Last Updated: February 25, 2016
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· colehecht

Learn to code in 10,000 years

Almost every pro tip has a definitive practicality to it. This one does not. Rather, I'd like to bring a bit of philosophy to the table.

I have not, nor will I ever, claim to be the best programmer, developer, or technological mind in the world. In fact, I don't even consider myself an exceptional one. However, this is not to say that certain tasks aren't overwhelmingly simple for me (mostly do to repetition). For instance: take an iOS app. I am hired to develop an app for a small business owner seeking his spot in the App Store. The app is simple. Consisting of perhaps an announcements, inventory, and a contact us tab- this app's development is anything but a challenge.

In my mind, there are two ways of going about such a project.

1) The Banal Approach:
We've all done it. This is the "just get it over with" approach. We play it safe, stick to what we know, finish the app in a satisfactory fashion, and ultimately take nothing away from the project.

2) The Exemplary Approach:
This my friends, is the goal. Before a single line of code is typed, this is my resolution. Continuing with our app example, let's compare the final product of the "Banal Approach" to that of the "Exemplary Approach". Side by side, the user notices... no difference whatsoever? Correct. The final products are virtually identical. But that makes sense considering that results are based on the needs of the client, not some "approach" taken by the developer(s). So what changed? Lets break open the source code. Here we do indeed see a difference between the two apps. Where the banally written app offers nothing new to the programmer, the exemplarily written app does. A breath of fresh air so to speak. The programmer has engaged his mind to reach beyond the ordinary, and implements new methods of doing things. Cutting lines of code, better utilizing resources, efficiency, efficiency, efficiency. This is ideal. When a programmer takes new knowledge or techniques away from a project, then the client shouldn't the only satisfied one.

I offer myself this challenge on a daily basis. And now, I offer it to you. Bored with your job? Optimize the mundane task in front of you. Who knows where it could take you. Think of it as a puzzle. Very few, if any, technologies are perfect. Take it upon yourself to move your technology towards that mark. Satisfaction guaranteed.

C'mon old dog, learn a new trick or two!