let's talk about another skill that you really need to have in order to succeed as a programmer: Self-reliance. Now, I previously talked about what I believe is the most important skill that you need to have: Persistence. But here we're talking about self-reliance, so let's have a discussion of that today.

Today we're talking about self-reliance and why it's so important for you as a programmer. Now the reason why it's so important is, basically, it's going to make you a better programmer and a more productive member of a team.

The way that self-reliance works is, you're looking internally for an answer first. In other words, you're not looking for other people to give you all the answers. You're trying actively to find the answers for yourself.

As an example, let's consider that you're taking your first programming course and you're getting stuck at a particular point. The obvious thing that a lot of people would do, and certainly I was guilty of this when I first started, would be that I would basically look for somebody to give me the answer. So, you know, okay I don't know how to do this and you put a question in a Q&A section of the course. Now I'm not advocating here, by the way, that you shouldn't be asking questions. But what I'm advocating is that there's a process you should go through first to try and figure out the answer.

In that scenario, have you watched the videos first? It's very important. Have you tried a bit of a sample code, typed the code in and tried and analyse it then try and figure out what's gone wrong? These are great, important skills that you need to learn which will apply to when you ultimately go and get that first programming job.

The reason is, moving onto the programming job, is that when an employer hires you, you're hired to make life easier for the employer. That's really the bottom line. In exchange for them paying you, you're meant to come on board and make things easier for them. But if you come on board and you're basically tying up the resources of the team there asking thousands of questions, well that's going to be a burden on the employer. So you need to think of it from their point of view as well.

Again, I'm stressing here that I'm not suggesting you don't ask questions, because we've all got questions at some point in time that we need to answer them. It's this self-reliance again, to try and figure out things for yourself first. Go through the process and when you do know how to programme, you will try and solve the problem yourself. So you try and check out the code base in a little bit more detail, you try and search online to see whether there's someone else who's got a similar problem, you try out some code and then, and only then, when you get stuck do you then come back and ask someone for help.

Self-reliance, it's an extremely important skill. Really in any facet of life, I believe that being self-reliant is a very useful skill but particularity in programming, you really need to have that in order to succeed as a programmer. All right, so I hope that helped. If you've got any questions, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

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