8 Bad Developer Habits You Need To Ditch Right Now

Andy Charters
.
August 21, 2023
Productivity

Great, so you are now a software developer with competence in a couple of programming languages. The truth is, if you want to be a kick-ass tech professional, there are some habits you might need to drop, i.e., if you haven't ditched them already. On the one hand, some of these habits are part of the skills/methods you use in carrying out your software development work.

They may even be common among software development professionals. It's just that they may be the reason why you are working less efficiently or below expectations. On the other hand, these habits may not appear wrong or negative when it comes to your technical competence; however, they still affect your output as a software developer.

If you'd like to get better at your skill or even get the chance to be among the best, it's high time you broke those habits. Here are eight bad developer habits you need to ditch right now.

1. Blindly copying & pasting codes.

While software reuse should be part of every software developer's guiding principle, using another coder's work shouldn't include blindly copying and pasting what you don't completely understand. Now it's totally fine to copy.

The keyword here is "understand." In fact, if you've worked on a large software development project, jumping on other developers' written codes is bound to happen. But before you go ahead to copy, you still have to break it down and have that "Eureka" moment; otherwise, don't use it.

Programmers are fond of copying and pasting codes, which mostly happens at the rookie stage of coding. It saves time, right? But as you leave the junior developer level, you'll start to handle larger development projects. You have to start getting used to getting your hands dirty.

One of the reasons you should ditch the code copy and paste practice is that not every character present in the Unicode is precisely the same as the one visible on the screen. These are known as non-printing characters, which can get you stuck for a long time after copy and pasting, especially when you don't open the raw file to understand the code.

Furthermore, you may think you'll increase your productivity by copying and pasting. The sad reality is you may end wasting more time because you may duplicate bugs, which only makes matters worse. What's more, copying codes will still attract some slight modifications to make it fit into the new location you want it to function. Without a proper understanding of the original code, chances are you'll introduce more errors during the modifications to make the copied codes do what you want.

2. Assuming you understand the audience/end-user or how a product will be used.

This habit is more like being overconfident about how a software product will turn out in the market or how the users will react to it after release. It's one of the worst habits of developers. You have come up with a brilliant tech idea, that's great.

However, if you don't cover every possible scenario of the product's functional specification, chances are, the product will underperform. Meaning, you can prevent a tech product from reaching its full potential both from the customer satisfaction side and the profit-making side.

In the tech world, the typical scenario is that those bankrolling a software development project don't usually know too much about techs. So, that's why they bring in experts, i.e., developers, who should understand and anticipate customers' needs. That can't happen through assumption but by communication and researching the behavior and needs of the target audience. This way, you can introduce proper adjustments during the project's development in line with the users' needs.



3. Failing to test your code.

Another common habit among some coders is assuming that once a code compiles during writing, then it has to work. It's a habit that falls under the umbrella of overconfidence but also stems out of being lazy. The role of testing and continuous testing during the development of a product cannot be overemphasized, whether the product you are working on is large or small.

One of the reasons you need to continually test as you progress with a software project's design is because when you fix something, there's also chances you may have automatically broken something. Testing is a good software development practice, so it's no surprise that coders or developers who adopt more testing deliver more reliable jobs.

What's more, testing isn't just about ensuring your products work at the end. Good coders test for many possible outcomes and provide ready solutions. For example, users may run into unanticipated situations while using your software. This may include clicking a wrong key, accidentally shutting down their device during software usage.

4. Being too rigid.

One common complaint I’ve heard among team managers and tech employees is the rigidity of some new hires. Okay, so you are competent in JAVA, or you are an expert in mobile app development. Great, it's good that you have formed a niche for yourself. That doesn't mean you can't learn new tricks. Yes, you may have heard the saying "jack of all trade." The intention here is not to master every aspect of development; it's almost impossible to do that.

In fact, don't even have the idea you have "arrived" or become a master of any niche. The software development niche is one of the fastest-changing out there. Before a new programming language is fully utilized, another new one has hit the market. What's more, before you gain competency in a new way of applying the knowledge you have, another application is emerging.

Trust us, If you are going to be an excellent and competitive tech professional, being versatile is crucial. Ditch that "I know enough idea" and "I can handle this project this way without" bringing in something new.

Therefore, you'll do well to focus on continuous learning and development of your skills.  Knowing many programming languages in various applications will not only make you more resourceful, but you'll also increase your confidence and find it easy to take on a unique task, which could save time. If you are not ready to take up a new programming language, ensure you keep improving on the one you know.

What's more, if you are going to learn a new language, don't just pick a programming language that you like but don't find an application in the current market. It will help if you flow with current trends in the tech world. Therefore, try to strike a balance by developing yourself in an area that you like as well as a niche that is currently needed in the market.

