As John C. Maxwell said, “There is no success without failure.” But he would definitely agree that it’s always better to learn from other people’s mistakes rather than falling into the same trap again and again.
Therefore, we have painstakingly gathered common mistakes made by Java beginners. And it’s not just about pointing out these flaws but also offering advice on how to avoid them and make your progress faster and less painful.
Most Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
Before you start burying yourself into the various how-to articles of online courses, it is pertinent to identify the potential errors and avoid making them. You can find them below together with some tips:
Coding Without a Plan
It is not uncommon for a Java beginner to jump into coding without an initial assessment of the task at hand. This eventually results in a waste of time, effort, and sometimes money. The purpose of planning is to have a goal for the code you are about to write.
It’s no different from any other project where you first have to think, do thorough research, and sometimes rub minds with other developers.
Over time, developers follow a sequence that involves Think, Research, Plan, Write, Validate and Modify. In the real sense, writing a code takes just 10% of the needed time for a project.
As basic as these steps sound or might look, they will save you a great deal of stress as you write your codes.
Learning Theory Only
Over time, I have come to realize that there are two main categories of Java beginners. The first category is the individuals that focus more on reading books and watching various tutorials and online classes.
The other category does the above and finds time to practice a lot, thus having a chance to put their knowledge into real-life experience.
The latter gets an entry-level job early while the former struggles for months, if not years, before getting the hang of what coding is.
Therefore, no matter how much time you spend learning the theory, you are going nowhere if you don’t devote enough time to practice.
Just play around with any project you can lay your hands on. It will not be easy at first, but it will surely get better with consistency and perseverance.
With tons of entertaining tasks of different complexity is one of the places where you can get an invaluable experience. One of the many advantages of CodeGym is a great Java programming blog to share knowledge and receive support.
Putting Too Many Comments in the Code
It might seem a good idea to put a lot of comments in your code to make it more understandable. It’s not the case if those comments are excessive and related to obvious code elements.
If this common mistake becomes a habit, it could get you fired from your position or, at worst, make your chances of getting hired slim. Now how do you prevent this?
- Avoid commenting on obvious things as much as you can.
- Instead of comments, replace them with better-named elements for functions and arguments.
- Endeavor to write more of a WHY comment than a WHAT comment (which usually duplicates the information already stated by the code elements) if you need to clarify a code.
- And if, by any chance, you are forced to write a WHAT comment, avoid stating the obvious.
If you feel that you are the one who can make this common mistake you might want to check this and other peculiarities of Java syntax.
Neglecting Existing Libraries
Life is relatively easy in this era of the internet. There are unlimited resources out there for almost anything. But it would not be surprising for a Java beginner to miss out on this.
Java is about 26 years old. Now imagine the insurmountable number of libraries that have been written in Java. These libraries have undergone a series of polishing over these years, and most can be assessed freely.
Java is known for its feature-rich and vast core libraries like Apache Commons, Google Guava, SLF4J, etc.
I know you want to be innovative and think out of the box. But first, you have to understand what’s in the box.
Running a debugger is akin to tasting your food while cooking it. As a programmer, it enables you to understand your code better through a step-to-step approach.
Several times, you will run through a function that seems perfect only to find out that the function is not working the way it should or you want.
Therefore, even if it seems you know what you are doing, you mustn’t ignore debuggers while working on a project.
Lack of Backups of Your Work
No one in today’s digital era should ever make this mistake. There are so many free automated backup and version control tools like SVN, Gitlab, etc., that save your work on the go.
As simple as Dropbox is, it is sufficient enough for any Java beginner to autosave projects.
It would be blasphemy to open your mouth as a developer and say you lost all your work while you could have automatically saved things into the cloud. The best thing is to choose one of the version control tools and use it constantly.
Click here for more on Version Control Tools.
Learning and Coding in Isolation
As much as you want to focus on learning Java, it is inadvisable to channel all your energy to only self-study or self-practice.
You might not have access to or the money to afford boot camps or physical hubs. But don’t worry, Java has a large community! There are several platforms out there where you can share your work for review, ask questions and get feedback.
The essence of joining a programming crowd cannot be over-emphasized, as this will boost and fast-track your learning process.
You can join the following communities for help and resources.: Stackflow, Github.
Besides, you can check out CodeGym help center where the most common queries are answered by Java experts.
Everybody makes mistakes, but if you prepare and learn to avoid most of them, you will make your life easier. And don’t forget to put everything you have learned into practice.
As a Java beginner, if you can try to avoid the situations described in this article, you would find yourself in a better position as an entry-level developer within a short while.
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