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Career Strides

January 5, 2011

I have taken two major strides in my career, at least I think I have, and I am in the process of taking a third.

Code Complete

The first was a very slow process and it was code related.  I was not a very consistent developer at the beginning of my career, which made me a poor developer.  Then came Code Compete, which instilled in me the knowledge and awareness of writing clear, concise, and consistent code.  It only took two years to read the book cover to cover and it was worth every minute (well hour or days I guess).

DVC and Issue Tracking

Really understanding how to use a distributed version control is a must for a developers.  Knowing how to branch, merge, view history, and properly use a DVC will enhance productivity for the individual and the team. 

Having an issue tracking will allow for division of labor and allow you to get rid of all those post notes.  A good issue tracker can integrate into your DVC and allow commit messages to update issues and provide helpful feedback on when a product can be launched.

Having a process and understanding these tools was not just a individual stride but a team stride.  Bugs were fixed faster, new features were better scheduled and documented, and less code troubles.

The Next Step

I am currently reading Being Geek and I think it is the start of another big step.  How to manage your career, co-workers, and managers.  It is helping me refine techniques I am actively or unknowing doing and showing new techniques when dealing with people and situations.

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