Here are few stuff that I feel you need to follow/know to be good programmer irrespective of the language you are learning.

  1. Learn basics, avoid use of frameworks at initial stage, start small and then build upon it.
  2. Help yourself (Solve your own problems), if difficult discuss your problem but don’t copy, instead learn from discussion and implement it yourself.
  3. Read experts articles, look back on your code and make necessary improvements.
  4. Freelance. Say yes to any project that connects you to real business world. Programming for self and programming for client can be completely different, experience this difference at early stage.
  5. Be a domain expert, being master of one is excellent!!!.
  6. Connect with developers @ GitHub, BitBucket, Twitter, Facebook, follow them, learn from them and most importantly don’t hesitate to ask them.
  7. Take a break, give yourself some room to breath and re-energize yourself to code better. I have found that time restriction coding results in better efficiency

Connect with me on GitHub at: http://github.com/sandeepjain