As a developer, your role is to make sure that you are providing the best solution to a problem your customers are facing. This can be as simple as a hotfix or as complex as a large-scale project.
But regardless of what project you’re working on, mistakes can and do happen to the best of us. It’s important to learn from these mistakes, as repeating them can hinder the success and growth of your career as a developer.
Here are some common developer mistakes and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1 Over-engineering your solution
Junior developers love making long and complicated codes. What they don’t realise is that longer code is harder to maintain and are usually quickly replaced. Most of the time, a simpler solution is better as they require less time to implement and yield better results.
Something to keep in mind is Pareto’s Law. It’s imperative to remember that 20 per cent of your effort will produce 80 per cent of the solution. Maximising your efforts to create shorter and simpler codes, will bring more value to your solutions and strengthen your skills as a developer in the long run.
Mistake #2: Not creating solutions with the client in mind
In the process of deciding which solution to implement, your engineering skills will be used the most. At ELMO, we recently decided to use CypressJS for all of our projects to ensure our product quality is as high as possible for our clients. It was a challenging project as we had to experiment on other projects first and also had to broaden the scope to include other stakeholders. Although it took us a few months to accomplish this project, it enhanced the quality of our products and upskilled our team of developers.
The point is, the client you’re creating a solution for usually doesn’t care if you’re using the latest front-end stack or a multi-clustered backend. You need to create a solution that fits your clients’ needs and has the potential to easily scale up. A solution that is sustainable and timely is essential for satisfying your client’s needs. It’s important to work in a team to determine what these needs are to find the right solution for them.
Mistake #3 Not seeking feedback
Constructive feedback is an excellent way to improve your coding skills. It’s important to view feedback as a free lesson to grow your skillset, rather than a criticism of your work. By simply asking a more experienced developer for their opinion on your code, it allows you to learn new skills and see the problem from another angle. In my experience, I’ve noticed that junior developers don’t ask for help or try to hide and pretend that everything is okay when they’re struggling with a problem. By not asking for help, it can lead to both project delays and a lack of self-confidence for the developer.
A lack of self-confidence can be dangerous when it comes to coding. If a developer has a great solution in mind but doesn’t have the confidence to speak out, the wrong solution may be implemented. This could be very costly to maintain and update in the future. Developers need to be willing to speak up, to discuss solutions and to receive constructive feedback for their ideas.
At ELMO, we support each other by listening to ideas and focusing on owning our developers’ technical and soft skills. Above all, we value everyone’s opinions and experiment with different technologies in our projects to engineer proper solutions, tackle technical debt and increase code quality.