Description: If you're studying programming, you have to be aware of the mistakes that students like you should avoid. Check the top most common mistakes discussed in the article.
The Most Common Mistakes Programming Students Should Avoid
While it is often said that learning from your own mistakes is the most effective way to understand something, programming is probably not the best area of expertise to apply this principle. The thing is, when you make a coding mistake, it is not always immediately obvious, and many mistakes are not so much individual errors you make in specific assignments, but bad habits that get ingrained over time and can affect the code you write for years in future. As a result, the best thing you can do to tackle them is to start practicing the best practices from the very beginning. So, what are the mistakes you should avoid in your programming? Let's take a closer look.
Writing Repetitive Code
One of the most common adages repeated to novice programmers is "Don't repeat yourself". It is even sometimes abbreviated to simply DRY, with the code written according to this rule being called DRY code. By its very nature, code often requires the use of fragments that are similar or even identical to each other - it is not always bad by itself, at least not when it is used only occasionally. However, all programming languages have tools and tricks aimed at eliminating the unnecessarily repetitive code. The rule of the thumb here is this: if you find yourself regularly copy/pasting code in your assignment, it is very likely that it is repetitive and can benefit from alterations. Learn to use loops, functions, and web frameworks to clean it up and eliminate repetitions.
Not Writing Comments
Whether you write a simple bit of Java homework or your coursework, never forget to accompany your code with comments. Comments are the documentation of your program - they tell what happens to your code as the program gets bigger. You may think that you know everything about your program and do not need any such help, and you may be right at the moment. However, when the program is done, you will thank yourself for writing all the relevant comments, for they will help you navigate the most complex code even half a year later when most of the details are long gone from your memory.
Writing Complicated Code
While it sometimes may be tempting to write an intricate piece of code just for the hell of it, you should understand that the purpose of programming is not to show how complex a program you can write, but to solve a problem - and this is best done in the easiest, most straightforward and simplest manner possible. If you find yourself making your code unnecessarily complicated, it may mean that you need some professional guidance. Consider getting assistance from an online company offering relevant services. If, for example, you study Java, you should focus on finding a Java assignment help agency that will help you clean up your code and make it simpler.
Not Doing Backups
Losing a huge portion of your work due to a hardware malfunction or some other contingency can be anything from frustrating to outright disastrous. However, it does not have to be so - if you use the right tools and practices, you will never have to suffer from such problems. Do you regularly create backups of your important documents? Programming assignments are not different in any way. You cannot rely on luck when working on them. You have to be confident in your ability to restore your work in case the worst comes to the worst. It does not matter what kind of backup tools you use - any version control functionality will give you the needed peace of mind.
Using Poorly Chosen Variable Names
Variables play an enormous role in any programming language and, being as widely used as they are, you should pay extra attention when working with them. How you name a variable will not influence its functionality in any way, but a well-chosen name will do you a world of good in the long run. Firstly, it will make it easier for other people to understand your code. Secondly, it will prevent confusion when you yourself get back to previously written parts of your code. Thirdly, it will prevent you from accidentally giving similar or identical names to different variables. In other words, while giving a variable a generic name can save you a couple of seconds you would otherwise have to spend thinking up a more detailed and suitable name, in the long run, it can take much more time to try and figure out what is going on in your code.
Of course, common mistakes made by programming students are not limited to the ones we listed here - but keeping your eye on these will make you much more likely to achieve better results, especially at the early stages.