5 Programming Mistakes You Can Make as a Beginner
As they say, to err is human. Unlike AI, humans are capable of errors, programmers are prone to make mistakes especially as beginners. These experiences make us learn as we work up the programming path, however, knowing them beforehand could make the journey less bumpy.
Some mistakes beginners make are:
- Learning Too Many Programming Languages, Frameworks, and Technology
This is a common mistake for most beginners. They are likely to think it is impressive to know how to code in Java, Python, Ruby, C++, and several other programming languages. We do not discourage learning several programming languages. However, knowing too many languages will not allow such programmers to have in-depth knowledge of them.
When this happens, confusion is bound to set it, especially for beginners. As a beginner, it is recommended you focus on one or a few programming languages. This way, you can become a master in them. This is much better than knowing several languages but not having in-depth knowledge of them.
- Comparison, Self Doubt, And Fear
Sometimes we compare ourselves with others, this happens in the highly competing programming world. Everyone works at his or her pace, some people advance more than others, seeing a talented programmer who learns fast, solves problems, and creates groundbreaking things that could make you question your capability.
This is normal, it’s human nature. It is important to know that persistence is important in programming. Excellent programmers today have failed several times. It is their resilience that led them to whatever successes they have achieved. It is okay to fail, what isn’t okay is giving up.
When self-doubt occurs, it needs to be faced with fearlessness and courage. As a programmer, it is also crucial to know your strengths and weaknesses. This way you know what areas need more work.
- Writing Code Without Plan
Most beginners begin coding without a plan. They skip the thinking process, research, and planning stages. This can create bigger issues later on, it can be compared to “not looking before you leap.” In programming, developers spend only 10% of their time writing code. The rest of the time is spent thinking, planning researching, and discussing projects.
Beginners should follow certain basic things before writing code to avoid issues or disasters at the production level. They should:
- Understand the problem and its limitations.
- Research and experiment to find out which data structure is good to solve the intended problem.
- Design the program and make a rough draft.
- Note all the corner cases for testing.
- Break the problems into solvable pieces.
- Writing Messy Code And NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO Code Quality
It is easy to spot a beginner by looking at their code format. When you hand over messy code to someone to maintain or continue, such a person would have a difficult time understanding your code, loops, and conditionals. The code should be neat, readable, and maintainable.
Some mistakes beginners make in writing code are:
- Bad variables and functions name. Eg. Using small cases and large case variable names randomly.
- Lack of proper indentation in code.
- Writing functions that are too big and placing all functions in a single line, function, or file.
- Not commenting or over commenting the code
- No Backup For Work
This is one of the greatest mistakes experienced and beginner programmers can make. Beginners however are prone to it. Imagine putting maximum effort into a project over weeks and you find out that the disk crashed in your system where all your files were saved, and all your work is lost.
This reason is why programmers should form the habit of backing up their work at regular intervals. You could use source control (SVN or Git), Github or you can also take the help of Dropbox which is a cloud service to save your work in no time.