Being a developer is about constant learning and improvement. The systems that developers build are complicated and the underlying technologies are constantly changing. Many developers think about improving as learning a new framework or programming language, when in fact some of the best improvements you can make are minor changes that can be build into you daily habits with minimal disruption.
Here are some common mistakes you might be making daily that are slowing you down, holding you back and building tech debt.
🧪 Not writing tests. Get used to writing these sooner rather than later. You don’t need to go full Test Driven Development (TDD) but at least be comfortable. I should have started earlier!
📄 Not documenting code. Coming back to old code is a nightmare without good docs, I can’t remember how code I wrote last week works so after 1 year I have no chance.
🧰 Not breaking out common code into a reusable library. Reusable code is your toolbox, it saves you time, effort and complexity. Start building your personal toolbox or your teams toolbox now.
🍱 Forgetting to split projects into smaller modules. Good organisation is the best way to keep a codebase sensible and manageable, it doesn’t come for free though so you have to work at it.
🏛 Not using external libraries. Build on other peoples code and don’t write everything from scratch, this lets you move faster, benefit from others work and you can focus on your core business logic.
💅 Not using an auto code formatter. Worrying about how to format and layout your code should be the last thing on your mind, get used to auto format on save and you will love it!
🤖 Not automating. There is a knack in knowing when to automate, too early in a process and you risk automating the wrong thing and having to change it, too late and you'll have an overly complex process to automate that will take weeks to sort out. If you've done the same thing 3 times in a short period of time (measured in weeks) then it's time to automate it.
None of these on their own will derail a software project but all of them can add friction to the development process and slow you down. Pick one and implement it in your current project today.
One more win
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