I was talking "in general" too
progress can happen in a lot of different way
that said, I do believe that "building stuff and shipping it"
is what make any dev progress more
I'm not sure what you're getting at with the caring about users part
but to me it is not about caring, developers are like writers
you can find tips, talk to people, be nudged in the right direction, etc.
but at the end of the day you're still alone in front of a blank page