Inquiry: essential skills for a coder?


I’m learning to code and I’ve been working on learning Rails for a couple years. It’s been a great experience, but now is the time where I actually try to find a job.

One thing I can say is “The scariest thing is thinking that coding skill is something you’re born with.”

It’s like magic to see how much professional programmers know. I’ll have some bug or issue and they’d know how to fix it in minutes, when it would take me days!

This scene from Good Will Hunting encapsulates what I’m talking about.

But, I’ve learned that:

Programming Skill is NOT something you’re born with, but something you can develop over time

This is partly reassuring because becoming a professional coder is now “possible” at least. Still, now it just presents a “TON of Work” to get good enough to get a job.

This video is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen that illustrates how what seems impossible is merely the cumulation of a crap ton of work.

So, now that my insight has been distilled to equal:

employment as a coder == crap ton of work.

I’d like to make my effort as efficient as possible on the road to finding gainful employment. I haven’t actually found a coding job yet, so I can’t say I know what the essential skills are. This was an opportunity to pose this question to the Newbie community and see what professional programmers out there think is something essential to focus on as a new coder.

Things I think may be an answer:

Seasoned mentors out there,

What do you think an essential skill as a new coder to make the process as efficient as possible?

Thanks,

Jason