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Improving my programming skills at a full-time job

I've been working full-time, right out of college, for two years now. Initially, I thought this would limit my time for improving my programming skills. It most certainly did not, and here's what I've learned since then.

First of all, I switched to Linux. I started out programming on a laptop with Windows installed on it. I was very much against using Mac OSX as my main operating system (and I still am), so I never bought a Macbook. But Windows is simply horrific to work with if you're a programmer. This is why I switched to a Linux based operating system, Ubuntu in my case. This is one of the best things I could've done. Using Ubuntu as my primary system made me learn to use the terminal for most of my daily tasks. This, in turn, taught me valuable lessons about installing software on Ubuntu based servers.

Second of all, I learned to use other languages than PHP and JavaScript. I was fairly familiar with JavaScript, so my knowledge was mainly PHP and JavaScript. To me, this is one of the best basis you can have to start building websites. Of course, you can change PHP to Python or Ruby, but any of those combinations is a great base to build from. From JavaScript and PHP, I went to learn bits and pieces of Python and Java. I learned some basic Python principles by interacting with the Raspberry Pi and I learned Java through Solr. Solr is a Java-based search engine, much like Elastic Search.

Third of all, I started using Docker. Having switched to Ubuntu as my primary system, I was very familiar with the Unix environment. This made the switch to Docker 10 times easier. Writing Dockerfiles was a breeze once I understood the different types of commands, like RUN, CMD, and ADD. This makes developing with other people much easier, but it also makes deploying your application very easy.

I know I'll continue to learn new things as I keep working and I'm excited to see what the future will bring.

What are some of the things you've learned during your job that you thought you'd never learn or need?

Posted on: March 15th, 2018

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