Programming is like mathematics and follows a system or series of concepts to make things function effectively. In order to truly understand the foundations of programming and pursue advanced studies or concepts, one must first begin to focus on the fundamentals of programming before delving into many things at once or for small durations.
One needs to focus on a singular goal, and when it is accomplished, he or she should delve deep into the same subject more and more, for instance, a programming language or a set of models. Let’s understand what are the beginner programming mistakes that programmers should absolutely avoid and commonly end up making without guidance.
The first thing that a budding programmer should understand is that programming and programming languages should be approached differently. Being better at programming in general and having strong foundations allow programmers to easily adapt to any language later on.
Meanwhile, knowing many languages does not necessarily make the programmer a good one. Here are some common beginner programming mistakes that programmers should try evading.
Here is a list of beginner programming mistakes
1. Learning Multiple Programming Languages at Once or in a Short Span of Time
This is the most common beginner programming mistakes that programmers make in the beginning as most choose separate languages for each semester to work with. When learning outside college as well, many programmers pursue languages for a short duration and then proceed with other languages or learn multiple at once.
This divides focus and learning efficiency both, also not allowing programmers to acquire high-level knowledge and experience with the language. This poses a huge problem when working with advanced problems and solutions as extensive control and deep understanding of a programming language are required.
2. Not Practising Enough Problems
Learning programming is impossible without actually coding in Integrated Development Environments (IDEs) or without trying to build programs. Simply studying programming languages and algorithms is not enough; programming requires to be practically applied with plenty of practice through trial and error in order to be fully learned.
Same for the concepts, including algorithms and theories, programmers must keep practising their applications to truly understand more about them and their various applications.
3. Using Multiple Resources or Jumping Courses
Programmers should ensure that their courses and resources are solving all the required purposes such as doubt-solving, exercises and additional tips as changing courses or jumping resources deviate from the original path and might confuse budding programmers.
This wastes time as well as resources. One must plan out what he/she expects to gain in a certain duration through a choice of courses or resources and go according to it after deciding upon the perfect fit for his/her requirements. One must also stick to his/her decision and not pursue other things midway.
Planning out courses and resources is a great way to ensure programmers do not change their path or approach suddenly.
4. Make Friends Who Have Similar Interests and Goals
It is great to have friends from different fields; however, joining groups with people having the same kind of goals and interests definitely help in making your learning experience smoother. Discussing with your group or friends about the problems you are facing or when trying to accomplish something eases the path to being a programmer.
Groups and friends from the same field motivate and support each other when required, ensuring they make the correct choices. Studying with a group or working on projects in a group allows for more effective use of your time and increases productivity.
5. Sticking to a Single Goal
When programmers prepare for a particular job role, company or examination for a long time, it denies them of the many prospects and opportunities that are out there. Preparing for a single competitive examination also affects the ability to perform well in other exams or entrances.
It is highly recommended to not stick to a single goal and take the measures to prepare for other examinations and goals. Planning to appear for a single job role or company is not advised either, as this keeps programmers from being able to explore the many great opportunities that are out there.
Programmers should also learn new things, prepare for new fields of application and definitely be open to various tasks or roles. Working on different types of projects is a great way to keep expanding one’s range of experiences.
6. Having Only Long-term Goals
Compared to having only long-term goals, programmers must actively take part in deciding certain short-term goals as well. Short-term goals act as benchmarks that remind programmers of their main goals, ensuring that they do not forget their initial aim.
Short-term goals also allow room for some improvisation or open up alternate paths during the process. Having short-term goals ensure that programmers complete what they set out to do where long-term goals make it difficult to truly measure the condition or level of the programmers.
Working within shorter time constraints also ensures the best utilisation of time and ensures that programmers do not delay themselves.
7. Jumping Directly into Development
Programmers should not rush into getting involved with development too soon. They must first master the fundamentals and make their foundations strong in order to have a great career in development later on. Without a strong background and gaps in knowledge, programmers can get stuck or confused when facing advanced or complex problems.
This is why programmers should never get into development before they completely master programming. This is a mistake that many programmers make, giving in to the excitement of web development or program building before learning everything there is to learn first.
8. Wasting Time on Small Lesser Quality Projects
Programmers should not waste time on many small projects and should instead aim to build a few high-quality ones. Projects matter a lot as they contribute to the total experience gained in programming and they have a huge part to play in determining job roles and the impression a programmer gives off to employers.
