Bad Habits of Programmers
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11 Bad Habits of Programmers

8 min read

We all have both good and bad habits. Programming habits are no exception to this. There is no set of rules on how a programmer should program. So, that’s fine, if your own style of programming. But your style can have good and bad habits which you need to identify to change yourself for the better. When you start identifying your bad habits, you need to work on those habits.

You cannot change your future; but, you can change your habits, and surely your habits will change your future.Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

As we said earlier, there is no definite rulebook of habits for a programmer, but we’ve spotted some of the behaviors that hinder the progress of a programmer so you should avoid them. Take note of these so you can change yourself for the better.

  1. Quitting too soon

    Sometimes programmers give up too easily. When you’re already overwhelmed, it’s easy to talk yourself into giving up. But giving up/quitting easily could cause you to miss out on success. Many programmers get so close to a solution, only to give up right before they’re about to solve the problem. So as a programmer, you shouldn’t quit too soon instead try hard and smart to solve the problem.

  2. Act defensively

    Defensiveness is an impulsive and reactive mode of responding to a situation or conversation. Often programmers want to protect themselves, and that can lead to defensive behavior. Whereas the best habit is to have an open and straightforward conversation about the code you’ve written and how it can be improved.

  3. Can’t work under pressure

    The ability to work under pressure demands dealing with constraints which are often outside of your control. The possible reasons could be the difficulty of the task, having inadequate knowledge required to finish the task or any unforeseen circumstances. As a programmer, when you face a similar kind of scenario, you need to stay calm and get the job done.

  4. Hesitate to learn from own mistakes

    You’ve heard everywhere that don’t be afraid to make mistakes. That’s right, learn to be a doer without any hesitation. But when you make mistakes, you need to start learning from your own mistakes. Refusing to learn from your mistakes will cause you to repeat them. Rather accept your mistakes and try not to repeat them.

  5. Not knowing how to optimize code.

    Code optimization is any method of code modification to improve your code quality and efficiency. The reason why it is necessary is that the optimized code becomes smaller in size, consumes less memory and executes faster. Sometimes, it is best if you know how to optimize code especially when performance issues arise and you need to troubleshoot what is taking extra time.

  6. Using the wrong tool for the job.

    Many times we hear from programmers, ‘this is what I know’ or ‘I don’t know how to use that tool’. We’ve seen many of them who lack the knowledge to use the right tool to finish the task efficiently. For instance, when you have powerful editors available, instead of learning to use them, you may be still using the one which is outdated. Another example is you can use Grammarly if you are not sure of your grammar or English while writing emails. Basically, get the knowledge of various tools available in the market and which to use when!

  7. Copy-pasting code blindly

    As a programmer, the first thing we learn is to use source code already available over the internet. And we’re not against that. Reusing code is the smartest thing you can do. But not every time! Nowadays, every programmer is fond of Stack Overflow, Quora, etc. You can use the code from other sites if you don’t know how to do it or want to save time. But, before pasting the code, at least understand the code and how it works.

  8. Working late nights

    Most of the programmers are night owls, they would prefer to work at night. They find it easy to work at night because they can be alone without any distractions or meetings. And they even can feel more productive during late-night hours. But feeling productive and being actually productive are two different things. When your biological clock is out of sync, you will feel terrible and if it continues, then it might create negative self-reinforcing cycles of burnout, depression, sicknesses, etc. Instead, take a good sleep on time and be refreshed, energized, productive and focused during the day.

  9. Don’t spend time to document the code

    Usually, programmers focus on writing code and miss to write any inline comments that explain the code. They think it’s a waste of time and can be done later on. But this causes technical debt and is the main hindrance to onboarding a new developer onto the current project. Therefore, put extra effort into documenting the code.

  10. Over-engineer simple problems

    Over-engineering is one of the most unpleasant things some programmers tend to do. Over-engineering in general means making the code more complex or complicated than is necessary. It can lead to code that is being designed to be so generic that it loses sight of the main task that it was initially designed to perform. Therefore it becomes not only hard to use but also critically unintelligent. So, when coding, try to follow KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid!). Only if needed, then only perform the refactoring. Otherwise, getting the right balance to the code i.e. easy to understand & easy to change, is just enough!

  11. Directly jumping onto the coding

    First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.John Johnson

    When developing a solution, you have two options. You can either start coding right away or you can sit calmly and start thinking about how it needs to work, and what could be the possible solution, etc. It seems exciting at first to rush directly into coding, however, this can take up a lot of your time later when you need to revise or rewrite the code. Any code needs to be planned first before you begin. You should know what you need to do and how you plan on doing it.

Programming isn't about what you know; it's about what you can figure out.Chris Pine

It’s hard to be a disciplined programmer and even harder if we don't realize what we need to be doing, can undermine our work. As of now, just pay attention to these behaviors and try to adapt those in your programming habits, once it becomes a pattern in you, you will automatically know that it all works best for you.

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