Soft Skills Overview
Obviously, as a programmer, you are expected to code a lot. That is the whole idea of programming. For those who wish to learn more on coding and technology career, I suggest reading IT career article or reviewing the diagram on coding and Technology career roadmap. Crafting new ideas in your head (or listening to your boss’s ideas) and then actually implementing them through code. But, that is not the only thing that you have to do as a programmer. While some may view programming as antisocial, it really does involve a lot of communication if you are working on large-scale projects that have a lot of people collaborating.
As always with teamwork, everyone is working towards one common goal. As a programmer, you are most likely working with others to complete a single large project. So what does that mean? It means that someone else’s actions that affect the project can directly affect the part of the project you are working on. If someone decides to change an element of the project, but no one else is up to date on this change, then the clueless ones could be making some major mistakes or wasting their time. That is why communication is key. And that is where documentation comes into play.
Code Commenting Benefits
Whenever you make changes to your code, or even when you are initially creating the code, it is always important to write down what it does in plain English. The easiest way to do this is to comment out the code, which is supported by nearly every major programming language used today. Not only does that make it easier for your coworkers to understand, but it also helps you remember what code is accomplishing when you come back to it a month after not looking at it. However, commenting is not all that you must do to properly document your code.
It also helps to fully explain what an entire section of the code is accomplishing. For example, maybe you are using an Arduino as a part of your collaborative project and you are entirely responsible for the Arduino code. Not only should you comment the Arduino code, but you should also create a paragraph or more (depending on how complex your part accomplishes) explaining what the Arduino code actually does. That way, someone who is completely unfamiliar with Arduinos and how they are programmed can read your documentation and understand the purpose of the Arduino without even looking at the code. This can help consumers who might eventually use your product and your team members who might have to know what the Arduino does, but not necessarily how it is programmed and how it fundamentally works.
In the real world, without documentation, your code may as well be useless. Depending on the language you are writing in, it can be incredibly difficult to understand what a section of code is accomplishing because it takes time to run through the code. It is not like reading English on a piece of paper. By documenting your code as you go, you not only prevent yourself from becoming confused by your own code, but you also make it much more valuable to everyone else who didn’t actually develop the code. It is worth noting that the best way to learn a coding and documentation is via projects and practice. For instance, DC Web Makers Company only offers project-based training where students learn concepts through real world projects.
So, what did we learn? Not only should you create awesome and efficient code as a programmer, but you should also comment out the code so you understand specific questions. On top of that, writing a good amount about what the overall code actually does and any changes made to the pre-existing code should be a priority. Without either of these things, you may as well be smashing your fingers randomly on the keyboard because your code will be about as useful as Norton Antivirus. I also recommend all programmers to learn project management techniques such as agile project management which can be a solid soft skill for any professional programmer.