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:

  1. 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.

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codeschoolafrica November 25, 2020 0 Comments

The Difference between UI and UX

Not everyone knows the difference between UI and UX, but what many of us may know is that they are often used in the same sentence. To find the difference between User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX), it is necessary to know what both concepts mean.

What is UI ?

User Interface (UI) is simply anything users will have to interact with in order to use a digital product or service. This is everything from screens and touchscreens, keyboards, sounds, and even lights. It also includes with traditional concepts like visual design elements, colours and typography.

What is UX?

User experience, which is abbreviated as UX, developed as a result of the improvements to UI. UX is the user’s experience which comes after UI, this experience could be positive, negative, or neutral. It deals with how users feel  about interactions.

The difference between UI and UX

  • Just as mentioned in the above definitions, at a basic level, UI is made up of elements that allows users to interact with a product or service. While UX is what the user interacting with such products or services leaves from the entire experience.
  •  UI deals with the quality of the interaction that the user has with the product or service while UX involves the purpose and functionality of the product.
  • UI design has an artistic components because it involves the design, visuals and interface with the product. This in turn affects the users’ senses; what the user sees, hears, and feels. Meanwhile, UX has a social component for market research and helps to understand what the users feel and need. It can simply be compared to feedback.
  • UI has a technical component to it, this is sometimes required to produce designs for a product or service, UX concentrates on project management and analysis through the entire phase of ideation, development, and delivery

With the above comparisons, it can be deduced that UI is concerned with the appearance while UX focusses on experience. A figurative example is UI being a person’s looks and UX being the personality of the person.

On a website page, A UI designer works on how the page is laid out, where things should go and colours to be used and other things such as; product design, graphic arts, copywriting and prototyping. The User Experience is the interactive side on the website, it also handles architectural aspects like the context and the site map.

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codeschoolafrica November 10, 2020 0 Comments

7 Coding Myths

There are several perceptions and myths about programming and coding as a whole. Some of these myths have discouraged some to pursue coding as a career or skill. We have discovered that the only thing stopping several people from learning how to code are the false beliefs they hold.

 In this blog post, we will clear some popular myths and misconceptions about coding,  

  1. You need to be good at math: This is perhaps the most popular perception about coding. The truth is, all you need to learn are some basic calculus and algebra skills, and the fundamentals of how computers work.

However, game development requires more mathematical knowledge such as trigonometry and physics. But fear not, even if you lack in these areas there are plugins and libraries that can help you solve these mathematical problems.

  • Coding is for nerds:  This is a common stereotype about coders. Coding is for everyone, not for a particular category of people, Not all developers have nerdy personalities, you would be shocked at how outgoing many of them can be.
  • You need a university degree in computer science or programming or start a tech career: Obtaining  a degree in the field is worthwhile but you do not need a university degree to become an excellent coder. Also, you can not learn coding entirely with theory, you can only learn it with practice, you learn coding by writing programs and code.

There are millions of programmers out there that do not have a university degree in the field. There are several coding bootcamps, institutes and online tutorials.

  • I only need to learn one programming language: Learning one programming language is alright, but it is not enough to start a career in tech, you do not have to learn everything either, what is important is you learn the ones that suit the kind of work you wish to do.

Coding evolves every year, you would have to unlearn and relearn a lot of things, sticking to one language will be limiting, what’s worse is that if you decide to stick to a particular language it could become outdated.

  • Women cannot code: This is completely false. It is another stereotype that tech jobs are meant for men. The tech industry is male dominated but women are very capable of coding, as a matter of fact, the first programmer of the world, Ada Lovelace, is a woman.

Some other examples of exceptional women in the field are; Julia Liuson, a legend in the software development world. Natalia Burina who works for companies such as Microsoft, eBay, and Facebook, and Marissa Mayer who is the first female engineer at Google and spearheaded successful projects like Gmail, Google News, Google Maps, and Google Earth.

  • Coding is boring: All technology you see involves coding; video games, space exploration, medical devices, including the technology found in cars and airplanes.

Coding helps you permeate almost all industries, it is definitely not boring. Video games, mobile games and websites were all created by programmers, it requires much more creativity than you think.

  • You can master a programming language in a few weeks: You can learn the basics in a few weeks, nobody hardly ever becomes a master of anything in a few weeks, not doctors, chefs, writers, footballers or artists.

Are there other coding myths you know of? Let us know in the comment section.

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codeschoolafrica November 10, 2020 0 Comments

HTML is not a Programming Language – Here’s Why

HTML is not a programming language, and there are several ways of defending this fact.. The “M” in HTML stands for “Markup” this makes it a type of markup language. A Markup language refers to tags used to define page layouts and elements in a web page. HTML simply describes the data to the browser, then the browser displays the data accordingly.

On the other hand, A programming language is simply a formal language that consists of a set of instructions that produce various kinds of output. They are computer codes that run certain tasks.

HTML is still very useful however, it defines the structure of webpages and it determines how data is displayed online. The text you are currently reading from this website is HTML code which was read and interpreted by your browser. All these however, still does not make it a programming language.

Here are some characteristics of a programming language that HTML lacks:

  • It can not evaluate expressions or do any math: In programming languages, you can store data such as text strings and integers, and manipulate them to perform calculations. Solving mathematics and sorting text alphabetically are kinds of data processing that can not be done in HTML.
  • With HTML, You can not declare variables and write functions:  As a language that contains no programming logic, it is unable to write functions like programming languages do.
  • It doesn’t modify or manipulate data in any way: Programming languages, on the other hand, can process data and make decisions.
  • It does not have flow control statements:  All programming languages have flow control statements, except HTML and Microsoft Word. Loops and other such instructions are known as flow control statements.

Because HTML lacks these features, it cannot be categorized as a programming language. You simply can not program in HTML.

Some recommend that HTML should never be listed under “programming languages” in a resume. This is true because coding only in HTML does not qualify you as a programmer. However with HTML you can still be referred to as a coder because HTML requires writing lines of code in a Markup language. Therefore we would not recommend you add HTML to the “programming languages” part of your resume, but it can be added to “skills” or simply “languages” It still falls under the category of languages because it happens to be a Markup Language.

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codeschoolafrica November 7, 2020 0 Comments