I have been web developer for year now (from 2010) and in my career I have seen a lot of beginners. Most of the beginner do the same mistakes, and trust they are mistakes, when it comes to learning web development.
So, I decided to compile a list of the things you should avoid while learning how to code.
1. Miss basics
First and the most important rule is not to miss basics. One may think: How can I miss something I do not know? Well, when you start to learn new things, often, you get carried away and you want to make as big progress as possible as fast as possible. Usually, this leads to skipping some basic knowledge, which in long run means more complicated code and a lot more lost time.
2. Tutorial loop
Almost every web developer starts the same way. First, they google: how to become a developer or how to learn to code. Then, after few articles and, maybe, videos they jump to tutorials.
Tutorials are awesome, you can learn a lot of things about topic you pick, and that’ s great. But the problem emerges when we are in tutorial loop.
We tend to jump from tutorial to tutorial thinking that we will learn everything there is to learn about the topic. But you will not, actual learning starts when you start to build your own things and work on your own projects.
Working on your own projects, by yourself, will lead you to mistakes – and mistakes are great. They make us do research which leads to acquiring new knowledge.
3. Framework before Vanilla
Frameworks are created by highly skilled professionals for other to use them to speed up development, to make development easier, to make code more maintainable, etc. Because of these reasons people tend to jump to framework before they really understand Vanilla code.
You have to understand Vanilla code because you will be much more confident in your code, your code will be better and more stable, you will spend much less time developing features and you will never ever be able to get maximum out of framework.
4. Copy paste code
Copying and pasting code is awesome, as long as you know what you are doing. When we are starting out, we tend to go on StackOverflow and paste code as long as one of the snippets starts working. And that is just bad for 100 reasons.
First reason is that you do not know how good that code is. Is it vulnerable, is the best solution, is it optimised, etc. Second reason is in that way, you have learned nothing.
If you are going to use someone else’ s code, please read it, study it and find out why is it working and other don’ t. Try do dissect code. This way you will learn a lot more and your code is just 100x better.
5. Avoid questions
Googling is great and yes, we all do it. It’ s part of learning and upgrading yourself. Also use any available resource to get your answers, that’ s why we have communities. Communities are there to help other people, with anything they need.
If you do not ask questions you learn nothing. Almost always when you ask a question you will learn much more than you expected, wanted or needed. And as future web developer you will need to learn, a lot.
Our ability to constantly learn new things is one of the things why we are good at what we do.
If you have any questions or anything you can find me on my Twitter, or you can learn some of the older articles like Top 7 FREE resources for web design inspiration.