General lessons from coding

Now that I digged a little bit deeper into the topic of coding (especially Android applications and so Java of necessity), I recognized some fascinating things you learn from programming in general. A few habits you automatically integrate in all your working activities after you started writing code and which help you quite a lot to get all of your work done faster, easier and more efficiently.

I’ve tried to put that in words both to remember all of the coders among us that coding gives you more than you might think and also to take all non-techies on a journey about six things many techies set focus on and which may also be helpful for you:

1. Get a clear structure in everything you do
At least since you’ve written your tenth Java file and your third new XML file for your screen layout or took a second look on your fully unstructured Java code months later, you start to set great value upon clarity of your programs. Can anybody including you understand what you scripted weeks before? Did you put in enough notes to make sure that your code is self-explainable?
In general terms that means: Always reflect in the perspective of your opposite whether your explanations and phrases are logic and simple out of his or her view. Also imagine you’re reading your texts and mails a few weeks later. Will you get what it all was about through reading them? Consider all the important aspects of your project and if they’re just too many, mind-map it and break it down into smaller pieces.

Concrete tips:

  • For all the iPhone/iPad users: GoTasks or Any.do might help you track all of your tasks and also look after the checked ones. Simple and effective, to get a structure in your daily routine
  • Try to focus and expand your knowledge in these four areas: Finances, Appearance, Nutrition/Sports, and Relationships – Spend 20 min. at least on each of these subjects every day. These topics should be a main part of your daily routine
  • Plan your day in the morning: Do the most important things before midday and get up early! It won’t bring you anything to watch Youtube videos or TV from 11 pm to midnight. Better go to bed and start a power morning next day

2. Same input won’t change your output
Many people expect new results even though there always giving the same input. Coding shows you pretty hard, but effectively, that there won’t be any new outcome as long as you put the same code in. You have to change something.
Nearly the same in your daily life. When you reach boundaries, you have to go new ways, try a different strategy. You don’t get gains while doing workouts day by day? Try a new routine, new set combination. You get a minus on your bank account month by month? New way: Analyze your spending and cut down everything you don’t need essentially (Clubbing, Streaming abos, eating in restaurants,…)
Most people already know that strategy from their own electronical devices. They know that you can’t type in the same searching words and expect a new search result.
But they don’t transfer this on for example their relationships. In an argue they show the same behavior every time and wonder about why their partners always react the same way.
If you want a different reaction, other results, you have to change your input.

Concrete tips:

  • For every area in your life you feel like don’t getting forward, like you reached a imaginary border: Change your input, extend your ingredients
  • Turn your way of expression: Formulate positive! Your mind overhears the word “not”. So say “I will win!” instead of “I won’t lose!” as an example

3. Be a hustler
“It’ll be okay”, “Let’s see what time will bring”, “Life is rugged”….Yeah! Life is rugged. But just sitting there and saying that won’t change anything. Sure there will be situations where you give all your best and you’ll still fail. But without hustling you don’t even have the chance to win. Especially in programming your code won’t do anything new without inserting fresh lines (despite it is a self-learning algorithm).

It’s the same with all your actions. You only ascend when you put hard work into it. Even if you start with nothing, you’ll improve with every hour of putting yourself into.

Concrete tips:

  • Write down your long-term goals with priority and force yourself to spend at least half an hour a day for your most important goal
  • Do only one thing at a moment. Use tools like www.nowdothis.com to support you with that

4. Knowledge community
You just can’t know anything – Make sure you regularly meet with people who can push you forward with their know-how and experience.
In coding, there is one essential site I think every programmer visits from time to time – stackoverflow.com. But also for other issues there are expert forums, websites and conferences. Make sure to regularly check out which events are worth visiting.
Be open-minded and share your experiences in a good mood – this will leave a mark and give you the opportunity to connect with new people.

Concrete tips:

  • Remind yourself to always ask people you just met how you can stay in touch. Add them in social networks immediately after meeting to make sure that you don’t lose contact. You both never know when it could be helpful to know each other. Thank them for the awesome time you had together by shooting them a short message.
  • Check out “know-how hot-spots” for your current projects (that could be anything from networking events to university classes and online courses) and make contact to the gurus in the field

5. Adapt to environmental changes
If android brings out a new version, also the application developers have to bring out updates for their apps sooner or later, because otherwise apps from competing publishers will be preferred by your customers.
Same thing in the real world: You don’t spend time on developing yourself and progressing? There’s always a better one for your job. That sounds hard, but it’s not as terrific as you might think now. In our world it’s quite normal that you have to adjust to changes. Technology, infrastructure, job. You’re forced to do it every day. And most of the times you don’t feel like you’re forced to. It’s subconscious. So why don’t adapt on a conscious level too?

Concrete tips:

  • Get in touch with at least 1-2 technologies each month (visit a fab lab and try out a 3D printer, test drive an electric car,…)
  • Accustom yourself to a completely new hobbie like playing the guitar, bouldering, volleyball, coding, painting, writing a blog) every half a year and try it out for a few times. It will definitely extend your horizon!

6. It is ok to fail
Don’t get me wrong! I do not mean that you should fail often. That’s not very good for your career. I just say that you shouldn’t worry to long about failing and you absolutely shouldn’t let yourself keep off of something you want to do. With coding you learn that it’s ok to fail and while programming it’s quite normal to fail from every half an hour. Failure tells you that you’ve done something and that is good. The only thing that you should completely avoid, is to make the same mistake twice. Learn from your faults and move on.
That applies to nearly everything in life. In real-life failure often puts you in kind of a paralysis. You simply cannot react and you’re waiting for the perfect strategy to come over you. But life isn’t about perfect plans. It’s about finding a suitable solution and starting. Many situations will push you down, whether in business or private setting. But in the end life’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Acceleration, speed, but first of all perseverance. How hard you can get hit and still move on.

Concrete:

  • After new/interesting situations or when finishing a project, Write down your lessons learned. Keep kind of a LessonsLearned-Journal
  • Smile about failure: Don’t worry, if you fail. Work on the things which you can change and accept all the other ones as experiences on your way to success
  • After you’ve failed at something, move on immediately to learn that it’s bad, but you can overcome it

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