Become a Guru

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This page is about how to become a software development guru. Some of the principles may apply to becoming a guru in other fields.

Over time, progressively develop learning resources on the topics listed below.

If you are an educator of aspiring programmers, do link to your learning resources from this page, and back to this page.

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Read Relevant Inspirational Books

Understand and Apply Appropriate Software Development Methodologies

Learn about the following (by doing):

Identify suitable tools/frameworks to support software development processes such as

Understand and apply principles of agile software development[2]:

Read great articles on agile software development:

Join, Learn and Engage with Relevant Online Communities

Visit good sites on software development regularly, subscribe to relevant[3] mailing lists:

Learn about Programming Paradigms and Languages

A selection of textbooks that teach programming, in languages both popular and obscure. These are only a few of the thousands of programming languages and dialects that have been designed in history.

Learn about Programming paradigms (e.g. imperative, procedural, functional, declarative, object-orientation, ...) and try languages which support these paradigms (e.g. Pascal, Lisp, Prolog, SmallTalk, ...).

Study Software Architecture

Academic Foundation

Utah teapot representing computer graphics Plot of a quicksort algorithm
large capital lambda Microsoft Tastenmaus mouse representing human-computer interaction
Aspects of Computer science.

Study computing science

  • Data structures and Algorithms
  • Operating systems
  • Databases
  • Compilers and interpreters
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • ...

Curriculum Frameworks:

Challenge: check out the Java Specialists Symposium 2011 and create a new, updated version of this diagram. All topics covered there provide insight, but this one (Successful Developers) in particular.

Links etc.

Useful links for becoming a guru:


  1. See also: Coad, P., Lefebvre, E. & De Luca, J. (1999). Java Modeling In Color With UML: Enterprise Components and Process. Prentice Hall International. (ISBN 0-13-011510-X)
  2. A good overview: The New Methodology by Martin Fowler.
  3. Relevant to your interests in contributing and career development.
  4. See for example "Intended Use" on Wikipedia's Comparison of programming languages.