Original question from Quora:

What are your top 3 tips for new programmers?

Those tips that changed the way you program forever (for the best)

My Answer:

  1. Build Lots of Things - Build things, lots of things, every day. There is no substitute for building things when it comes to being a programmer. The best programmers are usually the ones who have built the most stuff over a long period of time.
  2. Know Your Value - In the beginning the value of your skill is pretty low. If you are diligent about #1, your market value will grow faster than you feel you can raise your rate. Eventually you will find yourself underpaid and you’ll find a better deal elsewhere. That’s one of the best learning experiences you will have in your career.
  3. Go Beyond Code - Writing code ends up being about 10–25% of what you do as a programmer. The rest is either thinking by yourself or communicating with other people. Managing your personal energy and improving your life skills in non-code areas will end up being more valuable than being 10% better at your chosen toolset ever will be.

Code is a great hobby, passion, and career, but always remember there is more to life than code.

-Brian

P.S. I unpack more ideas in Creative Genius.