Multiple small projects are a waste of time, resources and do not represent high-quality work; hence, programmers must try building only two or three projects which are very advanced and boast of superior quality. Choosing the right projects are of utmost importance and programmers should ensure to get involved with the right projects which can contribute towards their personal growth as well.
9. Not Deploying Projects
This is another mistake programmers make which is also related to the point above. Working on multiple projects or leaving them halfway give programmers less room or time to actually deploy functional projects. Deploying projects allows others to use their projects and then provide feedback which arms programmers with the points to focus upon when improving it.
This also motivates programmers and allows them to enhance their projects further. Not just this, employers prefer candidates with deployed projects due to it being functional in a real environment as well as accessible for company representatives to check out. Thus, deployed projects provide additional value to candidates during interviews as well.
10. Ignoring Data Structures and Algorithms
Forgetting to practise DS problems and algorithms is a huge mistake made by many programmers across the world. Programmers should at least try to fit in a few DS and algorithm problems every day or every alternate day in order to stay in touch with concepts and foundations.
This comes in handy in interviews and also prevents situations where programmers are forgetting algorithmic applications or facing trouble when mapping out solutions. Having a strong understanding of DS also provides more problem-solving capabilities to candidates.
11. Not Preparing for Interviews and Time Constraints
As covered before, programmers must take care to prepare for other evaluations and assessments as well. Not preparing for limitations such as time provides a very bad experience in aptitude, technical or logical tests, especially when programmers are tasked with debugging or writing a program while bound by a time limit.
Practising completing questions, problems and tasks within a stipulated time provide an edge over other programmers during placements and interviews. One must also practise mock interviews and check out as many interviews as possible in order to perform well in interviews conducted by companies.
Frequently Asked Questions
The most important beginner programming mistakes that should be avoided in programming are changing programming languages too soon, jumping from resources and not planning out learning strategies or goals properly. Programmers should also avoid not having friends or groups with similar aims and interests.
The most common errors done by programmers are changing programming languages every semester and changing courses or study material often. Programmers also end up preparing for a single interview, company or entrance exam which further limits their capability to perform well in other evaluations.
You can avoid beginner programming mistakes in coding by not changing your mind too often about resources, courses and approaches, instead, focusing on the foundations or fundamentals well from the materials of choice. Learning a single language very well decreases the chances of making mistakes when working in that environment. Algorithms and mathematical concepts or theories should also be clear in order to avoid beginner programming mistakes during coding.
Some programming mistakes inexperienced programmers generally make are errors during writing functions, writing unnecessary code or causing adverse effects on other elements. These issues originate from not spending enough time focusing on programming or the concepts of programming in general and instead relying on programming languages only. This is also due to not spending enough time on any particular language, thus leaving room for more errors when working on advanced programs or problems.
The most common mistake in programming is – trying to get involved with development before one is ready. This ends up causing massive gaps in one’s concepts and knowledge, leaving more room for errors in the future. This also causes programmers to get stuck when problems get a bit trickier.
Programmers make mistakes due to not maintaining certain standards in their early years. They should aim to make their foundation and base strong to avoid beginner programming mistakes in the future.
Programmers should also practise programming, data structures and algorithms extensively in order to be completely fluent in all of them, thus not causing mistakes during development.
Programmers must research and plan out their requirements before enrolling in courses. A good strategy ensures that you will gain what you want from the courses. One should also make sure that the courses cover everything that is required and there is no resource that is unavailable.
One must plan out the language he/she wishes to excel in and then accordingly create short-term goals revolving around DS, algorithms and the language of choice. Once programmers feel confident enough to get into real-time applications, they should start getting involved with development.
Java, C++ and Python are great choices to start with. All of these three are very valuable and contain all the foundational benefits while being capable of being used in every sort of application one can think of. Python is the easiest to learn among these, however, C++ is the most foundational among these. Meanwhile, Java is very popular and extensively used for a variety of applications.
If programmers heed these 11 pieces of advice and take the initiative to ensure that they do not make these beginner programming mistakes, then these will surely allow them to have a great experience when learning how to program till the time they become programmers involved in real-time development.
Following most of these will make sure that the way you learn programming is effective and your time is not wasted. Wasting time jumping courses and resources takes a heavy toll on the mind as well as time.
It also leads to confusion and conflicting approaches, thus slowing programmers down even more. Programmers must not make these beginner programming mistakes when pursuing programming.