1. A messy code
Do you often get handed a project you can’t quite figure out? Complex code, bad choice in variables & function names, no use of whitespace conventions,... Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it? 😳 It is important to remember that you are part of a team. Because for most projects, your work isn't for your eyes only. Everyone has to be able to understand the code you are writing. So don’t hold back and really try to keep the project as fresh and coherent as possible. Make use of clear variable names, consistent code formatting, etc. We’re sure your colleagues will thank you later.
A second challenge that many beginning developers face is working inefficiently, due to a lack of knowledge about certain frameworks. As a back-end developer, you learn on the job. Working for an agency or a specific brand allows you to gain experience in a way that cannot be matched at school. At your job, you are tested on a daily basis, which enables you to build impressive skills over time. This being said, recent graduates understandably don’t have that level of knowledge yet. This often results in them choosing a complicated approach, taking much longer, meanwhile the task itself could be pretty simple. So, our main piece of advice would be to use those first months on the job as your chance to learn as much as possible. And ask questions whenever you’re not sure! No one wants to deal with extra work that could have been avoided beforehand. Because time is money after all. ⏱️
3. Naive programming
Naive programming. That’s a third pitfall for beginning back-end developers. Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong eventually. It really is as simple as that. 🤷 That’s why it is better to take on a more pessimistic attitude when programming. Make it your goal to prepare for all issues that could pop up. Think forward. If something is okay now, that doesn’t mean it will be okay in the future. You should always keep an eye on your software, and make adjustments when necessary to prevent challenges further down the line.
Advanced back-end developers
4. Stubborn developing
Standing still means going 🔙wards. This also applies to the ever changing world of web development. Instead of setting up a specific plan with the team, many back-end developers tend to stick to their own way of thinking. Because the industry’s constantly evolving, you have to go along with it. So, put yourself out there! Strive for continuous learning and be open to new ideas, technologies,... Because if we’re not moving forward, then what are we doing?.
5. Technical debt
Ever heard of the term “technical debt”? This stands for the cost of additional work caused by choosing a quick & easy solution, instead of opting for a better but more complex approach. This probably happens more often than people like to admit. Why? Lack of time! When you’re juggling multiple projects at once, you’re more likely to go for quick and messy solutions. In hindsight, this approach isn”t always the best. Again: when writing code, don’t lose sight of your long-term vision. 🧐 Otherwise, adjustments you have to make in the end might take much longer, compared to if you had just chosen the more complex route initially.
6. Doing everything yourself
Lastly, don’t forget about your fantastic colleagues. 👫. Some might think: “What you do yourself, you usually do faster and better”. But if your workload is too heavy, you won't be able to deliver an excellent end-product. Remember that you’re surrounded with talented co-workers who will happily help you out. Divide the work, and trust them in the process. And don’t forget: “nothing great is ever achieved alone”. 💪
Now, go practise what we preach and you’ll be set up for success! Even just a few of these tips can go a long way. With 17 web-developers at our office, we know a thing or two about the challenges that come with being a developer. So you can definitely take our word for it!