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Programming Achievements: How to Level Up as a Developer

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Programming Achievements: How to Level Up as a Developer

  1. Select a particular experience to pursue.
  2. Pursue that experience to completion. (Achievement unlocked!)
  3. Reflect on that experience. Really soak it in. Maybe a blog post would be in order?
  4. Return to Step 1, this time selecting a new experience.

This gist is a fork of the gist from this blog post.

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Current in **bold*. Completed in strikethrough.*

Learn a variety of commonly-used programming languages:

  • Write a program in Ruby
  • Write a program in Python
  • Write a program in C
  • Write a program in C++
  • Write a program in Java
  • Write a program in Objective-C
  • Write a program in C#
  • Write a program in PHP 5
  • Write a program in Perl
  • Write a stand-alone program in Javascript

Learn a variety of not commonly-used programming languages:

  • Write a non-trivial program in Brainfuck
  • Write a program in Lua

Learn a variety of frameworks:

  • Write a web application with Rails
  • Write a web application with Django
  • Write a program with .Net
  • Write a program with OpenGL
  • Write a program with DirectX
  • Write a program with Cocoa

Learn a variety of editors/IDEs:

  • Use vim exclusively for a month
  • Use TextMate exclusively for a month
  • Use emacs exclusively for a month
  • Use netbeans exclusively for a month
  • Use Visual Studio exclusively for a month
  • Use XCode exclusively for a month

Learn a variety of programming paradigms:

  • Write a program in assembly language
  • Write an application in a functional language
  • Write an application in an object-oriented language
  • Write an application in a prototype-based language
  • Write an application in a logic programming language
  • Write an application using the Actor model
  • Write an application in Forth
  • Write an application in a concatenative language (e.g. Joy)
  • Write an application in a strict design-by-contract language (e.g. Eiffel)

Get comfortable in multiple operating systems:

  • Use OSX exclusively for development for a month
  • Use Linux exclusively for development for a month
  • Use Windows exclusively for development for a month

Experience the ins and outs of programming in multiple fields:

  • Write a nontrivial web app
  • Write a nontrivial desktop app
  • Write a nontrivial mobile app
  • Write a nontrivial game
  • Write an embedded app
  • Write a realtime system

Enhance my understanding of the building blocks that we use as developers:

  • Write a networking client (e.g., HTTP, FTP)
  • Write a device driver
  • Write a B-tree database
  • Wrap an existing library to provide a better (more pleasant) user experience
  • Write an application or framework that provides a plugin model
  • Write a testing framework
  • Write a programming language
  • Write an operating system

Enlighten myself with koans, katas, and the wisdom of ages:

Program in the open:

  • Contribute to an open source project
  • Have a patch accepted
  • Earn commit rights on a significant open source project
  • Publish an open source project
  • Perform a Refactotum of on open source project

Learn by teaching others:

  • Present a lightning talk
  • Present at a local user group
  • Present at a conference
  • Deliver a training course
  • Publish a tutorial
  • Publish a constructive code review of an open source project
  • Write a programming book

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