Apparently, when you start off to learn a new skill, your commitment level determines your chances of success more than the time spent practicing ("The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle).
If you are passionately committed to becoming good at something over the long-term, you will likely do better at it than less committed people (or short-term committed people), even with less practicing.
This has to do with the urgency your brain associates with paving the superhighways that connect the neurons in your grey matter… something called myelin. That commitment plus the practicing ends up generating more and better superhighways than practicing by itself.
There is no shortcut either. You need both the commitment and the practice to achieve peak performance.
And we are not talking about superficial practicing either. We are talking "deep practicing".
Deep practicing is the type of practice where you are really pushing yourself… on the edge of you capabilities with lots of mistakes, corrections and repetition. If you are not making mistakes, you aren't really practicing or learning. But it is not the mistakes, it is fixing them that is important. You have to know that you are making mistakes too. Deep practicing is draining and not always fun; hence the requirement for commitment and passion to sustain you.
We've often sensed that passion and commitment are the keys to excelling in any skill. Now there is an explanation why it is true.
Passion for what you do and commitment to it long-term. You gotta really want it!
This applies to any field including software development. So if you aren't really striving in your profession, why? And why should we hire you if you aren't?