In mastering the skill of programming, it is trite knowledge to know that mistakes are inevitable, especially for beginners. But that is no excuse to be limited by these mistakes. Matter of fact, mistakes are proof of effort to grow and, thus, an intricate part of success. But the catch is to limit your mistakes while maximizing your success rate. You could use a few hacks to avoid making painful mistakes, code better, and grow faster in your coding journey.
For instance, Java language is just like every other language with rules for forming classes and methods, etc. To achieve a good grasp of the Java programming language, understanding the intricacies of Java syntax is of utmost priority. Java language is case sensitive; thus, the identifier “Hello” and “hello” would have different meanings in Java. But if you do not understand the rules governing Java language, you may be guilty of not identifying this difference. Below, we have put together some mistakes to avoid. This list was compiled with the help of the article – Mistakes Every Newbie Programmer Makes on I-Programmer.
7 typical Mistakes of Newbie Programmers
To set yourself on the speed lanes of success in your programming journey, Below are seven common mistakes to avoid.
Not Confident of your Skills and Capabilities
The worst mistake you can make as a newbie programmer is doubting your skill and ability to program. The moment you start to feel you are not good enough to take on programming or that programming is too difficult for you, you fall short. And then you start to compare your ability to code with other programmers who most times have the edge of experience over you. And at that moment, coding begins to look like an alien language that is impossible to understand. And then you are almost on the verge of abandoning the coding ship. Sounds familiar, right? Here are what to do to get back in the game.
- According to Henry Ford, “if you think you can or can not, you are right.” Believe in yourself and your ability to be an excellent programmer.
- If you find yourself comparing your abilities with others, then do this: keep practicing to gain more insight and experience.
- Enroll in a Java online course and try out tasks to help you gain more experience and boost your confidence level.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to relevant support communities for help.
- Associate and be willing to share insight with other newbie programmers.
Trying to get a Grasp of too many Programming Languages at once
Another common mistake made by newbie coders is the urge to grasp multiple programming languages simultaneously. They start learning C++ and want to take on Java without giving time to learn C++. While in the euphoria of learning Java programming language, they abandon Java and jump in to test the waters of python, only to end up confused.
To avoid falling into this trap, do the following:
- Identify a language that interests you and then attain mastery in that language before learning another language.
- Identify your coding goals and focus your energy on tools that will help you achieve them.
Attempting to memorize code or lines of algorithm
Another common mistake to look out for is the urge to commit to memory a line of code or algorithms. As a newbie programmer, you must learn the nitty-gritty of how a particular syntax or class should work and its application rather than trying to memorize code and algorithms, which may not be helpful when faced with a complex situation. Remember, the beauty of coding lies in your ability to understand the underlying concepts, data structures, design patterns, and their working relationship to achieve your goal.
Rather than mindlessly memorizing code and lines of algorithms, you could revert to your notes, watch tutorial videos or even consult google if you cannot recall a particular class or syntax.
Also, you could practice more often with code you have learned over time to kill the urge to memorize code or algorithms. The more time you spend practicing, the more you are in tune with coding.
Coding without an end in view
One of the fastest ways to complicate your coding adventure is simply relying on writing code out of inspiration and the thrill of programming. Of course, there will be times when your mind gets flooded with ideas, and you are tempted to jump right into writing code. Well, this could be a sure recipe for failure.
As a newbie who wants to code better, it is essential that you begin your coding with the end in view. Doing this will help you understand the task at hand, weigh all possible outcomes and prepare adequately for identified complexities. Achieving this entails approaching coding in phases. First, start with the Thinking phase, then proceed to the Research phase. After gathering valuable data and information, you flow in the Planning phase before moving to the Writing phase. Validate your code after writing and Modify if need be.
Putting too many comments into the code
Applying comments to your code is essential to prevent your code from becoming alien to you after some time and explain the function of a particular code. However, having too many comments in your code will only lead to difficulty interpreting the code.
The trick is to use clear, concise, and descriptive comments that support the code and not one that tries to explain it. Also, to make your coding more fascinating, avoid using obvious comments.
Not utilizing debuggers
Most newbie programmers have little or no idea of what debuggers are or how to use them to appraise their work. Debuggers play a crucial role in programing as it assists you fix issues by allowing you to see how each line of your program is performing.
As a newbie programmer, it is imperative to research what debuggers are, their roles in programming, and how to use them to understand the step-by-step workings of your program, as this will help you gain more insights into the functionality of any particular code.
Not backing up your work
As a beginner in the coding space, you may be familiar with this line: “I just lost hours/days of fruitful work…my PC just crashed.” How about a scenario where your entire software stopped working after you changed just a piece of code? Sounds familiar? You could rewrite the program, right? But that would mean wasting quality time fixing a mistake that is avoidable if you had just backed up your work online. Then, the pertinent question is, what can I do to secure my work from any unforeseen circumstances?
Research and decide on your preferred version control (VCS) tools such as Github, Gitlab, and Bitbucket to save your core work online while relying on blogger to keep track of your tutorial notes and codes.
You could make your programming journey less stressful and more thrilling if you remember to keep in mind the above mistakes. You don’t have to be in a hurry to learn multiple programming languages simultaneously. If you are learning Java, your focus should be on getting a good grasp of Java syntax, which would help solidify your knowledge of Java.