I am Ben Lesh. Ask me anything.

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Joy Dasgupta's photo

You are an experienced programmer. What five serious pieces of advice would you give a new programmer?

Ben Lesh's photo

Five? Whoa... hmmm

  1. Keep an open mind. You can learn things from anyone or any thing. That technology you think "sucks" probably has some really brilliant parts to it.
  2. The delete key is your friend. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. You can always delete them. It's better than not trying.
  3. Work incrementally. Don't try to build things "big bang" right out of the gate.
  4. Have tests. Preferrably integration tests and unit tests where needed. They will save you some day. They might be a pain to right and maintain at times, but they're critical to your emotional well-being later, trust me.
  5. HAVE A LIFE. Work isn't everything. Don't let a company trick you into working 60 hour weeks. I've literally NEVER in 20 years seen someone work themselves into a promotion by burning the midnight oil every single night. It's, frankly, dumb. Go enjoy kids, or (non-computer-related) hobbies, or movies, or get some fresh air.... whatever, just get away from the computer for a bit.