5. Not Documenting everything.

This is another unconscious overconfident habit common among developers. You see, failing at documenting changes as you work or thinking you don't need to leave a clue/comment in your code for yourself and other coders can be a huge mistake. This is not college, where you can easily keep track of all your work, assignments, or projects by flipping through a couple of notes or checking your computer.

The professional tech environment is usually a fast-paced one. Trust me; it's easy to forget why you made a particular move in a software development process. You may get stuck trying to decipher why you introduced a simple modification, like a single line of code, into an entire program.

Therefore, not documenting is one habit you don't want to stick with in your journey to becoming an expert in the tech field. Every software developer should adopt a structured way of documenting not just for personal use but also for others who may need to jump on your written codes later.

If you are not very detailed in your work style, you could cause a serious setback in a major project and make a project a nightmare for your team. Remember, no one has a monopoly over coming up with a novel idea. The new tech idea you are thinking of now may also be another developer's creativity elsewhere. Therefore, speed might be one of your greatest advantages, i.e., arriving at the software market in time to claim the market share.

6. Writing large functions

I'm not sure if it's a way of proving "I'm now good at crunching codes," but this habit is more common with new developers and a few old ones. I know it's actually quite easy to get lost in writing codes, lines after lines, leading to large functions. The truth is, this practice usually ends up making your codes difficult to read. Always remember, you are not writing codes for yourself alone. Another software developer will likely reuse your work, especially if you are working for a tech organization.

What's more, long-winded codes reduce the number of quality codes that can be reused. It also makes testing quite difficult. Altogether, you are only making work more difficult for yourself and others. A "function" in a program should achieve one thing. Once you start making it do more, you are just making it complex, causing it to lose focus. That's said, the shorter the code, the better.

You'll do well to keep in mind and maintain the mentality of quality and readability as you crunch in codes. Don't get us wrong; we’re not saying writing long codes is forbidden when you want to design softwares. As long as it's readable for everyone (other coders or your colleagues) and it doesn't make testing a nightmare, then that's fine.

However, don't consciously or unconsciously make your codes longer than they should be, especially when they could be shorter. Circumvent unnecessary and ambiguous characters. Also, you might want to avoid deep nesting just because you want long codes more organized. You’ll only end up making it harder for other developers to read

7. Asking for help is a sign of weakness.

This habit is not part of a developer's technical skill, but it's a habit that could mar your work. No one is an island, so there's no point trying to figure it all out by yourself. You started school to learn, and you certainly didn't get where you are all by yourself from the cradle.

So what could be wrong with asking for help with coding? It isn't a sign that you're weak or you didn't achieve it all by yourself. In fact, it's one of the smartest things to do because you'll be learning something new.

Perhaps, you are a solo developer, and you are working on the next best app without the risk of letting anyone else in on your "big secret,"? If so, you don't have to find all the solutions on your own. While you could do that, it's not an efficient way of working. You'll end up spending more time finishing what you could have accomplished quicker.

Remember, we mentioned earlier that speed is a great advantage in the tech world. If you don't arrive at the software market early enough, a similar product from another developer may beat you to it. At the end of the day, it's all about making money. So, don't avoid reaching out, and don't be afraid of being turned down too.

8. Working Too Many Hours.

We get it, you want to achieve greater speed. And yes, the project has to be completed in time as you want to save money and avoid somebody else beating you to it. The truth is, there's more to life than coding. When you work too many hours without adopting breaks, you'll not only risk breaking down, both mentally and physically, you may also affect the quality of your project.

A fresh eye after engaging in your hobby has proved effective in becoming more creative. Furthermore, attend to your health by adopting exercise and investing in other relationships than your programming language. Trust us, a good work-life balance has a way of impacting your productivity positively.

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A completely integrated innovation studio within the corporate framework, with a primary emphasis on making the future of the food industry accessible to all. Their core objective is to discover, create, and expand tailored automation remedies, utilizing a team of proficient individuals covering domains like engineering, robotics, and artificial intelligence. Our central mission revolves around constructing automation technology solutions that empower individuals to achieve greater feats.

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In the role of an Electrical Engineer, your expertise and proficiency in designing electrical-mechanical systems will be a key asset, enabling you to stand out. Collaborating with our skilled team, you will play a vital role in expediting product development processes.

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Front-End Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Front End React Developer

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

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Frontend Developer (NextJS and React)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Frontend Developer (Senior)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Frontend React Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Full-Stack Developer

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

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Full-Stack Laravel/Vue Developer (Jr to Mid)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Full Stack .Net Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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Full-Stack Node/VueJS Developer (Mid - Senior)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Full-Stack PHP Developer (Mid to Senior)

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

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Full-Stack PHP Developer Tech Lead

Cloud Employee is a fast-growing UK-managed offshore recruitment and staffing company in the Philippines. We tackle the growing global IT skills shortage by connecting tech companies based in Europe, the US, and Australia to our pool of expert software developers in the country.

