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3 Ways Developers Can “Sharpen Their Saw” in Less Than an Hour

3 Ways Developers Can “Sharpen Their Saw” in Less Than an Hour
Photo by C D-X / Unsplash

Most software developers are looking to improve their skills going into 2023. But that doesn’t mean a huge investment in a course or training.

Here are three quick ways developers can “sharpen the saw:”

Idea #1 – Constrained Code Katas

Code katas are repeatable programming exercises.

But they can get old after a while. So an easy way to make them more interesting, and challenge yourself, is to complete them with added constraints. Don’t use conditionals, avoid loops, no variable assignments, etc.

These constraints will force you to solve problems in a new way.

Idea #2 – Code Review Yourself

Code reviews aren’t just for merging branches.

Reviewing your own (older) code is a great way to understand when and why you changed your approach to solving problems. And it’s an opportunity to discover weaknesses you might still have. Find something you wrote 9-12 months ago and conduct a thorough review.

You’ll be surprised with what you find!

Idea #3 – Write a How-To Guide

It’s one thing to implement some code to solve a problem.

But it’s a whole other thing to document how, and why, it’s done. Try organizing your thoughts, understanding the “why,” and clearly explaining it in writing. There’s a good chance you’ll find things you’re doing “just because.”

By writing down your reasoning, you’ll be forced to explore why you chose a specific implementation.

How will you be improving your skills in 2023?