10 Mistakes All Beginner Coders Make (and How to Avoid Them)
Are you just starting out with coding and feeling a bit overwhelmed? You’re not alone! All coders have been there before, and it’s totally normal to make a few mistakes along the way. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 of the most common mistakes made by beginner coders, and provide some tips on how to avoid them. With these tips, you’ll be able to build better, more efficient code and boost your confidence in no time!
1) Not Reading the Documentation
Beginner programmers make mistakes like failing to read the documentation. Documentation is the source of truth for any code you’re working with, as it provides essential information about how the code works and what it can do. If you’re writing code without reading its documentation, then you’re likely to run into problems and make mistakes along the way.
The first step to avoiding this common mistake is to take the time to read the documentation of any code you’re using before you start coding. This will give you an understanding of what’s possible with the code and allow you to more easily write the code to achieve your desired outcome.
Another tip is to take notes while you’re reading the documentation. This way, you can refer back to them later if you need a refresher. It’s also useful to bookmark any particularly helpful parts of the documentation, so that you can quickly find them again in the future.
By taking the time to properly read and understand the documentation of any code you’re working with, you’ll be able to save yourself from making costly mistakes and avoid frustration down the line.
2) Not Asking for Help
One of the biggest mistakes that beginner coders make is not asking for help when they are stuck. It can be intimidating to reach out and ask questions, but it is an essential part of learning. Asking questions is a great way to learn more quickly and get the help you need to solve a problem.
When asking for help, be as specific as possible. Provide details about the problem you are having and include any relevant code or screenshots that can help explain the issue. It is also helpful to explain what steps you have already taken to try and solve the issue. This will save others time in trying to figure out what has already been done.
Asking for help is an important part of coding. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions. When you ask for help, you are actually taking the initiative to learn more and improve your skills.
3) Not Planning Ahead
It can be easy for beginner coders to jump into a coding project without having a clear plan in mind of what they want to accomplish. Without taking the time to plan out the steps they’ll need to take to achieve their goal, beginners can find themselves stuck and confused when they try to move forward.
When beginning a new coding project, it’s important to have a plan in place that outlines all of the steps you’ll need to take to complete your task. That plan should also include milestones you’ll need to reach and resources you may need to consult. Taking the time to plan ahead will help ensure you stay on track and meet your deadlines.
Once your plan is in place, create a timeline for when each step needs to be completed. This timeline should be achievable and realistic. Don’t underestimate how long something will take you and don’t be too ambitious with your timelines either. It’s better to overestimate than to underestimate how long something will take, as it’s easier to adjust a timeline if you end up needing more time than you thought.
Finally, check back in on your timeline periodically to make sure that you’re making progress and staying on track. If you find yourself slipping behind schedule, take a step back and reevaluate your timeline or consider getting help from a more experienced coder. With a little bit of planning and organization, even the most daunting of coding projects can become manageable.
4) Not Breaking Down Big Tasks Into Smaller Ones
When starting out, it can be tempting to jump straight into a big coding task without breaking it down into smaller, manageable steps. Big tasks can seem intimidating, and many coders feel like they are more likely to get overwhelmed and give up if the entire task seems too daunting.
However, breaking down large tasks into smaller ones can be incredibly beneficial. Smaller tasks are easier to manage, understand and accomplish. It also helps to create a sense of accomplishment as the coder completes each step, motivating them to continue on with the task.
When breaking down tasks, it’s important to consider the complexity of each step. Some tasks may require further division, while other tasks may be able to be completed in one or two steps. Consider the order in which you plan to complete the tasks – some tasks may need to be completed first before others can begin.
As a beginner coder, it’s easy to get bogged down in big tasks. To make coding more enjoyable and manageable, try breaking down big tasks into smaller ones. With each task that is completed, you’ll be one step closer to completing your coding project.
5) Not Organizing Their Code
When beginning to code, it is easy to fall into the trap of not organizing your code properly. If you don’t take the time to organize your code and set up a structure for your project, it can quickly become difficult to manage and debug down the line.
Creating a folder structure for your project and ensuring that all of your files are placed in the correct folders is essential for staying organized. This will help you navigate your project more easily and make it simpler to find specific files or code snippets.
In addition, having good file naming conventions can be helpful in keeping your project organized. Consider using descriptive names and adding keywords to your filenames so you can quickly locate what you need.
Finally, organizing your code within the actual files is equally important. Make sure you separate out functions, methods, and variables and group them together to make it easier to read and understand. Using comments can also help you document your code better, making it easier to come back to if needed.
