5 biggest developer mindset mistakes and how to fix them

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5 biggest developer mindset mistakes and how to fix them
harley Ferguson

You're going to make mistakes.

That's completely okay.

Mistakes create a learning opportunity.

Let's look at some of the main mistakes developers make and how we can avoid them, learn from them and ensure we don't repeat them.

Let’s dive in.

Not understanding the problem

Often, as developers, we like to jump straight into the code. Be it a feature or a bug, coding is the first thing we get started with.

This is just shooting ourselves in the foot. Rather take the time to really understand what needs doing. Be it a new feature or an old bug, make sure you really understand what needs to be done and what the goal outcome is.

Use your understanding of the problem to inform the code you write, not the other way around.

There is one way to solve the problem

The rabbit hole is a scary and dangerous thing. We can get stuck down there.

If you've been working on one thing for a while and your code is starting to look messy and unreadable, you may have gone too far down that hole.

There is always more than one way to solve a coding problem. Always.

Take a step back. Think it through. Look for a different approach.

In my experience, your first approach is often not the one that you push.

Asking for help is a sign of weakness

We all take pride in our work and our egos are impacted if we can't solve it on our own. You're not alone in feeling that.

However, your goal is to solve problems using code. If you're stuck or not sure about something, ask for help. There is no shame. Every developer out there stands on the shoulders of hundreds of other developers.

AI tools like ChatGPT have made it a lot easier to get the answer to a question, but don't forget about the value of sharing knowledge and learning from those around you.

Your code needs to be perfect

Perfectionism runs deep in the developer community. Everyone wants their code to be as clean, simple and performant as possible.

Guess what? Progress is better than perfect.

Sure, if you have the time to neaten things up then go for it. However, more often than not, we're all trying to meet some crazy deadline.

Focus on getting a working solution. Then, if time permits, neaten it up.

Don't try to build a yacht when you just need a row boat.

More lines means more work was done

It's a common perception amongst interns or juniors that the bigger the pull request, the more work you did.

This is so far from the truth.

Less lines of code result in:

  • Higher readability
  • Smaller codebases
  • Simpler to maintain
  • Easier to comprehend

There is nothing better than a couple of lines of code that can achieve so much while being so simple.

It's okay to make any of the above mistakes. Just make sure you're learning from them as you do.

See you next week.