The field of software development is constantly changing. To keep pace, we as software developers need to spend time continually learning new skills. If you think about it, the next promotion you’ve been seeking, or the respect of your co-workers, might depend on it. In general, the more skilled a software developer, the faster and more accurately they can complete work. That’s why the most skilled developers are compensated at multiples of the average developer salary. And they are also given the most interesting projects at work, with the most authority to make technical decisions.
Software engineering is new relative to other engineering disciplines. Because it’s new, it’s also underdeveloped and therefore changes more often. The software skills you learned 5 or 10 years ago may not be applicable today. This means software engineers have more incentive to make their learning efficient and effective.
The most effective way to learn new skills is through deliberate practice. Have you ever wondered why one person could pick up a new skill, for example chess, and quickly progress, while another person might spend the same amount of hours on it yet not get better? The answer lies in how each person approaches practicing and learning. And what about the people that progress the quickest? Most likely they are using deliberate practice.
So what’s deliberate practice, and how can it be applied to software development? Deliberate practice has well defined, specific learning goals. Deliberate practice always involves feedback. And most importantly, deliberate practice requires getting out of one’s comfort zone. Now you can see why most people don’t use deliberate practice: Most people will avoid the discomfort that’s required to grow. And most people aren’t attentive enough to set goals and use feedback. But if you really want to get better that’s what you need to do, and we’ll help you do it.
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