By taking the time to organize your code, you can save yourself a lot of headaches in the long run. Spend some extra time upfront to create a structured project folder system and get into the habit of using good file naming conventions and commenting within your code—you won’t regret it!
6) Not Commenting Their Code
One of the biggest mistakes that beginner coders make is not commenting their code. While it can be tempting to skip this step and jump straight into writing code, it’s important to remember that you’ll be coming back to your code later on. By including comments in your code, you can ensure that it’s easy to understand what you were trying to do when you look at it again in the future.
Comments can be incredibly useful for documenting the purpose of each section of code, any assumptions that are being made, or anything else that you think is important to note. Furthermore, comments can help to improve the readability of your code, making it easier for other developers to understand.
To add a comment to your code, all you have to do is add a ‘#’ symbol at the start of the line. Then you can type whatever you need to explain that part of the code. Make sure you comment enough so that anyone else who reads your code will know exactly what it is doing.
By taking the time to properly comment your code, you can save yourself a lot of time and hassle in the future. In addition, it will also help any other developers who may have to work on your code in the future.
7) Not Learning Version Control
One of the most important things a beginner coder should do is learn version control. Version control allows coders to keep track of all the changes they make to their code, as well as to collaborate with other coders.
Without version control, it can be difficult to keep track of what changes have been made and it can be difficult to collaborate with others. If a mistake is made or a bug is introduced, it can be difficult to identify what caused it without version control.
There are many different version control systems available, such as Git, Mercurial, and Subversion. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to do your research and find one that works for you.
Once you’ve chosen a version control system, it’s important to practice using it and get familiar with the commands and tools associated with it. It’s also important to read the documentation for the version control system you’re using so that you understand how to use it properly and avoid any mistakes.
Learning and using version control can seem daunting at first, but it’s an invaluable skill for any coder. By learning version control, you will be able to keep better track of your changes and collaborate more effectively with others.
8) Not Automating Repetitive Tasks
For any coding task, there is a certain amount of tedious and repetitive work involved. Beginner coders can often find themselves stuck on tasks that involve a lot of copying and pasting, or otherwise manually performing the same steps over and over. While it might seem like a small task, the time wasted on these types of tasks adds up quickly.
To avoid wasting your time, it’s important to learn how to automate repetitive tasks. Automation lets you create a script or program that performs the same task over and over again without you having to manually perform each step every time. This is especially useful for tasks such as data entry, web scraping, image processing, or anything else that requires repeating the same actions multiple times.
Learning how to automate tasks can be difficult at first, but it’s worth the effort. Not only will you save time, but you’ll also gain valuable programming skills in the process. Automation also ensures that your work is done more accurately, as it removes the possibility for human error that comes with manual processes.
The best way to start learning automation is to pick a specific task and start researching ways to automate it. There are plenty of resources online that provide tutorials and examples of how to automate various types of tasks. With practice, you’ll soon become an expert in automating any type of task.
9) Not Testing Their Code
One of the most common mistakes made by beginner coders is not testing their code. Testing your code is an essential part of the development process, and it’s important to ensure that your code runs as expected. Unfortunately, many beginners overlook this crucial step.
Testing your code allows you to catch errors quickly and accurately before they become a bigger issue. It also helps you identify areas of your code that may need further optimization or refinement. By taking the time to properly test your code, you can prevent a lot of frustration down the road.
There are several ways you can test your code. The first is unit testing, which tests individual pieces of code to make sure they are working correctly. You can also use end-to-end testing, which tests how two pieces of code interact with one another. Finally, you can use manual testing, which involves manually running your code and verifying that it produces the desired results.
No matter what type of testing you use, it’s important to remember that testing your code is an essential part of the development process. By taking the time to properly test your code, you can save yourself a lot of time and frustration in the long run.
10) Not Keeping Their Skills Up-To-Date
One of the most common mistakes that beginner coders make is not staying up to date with the latest coding trends and technologies. It can be difficult to find the time to stay on top of the ever-changing landscape of coding, but it’s essential if you want to be successful.
The best way to keep up with the latest coding trends is to stay informed and connected with the coding community. This could include attending webinars, participating in online discussion groups or forums, following coding blogs, and attending local coding events.
It’s also important to continually practice your coding skills and work on challenging projects that require you to learn new technologies. The more you code, the more comfortable you’ll become with different coding techniques, and you’ll also gain a better understanding of how certain programming languages and frameworks work together.
Finally, take advantage of online resources such as coding tutorials and guides to help you brush up on specific coding topics. You can also find online courses that can teach you advanced coding concepts and provide you with hands-on experience.
By keeping up with the latest coding trends and technologies, you can become a better coder, stay ahead of the competition, and increase your chances of success in the world of coding.