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Full stack RoR/VueJS Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Fullstack Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Fullstack .NET Developer

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Lead/Senior Frontend Developer (UI/UX) - Brazil

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned business established eight years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent worldwide with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines and Brazil as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Marketing Specialists

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Backend Developer (Python)

Cloud Employee, is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineer teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

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Senior Full-Stack PHP Developer

Cloud Employee is a UK-owned Philippines business established 8 years ago. We connect high-performing software engineer talent in the Philippines with some of the world’s leading and most innovative tech companies. Developers join to work from the Philippines as part of international engineering teams and grow their CV and skill-set.

We pride ourselves on being a supportive and cutting-edge workplace that continuously invests in staff development, engagement, and well-being. We provide security, and career paths, along with individual training programs and mentoring.

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8 Bad Developer Habits You Need To Ditch Right Now

February 16, 2024

Great, so you are now a software developer with competence in a couple of programming languages. The truth is, if you want to be a kick-ass tech professional, there are some habits you might need to drop, i.e., if you haven't ditched them already. On the one hand, some of these habits are part of the skills/methods you use in carrying out your software development work.

They may even be common among software development professionals. It's just that they may be the reason why you are working less efficiently or below expectations. On the other hand, these habits may not appear wrong or negative when it comes to your technical competence; however, they still affect your output as a software developer.

If you'd like to get better at your skill or even get the chance to be among the best, it's high time you broke those habits. Here are eight bad developer habits you need to ditch right now.

1. Blindly copying & pasting codes.

While software reuse should be part of every software developer's guiding principle, using another coder's work shouldn't include blindly copying and pasting what you don't completely understand. Now it's totally fine to copy.

The keyword here is "understand." In fact, if you've worked on a large software development project, jumping on other developers' written codes is bound to happen. But before you go ahead to copy, you still have to break it down and have that "Eureka" moment; otherwise, don't use it.

Programmers are fond of copying and pasting codes, which mostly happens at the rookie stage of coding. It saves time, right? But as you leave the junior developer level, you'll start to handle larger development projects. You have to start getting used to getting your hands dirty.

One of the reasons you should ditch the code copy and paste practice is that not every character present in the Unicode is precisely the same as the one visible on the screen. These are known as non-printing characters, which can get you stuck for a long time after copy and pasting, especially when you don't open the raw file to understand the code.

Furthermore, you may think you'll increase your productivity by copying and pasting. The sad reality is you may end wasting more time because you may duplicate bugs, which only makes matters worse. What's more, copying codes will still attract some slight modifications to make it fit into the new location you want it to function. Without a proper understanding of the original code, chances are you'll introduce more errors during the modifications to make the copied codes do what you want.

2. Assuming you understand the audience/end-user or how a product will be used.

This habit is more like being overconfident about how a software product will turn out in the market or how the users will react to it after release. It's one of the worst habits of developers. You have come up with a brilliant tech idea, that's great.

However, if you don't cover every possible scenario of the product's functional specification, chances are, the product will underperform. Meaning, you can prevent a tech product from reaching its full potential both from the customer satisfaction side and the profit-making side.

In the tech world, the typical scenario is that those bankrolling a software development project don't usually know too much about techs. So, that's why they bring in experts, i.e., developers, who should understand and anticipate customers' needs. That can't happen through assumption but by communication and researching the behavior and needs of the target audience. This way, you can introduce proper adjustments during the project's development in line with the users' needs.



3. Failing to test your code.

Another common habit among some coders is assuming that once a code compiles during writing, then it has to work. It's a habit that falls under the umbrella of overconfidence but also stems out of being lazy. The role of testing and continuous testing during the development of a product cannot be overemphasized, whether the product you are working on is large or small.

One of the reasons you need to continually test as you progress with a software project's design is because when you fix something, there's also chances you may have automatically broken something. Testing is a good software development practice, so it's no surprise that coders or developers who adopt more testing deliver more reliable jobs.

What's more, testing isn't just about ensuring your products work at the end. Good coders test for many possible outcomes and provide ready solutions. For example, users may run into unanticipated situations while using your software. This may include clicking a wrong key, accidentally shutting down their device during software usage.

4. Being too rigid.

One common complaint I’ve heard among team managers and tech employees is the rigidity of some new hires. Okay, so you are competent in JAVA, or you are an expert in mobile app development. Great, it's good that you have formed a niche for yourself. That doesn't mean you can't learn new tricks. Yes, you may have heard the saying "jack of all trade." The intention here is not to master every aspect of development; it's almost impossible to do that.

