Oops !!!!!! Common mistakes we as a developer make.

 Throughout my career i have worked with people that had immense knowledge and skills. They were quite passionate about their work.In other terms we can say “Good Resources”. But the thing that got me thinking were the below activities and behaviors in them.

  1. Working extra hours and weekends.
  2. Shouting on the fellow developers.
  3. Getting panicked at the time of delivery.
  4. Inability in mapping business requirements to the product they are designing.
  5. A large number of bugs in the product of the so called efficient resources.

I know most of the people that know me and worked with me must know that these kind of behavior have been observed in me too.I thought of sharing mistakes that i made and a few that people working with me made,so we are aware of them and do not make them.

We always focus on learning new things, new technologies, new ways to pacify our development. This is just fine and is expected from us.
But your first step should be to remove your inefficiency, it will surely help you grow beyond your limits.

Mistake 1 – Hiding your mistakes.

Once i was working on a critical project, it was a seven day task. I worked for 2 days.
And then come my OOPS ! – I was trying to commit the code, do not know how but the code got overwritten.There were two ways before me -telling everything to my manager or working extra hours, writing all the code again.
I opted for the option that most of we will opt, second one and below were the complications

  1. Working under pressure for next 5 days.
  2. Compromising with code quality just to cover up my mistake as soon as possible.
  3. Missing a lot of requirements in hurry.
  4. Skipping testing.

In case i would have admitted my mistake, my manager would have helped me. He could have assigned someone with me for my help. May he would have helped recover my code or even borrowed some time for me.

Golden Words : “We all make mistakes but hiding your mistake is the biggest mistake.”

So never hide your mistakes, even if you deleted complete database. There are ways to recover from disasters, its just that when you are the cause sometimes you cannot think of them, because of so called guilt feeling.

Mistake 2 – Giving in your best between 5:00 pm to 6 :00 pm.

People come to office in the morning and normally what they do is check their mobile, email and other messages. On most of the days someone has either debited their credit card without delivering some product, or the mobile network vendor has billed them with wrong amount. So they would immediately call the call center and start talking. In short most of the time we spend the best working hours on one or other less important things. Because they think they have all the day for work. Also below are a few things that we normally decide to do in the last working hour.

  1. Deployment
  2. Testing
  3. Status Email for the client

These things should not be done in the last hours because these are the most critical things, and failing in these has direct impact on application and are more visible to client.

Golden Words : “Spend the morning time on the most critical task or on the tasks where you think you are less efficient as they require more effort and concentration.”

Mistake 3 – Working in same shift as your team.

Sometimes leading a team puts you in a role where you need to assign task to your team, test and review their codes, communicate the status of work to the stakeholder. Plus you have to make sure you meet all the deliverable. Most of the time you will face below issues.

  1. Your team waiting for you to assign work to them, but you still have to decide what to assign.
  2. Just when you were going to end the day and testing the application you got to know that someone from your team failed to understand the requirement. So you need to stay and fix everything.

Either you should come two hours before or leave two hours later whatever suits you, make sure you spend two hours without the team so that you can plan for them. It will help you with the 6 hours that you have to spend helping the team.

Golden Words : “When you are managing a team be a manager not a baby sitter.”

Mistake 4 – Focusing on just development.

One common problem is that we never spend time understanding the business value of the product. We just focus on the code and development activities. Here comes my OOPS ! . Once i was working with a very prestigious client. He sent me a document. I went through it and made notes how i will build the application. In a conference call i was discussing a few requirements with him. I told him that we will use cutting edge technologies. We will focus on security and performance. He started discussing a business logic with me and i was just blank. He told me Mr. Singh please understand this as a user first and then may be you will develop it in a better way. Lack of ability to view the application as a end user can lead to following problems.

  1. You cannot add value to a system.
  2. You will always be dependent on the stakeholder for the requirements.
  3. The moment you will not understand the instructions you will fail to meet the requirement.

Golden Words : “Understand as user, Develop as a developer, Test as a user.”

Mistake 5 – Just Done, Just Done, Just Done.

Sometime we get stuck in some issue. We spend hours and hours on it because all the time we think that it is just going to resolved.
Do not stress out your mind fighting with some issue continuously. Discuss it with someone, go out for a walk, have a cup of tea.

Golden Words : “I resolved my most critical programming problems not by sitting in front of computer but by looking at the sky,
sitting in pantry with friends. Most of the problems get resolved in breaks rather than working hours.”

Mistake 6 – Using the Silver bullet and the Golden Hammer.

Silver Bullet – At times we assume that our favorite solution can solve every problem even if the problem is much more complex than the one that were addressed by us in the past.

Golden Hammer – At times we assume that our favorite solution is applicable everywhere.

I had been using my Silver Bullets and Golden Hammers a lot, and failed a number of times. The moment i looked for better weapons i became a better fighter.

Golden Words : “There are methodologies better then you used, there are codes better then you wrote, there are ideas better then you thought. But you are not going to find until you believe that they exist. “

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