Long-term projects can be challenging. At one moment you only think of tasks as things you need to finish and lose the big picture. But, only continuous learning and self-initiative can keep one in the loop. This is especially specific in the IT industry.

One of the American founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, once said:

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.

That’s why the possibility of being passe drives developers to take every opportunity to work and improve themselves. But long-term projects can be a bit.. difficult.

Why so?

The sensation of thinking of a task can be pleasant or painful. This is where your brain predicts how rewarding the future after finishing the tasks will be. If it’s not pleasant, after a time, you start to feel a bit stuck without motivation to go on.

6 ways long-term projects can boost your development skills
Source: Giphy

We want to share with you our advice on how to regain your motivation. But, let’s see what you are missing to learn if you don’t understand the benefits of working on the long-term projects.

When you work on long-term projects, there are many opportunities for you to test your abilities and develop wanted skills.

Long-term projects can challenge you to learn how to be patient.

These projects have a different style of working, and from the start, you’ll feel that there isn’t much space for rushing things. Use that to work on yourself.

You can celebrate your success more often.

Set your milestones, create smaller goals through the project and use that to verify what you have done so far, or, see if you need to adjust the working course differently. That is something you can’t have on smaller projects.

Use the opportunity of being important to the project.

There are many privileges you can gain over time; From being a mentor to newcomers, to the opportunity to be the one who will implement the updates and impress the clients.

Now, if you are searching for ways how to stay motivated on long-term projects, or just looking for the tips to keep your coding sharp, read what our senior developers do and suggest.

#1 Hone your mind along the skills

Ask yourself what makes you the best developer you can be? Yes, your coding skills, but also your soft skills as well.

Use the advantage of working with the same team for a while to work on your emotional intelligence. Develop your communication and organizational skills. Think about how you can improve the team’s atmosphere, workload, and collaboration. Shape yourself to be a better person not only a better developer.

#2 Rediscover your love for programming

It is difficult to enjoy your job when you are stuck on a project with outdated codes and technology. This is a common situation, it happens to all.

Again, it doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Love the fact that you have done the job well!

Try to focus on the results, and see it as a challenge. Be satisfied with having details wrapped up almost perfectly. It’s important to love the things you have built.

#3 Don’t mind the language hype

When you are working with one technology it is not unusual to feel the strong urge for a change. The situation blows often when there is a hype about a new language.

There are hypes about tooling, language, frameworks and almost everything. Everything changes so fast and people too often get enthusiastic about new stuff. Arguably, every language has its advantages and disadvantages, but often you can end up wasting your time.

6 ways long-term projects can boost your development skills

Instead, try out some of the course platforms such as Udemy or Pluralsight. You can have a glance at new languages without involving yourself more deeply into it. Or, use the time to learn the new version of the language you use at the moment.

This way of learning and adding new content in a daily routine will keep your mind fresh and occupied.

In addition, you can find some interesting open source projects that come with large libraries and communities. This option can give you tremendous opportunities to become expert in the field.

#4 Find the way to transfer your knowledge to others

Write courses, hold informal tech talks for your junior colleagues or participate in public events and tech conferences. If you believe you have mastered a certain framework or language, share your knowledge with others.

Use show and tell to share your experience on the projects and the knowledge of the technology, tools, methods, hacks, and tips you use on a daily basis.

Start a peer programming course and help to boost your colleagues’ skills.

6 ways long-term projects can boost your development skills
Teamwork!

#5 Involve yourself in mindlike communities

If you are involved in open source technologies such as Drupal or WordPress, there are huge communities eager to share knowledge. You can work together on mutual goals regarding improvements and security.

If there isn’t one in your city, make one. Take the opportunity of having like-minded people in the same room to share a problem or thoughts, or to develop a solution.

#6 Follow trends to stay up to date

You can stay relevant and on a bleeding edge of development even if you are continuously involved in a few or just one project.

  • Follow Quora

You can go for topics from machine learning and blockchain through numerous programming languages and frameworks to general topics like Web Development, Software Engineering, Software Developers, Learning to Program, Programming Languages.

Interesting live coding is now happening on a Twitch, so you can find something new to learn.

  • Look for tech influencers

Many tech leaders are active on the social networks. Some of them tweet often, others prefer Linkedin. If you are more into blogging, find the most influential ones on Quora, and StackOverflow, or search other online boards, forums or networks.

  • Be more active on Linkedin and Twitter

Twitter and LinkedIn are the best networks to follow industry peers, blogs, magazines and communities. Most of the influencers tend to post regularly and you can create different lists of groups (on Twitter) for every topic that you’re interested in.

via GIPHY

  • Keep your mind fresh and sharp

Refresh the knowledge by reading books like “Clean Code”, “The Pragmatic Programmer”, “The Gang of Four”, “Software Craftsmanship”, “Domain-Driven Design”, “Refactoring to Patterns”, “Software Architecture in Practice”, “Test-Driven Development”, “Continuous Delivery”, “Code Complete” that are “evergreen” and are worth reading anyway.

Working in a software development today is not just about what you are doing, but how you use your time.

All things considered, it is about how you will take the chances around you to become a better, stronger, and mindful person that is ready to answer every challenge.