How do you manage a project?
I know I tend to over-emphasize,what may sound like the most boring part of our job, but I can't say it enough. To be a great programmer/coder requires more than just coding skills and the right music, it requires a lot of planning, organizing, time management, multi-tasking, communication.
If you want to be a 50 year old coder, that's your choice in life, but if you want to grow and become more than you must polish your act.
It first starts in a circle, looking at all the things that interact with your coding.
1. Project Management - Making sure that you complete exactly the project that is wanted, without communication mistakes, or time wastings. This requires a lot of effort and training, and even still, it takes years to really master.
2. You have to be very disciplined with both your energy and time, because we are no longer just code cowboys, we are project/assignment completers. So that requires a different set of skills.
3. Testing, Testing and more testing. AntiClue.net, one of my favorite blogs about that extra step has a nice article on different types of testing. Types of Testing. Just exactly how thorough of a job are you in testing your application/project work. How often after you were done, do you have to go back and fix a project, BECAUSE IT WASN'T THOROUGHLY TESTED?????
4. Coding Practices/Conventions - Use common sense, find ways to make sure that if you died tomorrow, that someone could read/fix your code, and take it from there.
5. Feed your body and your mind, make sure you have eaten in the morning, to help give your mind/body the energy it needs.
6. Careful listening skills, this is so vital, even though this is normally a part of the project management process, I just couldn't deny how important it is. Ask questions, and show that you listened.
7. Do not accept your current skill set as never needing improvement, polishing or additions. The way tech flows, you have to always be learning, mastering some thing in your field. If you've just done coding, then learn all you can about databases or web servers, MASTER IT ALL.
P.S. What other items should be in this list?