Programming allows you to translate your ideas into actions that a computer can carry out. If you are a beginner developer trying to get a hold of a programming language but struggling to do so, then you have most probably trapped yourself in making the same mistakes that other developers make.
In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the most common programming mistakes that beginner developers make in their coding journey.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when learning to code is trying to get a grip on several languages at the same time.
Even though it is certainly achievable, and many might even advise it, juggling multiple languages as a beginner will give you a lot of headaches. Mainly because:
- The languages differ a lot in syntax.
- They are different from a conceptual point of view.
- Each one of them is oriented in a unique way.
Hence, if a beginner developer like you tries to pick up multiple languages at once, the reasons shown above will play a big part in making you confused and complicating your learning curve.
So, a much better approach is to focus on a single language. Stick to it until you gain a strong understanding of it. This way, you'll naturally feel more comfortable learning the current language as well as starting with a new one.
When you try to solve a problem, it can be quite tempting to jump straight into the coding part. However, if you undergo a complete planning session, you will be able to get to the solution beforehand. As a result, you will save a huge amount of time. If you don't plan, you will probably use this time period to debug the code and construct the logic again and again to get to the solution.
Planning generally refers to the process of setting up an approach that we will follow throughout the development workflow. Try segmenting the problem so you can address each aspect separately. Consider other potential solutions as well. These will work as backups in case the first one you find doesn't bear fruit.
When you initially start coding, the main goal is to get it to run and produce the desired result. However, in addition to writing code that functions well, you also need to make sure that the quality of your code is high.
Just think of it. You may need to participate in a team project that requires you to examine and fix the code of others. Consider how challenging it would be to attempt to comprehend another person's reasoning while interacting with clumsily written code.
Hence, writing clean code is essential. This includes using relevant variable names, formatting code appropriately, adding comments, and many other practices that will ensure that the code is readable when you revisit it a while later.
One principle in coding that everybody should know is the DRY principle. Here's what Wikipedia says:
DRY is a principle of software development aimed at reducing the repetition of software patterns by replacing them with abstractions or using data normalisation to avoid redundancy.
In simple words, you should not repeat a block of code. Instead, reuse them. One of the most common mistakes that beginners make is to write code in such a way that it can't be reused.
However, the process of writing clean code includes writing reusable code, among several other best practices. The more you do that, the less you need to write and the more efficient your code gets.
There is nothing wrong with experimenting with different approaches to obtain the output. However, bypassing logical flaws without knowing the reason can ultimately result in the flaws appearing again in the future, for which you still won't be able to provide the reason.
Hence, it is crucial to understand the specific flaws in a given technique and the reasons why it cannot be employed. This way, if you run into a similar issue in the future, you will be aware of the correct path to take.
In your learning journey, the first phase is all about understanding the concepts in detail. Then, the phase that comes next is concerned with converting your clumsy code into high-quality code. The mistakes we saw above can be classified into these two phases.
Now, mistakes are natural. Don't feel ashamed if you make one. This article is just pointing out the common mistakes that beginners make when they learn to code. If you have already made such a mistake or make one in the future, rectify it and move on. It's that simple.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. It means a lot to me and pushes me to create more content just like this one.
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