5 Essential Habits Every Web Developer Should Adopt

In this article, instead of talking only about technical topics, I'll list the top five habits that I believe can significantly impact your coding career trajectory.

The journey of a web developer is filled with countless lines of code, frameworks, internet searches, and endless coffee cups with a splash of mental breakdowns because of the stupid computer.

Take a moment to step back from the chaos and ensure you have solid habits to build a foundation for your future career.

Let's dive in:

Continuous Learning

The world of web development is ever-evolving. With new technologies, tools, and techniques emerging regularly, a developer's commitment to lifelong learning is their best asset.

Whether through online courses, reading, or workshops, staying updated and expanding one's knowledge base is the cornerstone of professional growth.

Tinker and experiment with new technologies or frameworks on side projects. This enhances your skills and keeps your passion for web development alive.

This often will take you outside of your 9-5 hours, but if career growth is what you are chasing, then a little extra work is always required.

Seek Feedback

The code review process isn't merely a step in project development; it's a learning opportunity.

Regularly engaging in code reviews allows developers to gain insights, refine their craft, and foster a collaborative spirit. In essence, two (or more) eyes are better than one.

I've learned most in my career by being open to feedback and letting people know I welcome tips that could improve my code. Don't take it personally! It's all about learning.

Test, Test, Test

Every great engineer I know tests their code!

And that's because the best developers know that code isn't complete just because it compiles or runs.

Implementing a rigorous testing regimen, covering unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests, is the backbone of creating reliable and robust applications.

It's an undervalued skill to many people, but it will make you stand out against the competition when you can consistently deliver better code and prove that it works.

Understand the Why

While the newest frameworks, libraries, and copy-pasting code from the internet can get us moving quickly, understanding the code will take you further.

First, ensure you deeply understand your core technologies like HTML, CSS, and vanilla JavaScript (or whatever stack it is you deal with day-to-day). If you can understand why your basics work, you can build complete mental models of certain behaviors and quirks as you work through problems.

And when you go beyond the fundamental building blocks, looking into "why" a framework behaves how it does by diving into its codebase can help demystify the "magic" behind the scenes.

The more you can really understand, the easier coding gets.

Structured Problem-Solving

Before diving into coding, step back and break the problem down.

Utilize problem-solving frameworks and create pseudocode or flowcharts. This structured approach ensures a clear roadmap and often leads to more efficient solutions.

It's common for developers to dive straight into the code and try things, but it rarely leads to an optimal solution.

Instead, break that cycle by taking some time to plan the steps required to solve the problem.

Over time, this will give you a much greater intuition on how to solve problems efficiently. But, like all skills, it takes practice.

Is there a habit you would add to the list?

Let me know in the comments. 💬

Happy coding! ✨

Avatar for Niall Maher

Written by Niall Maher

Founder of Codú - The web developer community! I've worked in nearly every corner of technology businesses; Lead Developer, Software Architect, Product Manager, CTO and now happily a Founder.


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