In fact, don't even have the idea you have "arrived" or become a master of any niche. The software development niche is one of the fastest-changing out there. Before a new programming language is fully utilized, another new one has hit the market. What's more, before you gain competency in a new way of applying the knowledge you have, another application is emerging.

Trust us, If you are going to be an excellent and competitive tech professional, being versatile is crucial. Ditch that "I know enough idea" and "I can handle this project this way without" bringing in something new.

Therefore, you'll do well to focus on continuous learning and development of your skills.  Knowing many programming languages in various applications will not only make you more resourceful, but you'll also increase your confidence and find it easy to take on a unique task, which could save time. If you are not ready to take up a new programming language, ensure you keep improving on the one you know.

What's more, if you are going to learn a new language, don't just pick a programming language that you like but don't find an application in the current market. It will help if you flow with current trends in the tech world. Therefore, try to strike a balance by developing yourself in an area that you like as well as a niche that is currently needed in the market.

5. Not Documenting everything.

This is another unconscious overconfident habit common among developers. You see, failing at documenting changes as you work or thinking you don't need to leave a clue/comment in your code for yourself and other coders can be a huge mistake. This is not college, where you can easily keep track of all your work, assignments, or projects by flipping through a couple of notes or checking your computer.

The professional tech environment is usually a fast-paced one. Trust me; it's easy to forget why you made a particular move in a software development process. You may get stuck trying to decipher why you introduced a simple modification, like a single line of code, into an entire program.

Therefore, not documenting is one habit you don't want to stick with in your journey to becoming an expert in the tech field. Every software developer should adopt a structured way of documenting not just for personal use but also for others who may need to jump on your written codes later.

If you are not very detailed in your work style, you could cause a serious setback in a major project and make a project a nightmare for your team. Remember, no one has a monopoly over coming up with a novel idea. The new tech idea you are thinking of now may also be another developer's creativity elsewhere. Therefore, speed might be one of your greatest advantages, i.e., arriving at the software market in time to claim the market share.

6. Writing large functions

I'm not sure if it's a way of proving "I'm now good at crunching codes," but this habit is more common with new developers and a few old ones. I know it's actually quite easy to get lost in writing codes, lines after lines, leading to large functions. The truth is, this practice usually ends up making your codes difficult to read. Always remember, you are not writing codes for yourself alone. Another software developer will likely reuse your work, especially if you are working for a tech organization.

What's more, long-winded codes reduce the number of quality codes that can be reused. It also makes testing quite difficult. Altogether, you are only making work more difficult for yourself and others. A "function" in a program should achieve one thing. Once you start making it do more, you are just making it complex, causing it to lose focus. That's said, the shorter the code, the better.

You'll do well to keep in mind and maintain the mentality of quality and readability as you crunch in codes. Don't get us wrong; we’re not saying writing long codes is forbidden when you want to design softwares. As long as it's readable for everyone (other coders or your colleagues) and it doesn't make testing a nightmare, then that's fine.

However, don't consciously or unconsciously make your codes longer than they should be, especially when they could be shorter. Circumvent unnecessary and ambiguous characters. Also, you might want to avoid deep nesting just because you want long codes more organized. You’ll only end up making it harder for other developers to read

7. Asking for help is a sign of weakness.

This habit is not part of a developer's technical skill, but it's a habit that could mar your work. No one is an island, so there's no point trying to figure it all out by yourself. You started school to learn, and you certainly didn't get where you are all by yourself from the cradle.

So what could be wrong with asking for help with coding? It isn't a sign that you're weak or you didn't achieve it all by yourself. In fact, it's one of the smartest things to do because you'll be learning something new.

Perhaps, you are a solo developer, and you are working on the next best app without the risk of letting anyone else in on your "big secret,"? If so, you don't have to find all the solutions on your own. While you could do that, it's not an efficient way of working. You'll end up spending more time finishing what you could have accomplished quicker.

Remember, we mentioned earlier that speed is a great advantage in the tech world. If you don't arrive at the software market early enough, a similar product from another developer may beat you to it. At the end of the day, it's all about making money. So, don't avoid reaching out, and don't be afraid of being turned down too.

8. Working Too Many Hours.

We get it, you want to achieve greater speed. And yes, the project has to be completed in time as you want to save money and avoid somebody else beating you to it. The truth is, there's more to life than coding. When you work too many hours without adopting breaks, you'll not only risk breaking down, both mentally and physically, you may also affect the quality of your project.

A fresh eye after engaging in your hobby has proved effective in becoming more creative. Furthermore, attend to your health by adopting exercise and investing in other relationships than your programming language. Trust us, a good work-life balance has a way of impacting your productivity positively.

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