Why Most Coders Fail Riding the Curve of Continuous Improvement

In this article, I want to discuss an important topic for me because it’s at the heart of what we are doing at Finxter. At the heart of Finxter is continuous improvement in computer science. For example, in my email series “Coffee Break Python” I deliver one piece of knowledge regarding Python, coding productivity and business, and computer science every day. The goal is to improve the skills of my subscribers. I want that only by reading my emails in their coffee breaks, my subscribers improve over time by a small percentage.

Learning is often exponential because understanding a certain concept will help you understand everything else much better. Also, even if you improve by a constant amount, the number of people who have invested the same amount of time decreases exponentially. So in the global ranking of coders, improving linearly every day means that your global rank as a coder increases exponentially.

If you look at an exponential curve, it looks very flat most of the time. 80% of the improvement comes from the explosion at the end.

You won’t realize your improvements a lot but over time it will accumulate and your skill level will improve in comparison to other people.

The number one mistake most people make is that they improve every day, riding the flat part of the curve. They cannot even imagine how they can possibly close the seemingly huge disparity between their own skills and the skills of the great masters.

So maybe they invested a year improving and then they stop being discouraged. They are not in the game for the long term.

This is what I want you to do today. You commit being in the game for the long term. Then, you’ll already reap the rewards in a few years. And the huge rewards will be gained in ten years. Nowadays, it’s not enough to learn something for a few months. You have to commit in order to win in today’s marketplace.

Over time, you will leave 50% of coders behind, 60%, 70%, 80%, 90%, 95%, 97%; 99%, 99.9%, and so on. And if you are in the top few percentiles, you’ll start seeing huge results. Bill Gates said that the best coders are 10,000 times more productive than the average coders. If you belong to the best, you’ll be rewarded 10,000 times.

But you must commit. Even if there are new trends. Even if it seems to be that there are new jobs. Even if computer science or coding does not seem to be attractive anymore. You have to change but you also have to commit to becoming a master coder, changing your definition on the way to account for changes.

This is what I want you to do today: write down your long-term goals as a coder and then read it every day. Commit learning one or two hours every day for the rest of your life. Consider a changing environment but keep improving your coding skills every day. Then, you’ll build a new skill for life.

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