You’ve spent your fair share of time working on your programming skills. You have the basics of all core programming languages, frameworks, and libraries covered. You’ve already experienced the high of writing short programs that run as intended.
But you must also realize that’s not everything. After all, most problems that novice developers face aren’t related to the raw tech skills themselves. You’ll figure out which variable type or framework to choose quickly in this or that case.
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What you will probably struggle more with are the following eight problems. So, study them well – and take your time learning to counter and avoid them.
But don’t set unrealistic expectations for yourself: that’ll take time. So, find a way to make it. Start asking yourself questions like “Should I hire someone to do my homework for me on Essaypro?” right now. That is if you’re serious about becoming a full-fledged app developer, of course.
Debugging the Code
All programmers, from juniors to seniors, have been there. You write a perfect software module (or so you think). But when you try to launch it, it throws errors in your face – and you have no idea why.
Or, it might be even worse. The module seems to work great – until you get a long list of bugs that need to be fixed from the QA.
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What do you do? Well, here are four debugging steps you need to ace to deal with bugs as easily as possible:
- Pay attention to error messages and list what may have caused them;
- Google those error messages if you don’t know what they mean – and their solutions;
- Explain the logic of your program or module to a person or an object – flaws in it will become more obvious this way;
- Pinpoint the scope of the problem and where the error may have been generated.
Estimating How Much Time a Task Requires
You must’ve already been through this. You have a task that should be easy even for a beginner developer, and you think you’ll be done with it within two hours. Instead, you spend twice as long on it. Frustrating, isn’t it?
As long as you’re a beginner, this will happen. You can’t avoid it. (Some might argue that it doesn’t get any better when you become an experienced developer, either.)
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What you can do about it is change your time management habits. When you need to estimate how long this task will take you, multiply that initial estimate by at least 1.5x. If you’ve never done it before, don’t hesitate to go even further and use the 2x multiplier.
Working with Someone Else’s Code
When you score a junior position at a development company, you won’t be writing many new code at the beginning. Instead, you’ll have to work with the legacy codebase: make changes to it, maintain it, debug it, etc.
That can be intimidating, understandably. And the larger the project is, the more overwhelming it becomes.
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Good news! Working with legacy codebases is a skill that relies heavily on your code reading abilities. To develop those, you just need to expose yourself to others’ software. You can do it by looking at open-source projects on GitHub, for example.
Writing Clean Code
One day, your code will be the legacy one for other developers. How readable it will be for them depends on you and your habits. Those habits should all come down to one general rule: writing clean code.
But what does that mean, exactly? Here are five good practices that should become your second nature:
- Using proper indentation;
- Breaking down your code into lines, functions, and files;
- Naming your variables and functions in a way that makes their purpose clear;
- Using proper capitalization in function and variable names;
- Leaving enough comments to explain your logic.
Planning Your Code Before You Start Typing
If you have an idea for an app and you want to develop it from scratch solo, you need a plan. But that’s (somewhat) obvious – it’s such a massive task that you can’t jump right into it without mapping out the codebase first.
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What might be less obvious is that you should plan your code even if you write a simple module. Yes, even if you have your specifications and they’re 100% clear.
Here’s what you should know about the program before you start typing:
- Technologies you’ll use (programming languages, frameworks, libraries, APIs);
- User stories you have to implement;
- Various use cases that can be visualized as an activity diagram;
- Mockups that show what the interface should look like;
- Database schema and data structure;
- The high-level architecture of the program and how it is or will be implemented.
Making Your Code Secure
It’s not just the cybersecurity specialists’ job to ensure the app’s security. It’s your responsibility as a developer, too.
If you don’t pay attention to your code’s security, you may leave tons of vulnerabilities for hackers to find and exploit. That may result in ransomware attacks, data theft, and more.
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But how do you ensure that doesn’t happen? Well, the precise and detailed answer depends on the technologies you use. That said, there are five general tips that all developers can and should follow:
- Always use the latest version of your development tools;
- Know the common vulnerabilities in the technologies you use;
- Encrypt data in transit and encode data before using it;
- Set up logging and intrusion detection;
- Don’t neglect running security tests.
Avoiding Unnecessary Complexity
To get the same result, you have almost limitless options regarding the scope of the code. You can get it done in two lines – or twenty. But you probably don’t need to guess which option you should choose, right?
The key to writing as few lines as possible is the DRY principle. DRY stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself. In practice, writing DRY code means:
- Recognize when you repeat yourself: that is, you manually type the same operation times and times again;
- Create a function that performs the said operation;
- Call it whenever you need to run that operation.
Working with Requirements
Whether you plan to become a web developer or make mobile games, you’ll have to work with requirements if you want to do that for a living. It’s a challenge in and of itself: those requirements are made by people, so there’s always human error at play.
Sometimes, the requirements just aren’t clear. Or, you misinterpret them – and you end up developing something that’s far from what the client expected. Plus, in the world of software development, those requirements tend to change fast.
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So, how do you learn to work with requirements? One word: practice. Here are a couple of tips for you:
- If you start working with specifications in a professional setting, don’t hesitate to turn to your more experienced colleagues and ask questions;
- If you want to develop this skill before you land a job, find yourself an open-source project or volunteer your skills for a non-profit.
If you’re a beginner App Developers, you’re bound to grapple with at least one of these eight problems at some point. But that’s nothing to be embarrassed about: it’s a natural part of the learning process.
Think about it this way. Even the best in the world of coding were beginners once. They had to spend hours debugging their code or learning to read someone else’s. But look at them now: they’re pros at what they do.
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You can go through the same journey and come out on top. All you need are these 3 P’s: patience, practise, and persistence!