Finding a Shortcut
Being a self-taught developer, I haven't often been able to compare myself to other developers. At least not in direct ways like, how do you know what solution to use for a problem, or why your coding style is the way it is. The best I've been able to do is go by the code examples I learn from.
One thing I've continually done as a developer, though, is try and find shortcuts. "What's the quickest way to accomplish something?" I've heard this is a trait often found in good programmers. (Maybe that's just wishful thinking!)
Here's the kicker: it's not about reducing the number of hours I work in a day because that never changes. It's about finding the easiest way to solve a problem for next time, even if it takes me a relatively ridiculous amount of time to solve the problem this time.
What has consistently happened as a result, though, is that my code is smaller and more managable and often faster because of the reduced complexity. That benefits me both this time and next.