Career Development

10 Habits of Highly Successful Programmers


Successful programmers always have one thing in common: they are disciplined. Without being disciplined with good habits, it is hard for anyone to become a successful programmer or excel at any profession. You’re the sum of your habits and it defines your future. Everything you do now, repeatedly will  become your habit, and as the saying goes, “Good habits are hard to make and bad habits are hard to get rid off.”

“The difference between an amateur and a professional is in their habits. An amateur has amateur habits. A professional has professional habits. We can never free ourselves from habit. But we can replace bad habits with good ones.” – Steven Pressfield.

It doesn’t matter at what level of expertise you are currently in, developing positive habits can really transform your work and enable you to pursue better opportunities, both in programming and networking. So you will have to learn professional habits to excel in the future. But what are the good habits that you should be incorporating?

You can learn by watching professional programmers work on premium project tutorials. It is always better to watch and learn rather than go through a listicle. It’s not that we are completely devaluing the listicle, it is just less fruitful compared to real practical experiences. So, don’t forget to check out LiveEdu section with all the Premium project tutorials.

Let’s get started.

0. Streaming on LiveEdu

Streaming your projects has multiple benefits. It can help you reach an audience that cares about your project. It also gives you a social experience and helps you prevent boredom. Successful programmers always try to find someone who can give them instant feedback.

Check out KillRoy as he shares his journey of creating Rolex Racing App.


1. Be Proactive

A programmer’s job is to write code (most of the time), help design the system architecture, communicate between different teams and understand requirements. A successful programmer is also proactive and always looks out for things that need improvement or change of any sorts.

If you see that things can be improved at the workplace, go and tell your boss. If you love TDD, Agile development, or continuous integration make it happen by convincing your boss and colleagues about its benefits. Taking proactive decision can really transform your work.

All our content creators are proactive at what they do, from setting up a new project to streaming online. They are also proactive in solving problems and engaging with the audience.

2. Write for humans

You are not only writing code for yourself but for your future-self and other programmers who will test your code or better maintain it. So, if you want to be a successful programmer, make a habit of write for humans, and not only for the machines. Successful programmers understand that their code needs to be maintained for the future and have a habit to write code understandable by humans.

Cococore from Lativa always ensures that his code is readable and easy to maintain. He doesn’t only write code for the machine, but also humans.


3. Write Unit Tests

Testing is one of the most underrated activity for a programmer. After all, there is someone to test your work, right? But, that’s not how a successful programmer thinks. A successful programmer always writes unit test to ensure that his code works as intended.

4. Do Open Source Projects

Successful programmers are enthusiastic about Open Source projects. They love open source and make an active contribution to open source projects. Contrary to popular belief, open source projects can also help you to earn money. However, that’s not what motivates successful programmers. The ability to work on multiple projects and also contribute to the community is one of the best attributes for a successful programmer.

Check out HeyItsLEO who is working on his HTML5 MMO Game Development, an open source project.


5. Work on side-projects

A successful programmer also works on his side projects. The Programmer chooses side-project to solve problems that he wanted to solve for a long time. Google’s best product Gmail and Adsense are the byproduct of side projects run by Google Engineers. Google especially ensures that engineers invest 20% of their work time, i.e., one day per week on side-projects.

6. Read Books

Reading books can easily make your work shine. Books are a great source of knowledge. Successful programmers always read books.

If you are not sure where to get started, you can check our Learn page section where you can find books for every technology.

7. Use the right tool for the job

Tools play an important role when it comes to being more productive. Using the right tool such as the right IDE, library, framework, etc. means that you are working efficiently and spending less time on tasks.

8. Following best practices

Best practices make a product or solution sellable. You can solve a problem in many ways, but that doesn’t mean every path is the best. The successful programmers have vast experience behind them and know that following best practices can lead to better work. In the end, the aim should be to write scalable, clean and optimal code that is human-readable.

9. Comment code

Comment code or not to comment code? There is still debate on which is the best way to write code. However, majority of programmers do comment their code as it gives them the ability to come back to the code anytime in future and understand it. It also makes the code easier to maintain.

10. Be open-minded

A great programmer is always open to new solutions and new ideas. Expertise always narrows one’s approach for solving a problem. However, it is essential for programmers to be open-minded about problem-solving. Listen to podcasts, undertake new projects and stream them.

A successful programmer is a sum of all these healthy habits and much more. There may be more habits that are related to successful programmers that we didn’t list. That’s why we want you to comment on the habits that you think makes a programmer successful.

About author

I, Dr. Michael J. Garbade is the co-founder of the Education Ecosystem (aka LiveEdu), ex-Amazon, GE, Rebate Networks, Y-combinator. Python, Django, and DevOps Engineer. Serial Entrepreneur. Experienced in raising venture funding. I speak English and German as mother tongues. I have a Masters in Business Administration and Physics, and a Ph.D. in Venture Capital Financing. Currently, I am the Project Lead on the community project -Nationalcoronalvirus Hotline I write subject matter expert technical and business articles in leading blogs like,, Cybrary, Businessinsider,, TechinAsia, Coindesk, and Cointelegraph. I am a frequent speaker and panelist at tech and blockchain conferences around the globe. I serve as a start-up mentor at Axel Springer Accelerator, NY Edtech Accelerator, Seedstars, and Learnlaunch Accelerator. I love hackathons and often serve as a technical judge on hackathon panels.