You employer can't force you to be a good programmer; a lot of times your employer isn't even in a position to judge whether you're good. If you want to be great, you're responsile for making yourself great. It's a matter of your personal character.
Curiosity. In the development of a superior programmer, curiosity about technical subjects must be a priority.
1. Build your awareness of the development process.
The more aware you are of the development process, whether from reading or from your own observations about software development, the better position you're in to understand changes and to move your group in a good direction.
One effective way to learn about progrmming is to experiment with programming and the development process. One key to effective programming is learning to make mistake quickly, learning from them each time. Making a mistake is no sin. Failing to learn from a mistake is.
3. Read about problem solving.
4. Analyze and plan before you act.
5. Learn about successful projects.
One especially good way to learn about programming is to study the work of the great programers.
6. Read other books and periodicals.
If you read even one good programming book every two months, roughly 35 pages a week, you'll soon hava a firm grasp on the industry and distinguish yourself from nearly everyone around you.
7. Make a commitment to professional development.
It's no sin to be a beginner or an intermediate. It's no sin to be a competent programmer instead of a leader. The sin is in how long you remain a beginner or intermediate after you know what you have to do to improve.
1. Refusing to pretend you're an expert when you're not.
2. Readily admitting your mistakes.
3. Trying to understand a compiler warning rather than suppressing the message.
4. Clearly understanding your program-not compiling it to see if it works.
5. Providing realistic status reports.
6. Providing realistic schedule estimates and holding your ground when management asks you to adjust them.
Communication and cooperation
Truly excellent programmers learn how to work and play well with others.
Creativity and discipline.
Some creative programmers view the discipline of standard and conventions as stifling to their creativity. The opposite is true. Without standards and conventions on large projects, project completion itself is impossible.
Laziness manifests itself several ways:
1. Deferring an unpleasant task.
2. Doing an unpleasant task quickly to get it to out of the way.
3. Writing a tool to do the unpleasant task so that you never have to do the task again.
Some fo these manifestations of laziness are better than others.
Depending on the situation, persistence can be either an asset or a liability. Most of the time, persistence in software development is pigheadedness, it has little value. Persistence when you're stuck on a piece of new code is hardly ever a virtue. Try redesigning the class, try an alternative coding approach, or try coming back to it later. When one approack isn't working, that's a good time to try an alternative.