As you enter deeper into the world of software development, you will quickly discover that the application-building process is about much more than syntax, statements, and logic. It is also about who you are as a programmer. The way you think about software, and the care with which you approach the task of programming, have a direct impact on the quality of the code you write. This is certainly true in other areas of life. If you are a portrait painter, but you don't take your strokes seriously, or if you are sloppy in your use of paints and brushes, it will show in the low quality of your work.
In one of my previous books, The Visual Basic .NET Style Guide (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, 2002), I wrote about three traits that provide a strong basis for the programming life, as follows:
If you are deficient in any of these three areas of your programming life, your applications and code will also be deficient by a similar factor. I have tried to sprinkle some humor and fun throughout the pages of this book. But on this point, I make no jokes. You need these three elements in your work life.
If you are serious about a career in software development, take the time to ask yourself questions that focus on these three aspects. Do I employ regular discipline on the way that I craft my software? Do I create reasonable and reliable plans, and then stick to them during a project? Do I exhibit ethical standards in the way I communicate with my customers, my employer, my coworkers, and even myself? If you are not able to answer these questions to your satisfaction, find resources that can help you overcome the lapses. It will make your programming work so much easier, and it will positively impact the other areas of your life as well.