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4 common mistakes made by aspiring programmers 1

4 common mistakes made by aspiring programmers

Programming has become a high-paying skill in 2022. The onset of rapid digital transformation of businesses is creating a demand for programmers. However, most aspiring programmers commit some common mistakes while trying to learn to code. There is no one fixed strategy or a set path that can make you a proficient programmer, but being aware of the typical developer mistakes can save you a lot of time.

It is not to say that a developer can avoid programming mistakes altogether; however, to accelerate your learning and put you on a path of optimized programming approach, we have picked common developer mistakes that you should be familiar with.

Trying to learn too many programming languages and tools 

You may find every other technology lucrative when you start programming. Unfortunately, the most common mistake most beginners commit is trying to learn several programming languages so that they can showcase them all on their resumes. Experienced developers like to see specific technologies and languages you are proficient at. When you get started with programming, all your focus should be on developing in-depth knowledge of any one programming language of your choice.

In your career, you will have to work with several programming languages, but at the beginning, your focus should be on understanding the basics of development and computer science. Programming languages, frameworks, and libraries are just tools. To become a proficient programmer, you must understand the concepts behind writing clean and quality code.

Not mindfully practicing to write clean code 

An experienced programmer can easily spot a beginner by looking at their code format. It is because there are some peculiar programming mistakes that beginners make. Some such common developer mistakes include:

  • Inconsistent indentation in code
  • Improper use of new lines and white spaces
  • Not putting code into logical blocks
  • Writing functions that are too big or writing too much code in a single line
  • Poor choice of function or variable names such as qwer, hg45, etc.
  • Either no comments or over-commenting the code

These are just a few common programming mistakes, and there are many more. We understand the thrill of writing a code and seeing it run, but you must practice writing clean code from the beginning. At your job, you will work as a team and the code you will write will be used and maintained by other developers too. This is why it is important that your code not only works but is also clean, readable, and maintainable.

Not planning before coding 

It is not uncommon to see beginners starting with the code immediately after receiving a requirement. It is one of the most common developer mistakes that they skip the research and planning stages of a project. Most beginners do not take enough time to understand a project’s problem requirements and limitations. They lack the experience required to consider all the scenarios without giving them much thought. And later on, it becomes a significant problem. Programmers need to think about the scope of a project before they start coding. This is why in the industry, only 20% of the time is spent on writing code; the rest 80% of the time, programmers think, plan, research, and discuss the project with other stakeholders.

To avoid programming mistakes as a beginner, you should follow the following sequence:

  • Start by understanding the problem requirements and the limitations
  • Research and experiment with a few data structures to find out which is the best for solving the given problem
  • Before you write the final code, create a rough draft known as a prototype
  • Depending on the functioning of the prototype, select the proper data structure
  • Think about all the scenarios to design test cases
  • Break more significant problems into smaller, easily solvable pieces

Not taking backup 

Not just a common programming mistake, but a blunder a beginner programmer can make is not to take backup of their work. Imagine this – you’ve spent days writing code only to discover that you lost all your work to some system error or disk crash! It is not only devastating but also a waste of time and effort. When working at a job, it is your responsibility to ensure that the code you write has a secure backup.

As a beginner programmer, make it a habit to take backups of your work at regular intervals. For this purpose, learn to use source control software like GitHub and cloud storage services like Dropbox.


Programming is a skill that is learned with patience and practice. Now that you know the common mistakes to avoid, we assume that you are committed to being a proficient programmer. Our advice is not just to know the common developer mistakes we have listed above but to consider them every time you work on a project. 

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Girish is Talent500’s architect for systems software. His experience in backend development has helped him convert visions of many a product into reality. From his days at BITS-Pilani, he has always dreamt about beating AplhaZero at chess.

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