10 pieces of advice for new developers

by Charlie Harris

We asked Twitter "What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you when you started writing code?". Here are the 10 most popular responses:

That you can find and fix any bug as long as you're being methodical: come up with a hypothesis, come up with a way to test it, refine the hypothesis, repeat.

Dan Abramov (@dan_abramov) July 3, 2018

Also that if you try to randomly move lines trying to make the code work, you need to take a step back and improve your understanding (or slice the problem into different pieces that don’t require keeping 10 things in your head at once)

Dan Abramov (@dan_abramov) July 3, 2018

For those just learning to code now- remember when you were learning to drive? You had to think about everything constantly- but eventually the car became an extension of yourself. That's how it will be. You will eventually have muscle memory built into many tasks. Stick with it.

Sarah Drasner (@sarah_edo) April 3, 2018

Writing code is important, but it doesn't matter nearly as much as the people you're building it with and for.

Kent C. Dodds (@kentcdodds) July 3, 2018

Don’t get discouraged by not understanding documentation. Reading materials like these is a skill that will grow over time and you need to have compassion for yourself while you build the necessary technical vocabulary.

Paige (@P_A_McKenzie) July 4, 2018

For me it would be “build your way forward.” Don’t get stuck because you can’t build the perfect thing you have in your head yet. Build a crappy version 1. Learn. Build a crappy version 2. Learn. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Soon enough, your versions won’t be crappy at all.

Kyle Shevlin (@kyleshevlin) July 3, 2018

Most of the code you write will end up in the trashcan sooner or later. Don't get frustrated by that, focus in the things you learned while writing it.

Alex Wittmann (@Sally__Paradise) July 3, 2018

Don’t overengineer things. Write easy to follow well documented code. If you come back to your own code 6 months later, it should be easy to pick up. Don’t start “Don’t Repeat Yourself” refactoring too early. It’s better to have duplicate code which is easy to refactor

Leon Radley (@LeonRadley) July 3, 2018

This advice from my mentor really stuck with me: "Nobody knows what they are doing. The best developers are the ones that accept it and still kick-ass"

Charlie Harris (@_charlie_harris) July 3, 2018