Always Be Creating. It’s as simple as that. Reading about programming alone does not give you the experience or knowledge necessary to succeed. Experience helps your brain assimilate new information by forcing you to connect the dots between concepts and information using observation and inductive reasoning. In computer science, it’s all about what you create. Make a little app. Make a website. If you make one tiny app per week for a year, you’ll have 52 apps within one year. All of those one-off endeavors can go on your resume and help you think like a programmer. Better yet, you can garner enough experience and know-how to start your own business. Create a blog post, create something. Many prolific programmers got their start in open source. What stops you from going out and creating your own open source project or contributing to someone else’s? To be an expert programmer, problem solving through creation should be one of your life goals. No expert learns casually. Creating something every day forces you to think critically on a regular basis. Creation is not a casual exercise. It’s not like watching episodes of Breaking Bad or spooning with your girlfriend. Creating something forces you to think about the world in ways that you would have never thought of were you merely observing. Through building a bunch of little projects, your expertise will soar. Want to become a full stack engineer? Build a front-end web app one week, the next week build a php backend for it, the next week build an android app that also uses the backend, the next week build an iOS app that also makes simple requests to your backend. Wash, rinse, repeat with different languages and different technologies. The goal should be to hone your creative problem solving skills and just to absorb as much as you can about the intricacies of what you are doing and how you are doing it. If you want to be an expert programmer, one day should not pass in which you are not creating something. All that is left of us after we leave this earth is that which we create. Whether it be offspring, companies, legacies, or and app that improves the lives of 10 people, we have the power to create something every day. While doing this we can also become experts. What did you create today?