Things I'd do differently if I had to start with programming all over again!

thisismanaswini profile image Manaswini ใƒป4 min read

Regrets!! These are the things that we wish we would have done. I too have some of them when it comes to learning programming and also Web development. I'd like to share these experiences here so that anyone who is reading this can prevent these or stop making these mistakes if you are making them already.
This is actually a reiteration of my first meet-up talk where I talked about things I'd do differently if I had to start again.

Don't be afraid to ask for help

Speaker CSS illustration
My work would have been much better, I'm sure, if only I had taken the initiative to ask for help. This was hard especially since I easily got anxious to talk to others. Also, I thought googling for answers would not make me a good developer. So I restrained myself from doing so, which posed as one of the biggest hurdles to my growth.

Breaks are very important

Battery CSS illustration
I was filled with a guilt that I wasn't doing enough when I got away from my laptop. So I didn't take proper breaks and that almost led to a burnout. Now I've realized how powerful breaks can be! In fact they can make us more productive, unless you use this as an excuse to stay on your couch all day doing nothing ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Just kidding. If you fancy doing that, you are free to do so!!!

Pursue something other than coding

Musicians CSS illustration
Hobbies are what make us different. Don't let that uniqueness get lost in the noise of deadlines. I know it can be hard to cater time since you might have much more important work to do. But keeping that spark inside you alive is as important as anything else if not more! Think about it๐Ÿ˜Š

Don't stress yourself out too much looking at other people's work

Stressing out CSS illustration
This is something that I've dealt with and keep dealing with frequently. The strategy that I use to deal with this is to look at the opposite person's work as something to learn from and not as competition. This way we fill two needs with one deed. We learn to abandon that negative emotion and also learn something new!!

Don't confuse gratitude with debt

Gratitude and debt CSS illustration
Looking at all the awesome people of the DEV community on Twitter share many helpful resources to get into programming pushed me into a feeling of not giving enough to the community. I agree this can help us push ourselves to do better and give back to others. But there is a fine line between pushing yourself to give back and pushing yourself to burn yourself out! If you are in a similar situation, it might be helpful to remind yourself that you have to be grateful but don't confuse that with debt. You don't owe anything to a lot of people you come across. But this is not to say that you shouldn't help others. Do that. But even if you don't, you are still good. Don't worry!!

Collaborate with other developers ๐Ÿค

Team work CSS illustration
You might have already heard about this before. So there's not much to add to this from my side. I just want to say that the knowledge transfer that happens on collaboration can be very useful in the long run, as it can make you a better developer and also a better communicator๐Ÿ”Š

It is OK to do imperfect work

I wish I had known that it was OK to show my imperfect work to others. Recently I did that and I had many developers reach out to me with feedback on my code and they sent me links to their GitHub repos that they thought might help me. So I can't stress this enough!! I want to repeat one of the sentences from my first blog post : "Don't let your works die in anonymity! Give them their much deserved space in this world. You will not regret it ---- Manaswini๐Ÿคญ"
For the keen observers among you: I didn't put any image for this section as I couldn't conclude upon what to put! Does it make this article imperfect? Maybe!!! But I'm still proud of it๐Ÿคญ

Last but not the least : Enjoy!!!๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ’ƒ

Dance it out CSS GIF
At the end of my talk at the meet-up, I was asked to chill out and not think so much about these things and I couldn't help but include this here. After all this is a journey to be cherished! Why not make the best use of our time here?๐Ÿ˜Š

Some concluding words:

I'd love to hear from you. Did this article help you deal with any of your problems? Did it give you a new perspective of looking at things? You found it to be too preachy? Found too many emojis? Anything will do. You can find me dwelling in my corner @thisismanaswini in the Twitterverse!

Also, I did something interesting in this article. All the images that I've included are my very own CSS illustrations with some references coming from Pinterest!! I'd love to know how you found them!!!

That's it from my side!! I'm happy that you found this post worthy enough that you read it till the end!! Thanks a lot๐Ÿ˜Š

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thisismanaswini profile



I'm Manaswini, from India. Right now I'm pursuing an Electrical engineering degree from IIT Madras and also experimenting with Web development, design and a lot of other things!!


Editor guide

Things I learned:

  1. Use the debugger to run my projects, and trace code line by line from the get go.. don't waste time running, then debugging.. debug the code even if it's working

  2. Use lots of logging

  3. Use lots of asserts (or better alternatives) to catch errors in your code

  4. Unit tests

The bug is your enemy you must seek it out.


Thank you so much for sharing!!!


Thanks Ben!!


Good article Manaswini๐Ÿ˜ƒ. The CSS illustrations are also awesome.


Thank you so much Ashwin ๐Ÿ˜‡


Thanks for this article ! ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป
I struggle with breaks so much, I still need to learn when itโ€™s time to step away from the screen, especially since I started working from home ๐Ÿ˜ญ


You're welcome Fabiana!! I too face this. I'm still learning!


Thank you so much for your Post!
It gave me a new point of view for living that I maybe knew about but never really thought of!

And it has strengthened me in some points that I have been thinking about for a long time!


That was so good to hear!! Glad that it helped you :)

  • each of your colleagues is a human being and carries his own backpack
  • the value of your work says nothing about your value as a human being

Thanks for adding!!


You are great, I think you will soon be a famous developer, because you share what you know, I think that if we know something very well, we should share it with all the people who want to learn


Thanks a lot for that lovely comment๐Ÿ˜Š


Thank you ๐Ÿ˜Š


Thank you so much๐Ÿ˜Š


Nice illustrations, good tips, great thoughts, thanks ๐Ÿ˜ƒ


Thanks for reading๐Ÿ˜Š


Great article Manaswini ๐Ÿ˜Š i identified with a lot of the points. I also loved the illustrations ๐Ÿ‘โค๏ธ


Thanks a lot for reading Brenda ๐Ÿ˜‡


The part about not being perfect really some to me. Thanks for the great tips


Glad that it resonated with you๐Ÿ˜‡


Nice article ! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Thank you๐Ÿ˜‡


All illustrations are perfect for their heading and the article has given me a new perspective, looking at things. So thanks Manaswini ๐Ÿ‘


I'm glad that I helped you Favourite ๐Ÿ˜‡


Nice article And also thank you for help me.


Thank you for reading๐Ÿ˜‡


Love the illustrations!


Thanks Rishav ๐Ÿ˜„


Great article manaswini! Nice to see you post your work as blog pictures, but new readers will never know that these are just pure css.


You're right! But that's OK I think, since I included a few lines about it in the end. Anyways, thank you so much๐Ÿ˜Š


This is a great post. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ‘


Thanks Mayank ๐Ÿ˜Š


Great lesson! Thank you Manaswini ๐ŸŒŸ


Thank you so much for reading:)


Loved every word! Enjoyed the article. Loved the illustrations!


Thanks a lot


Nicely put together ! I could relate to most of them. Learned a lot ๐Ÿ˜„


Thanks for reading Vikram!! Glad that it resonated with you!!