9 tips & techniques to rock as a Junior developer.
It's no secret that starting your journey as a junior developer can be soul-crushing. To give you an extra boost and elevate your coding game, we've put together a list of 9 tips and famous techniques to help you write code more efficiently.
All you need is to dig in and start codin’!
#1. Start with a plan: Before you start coding, ensure you clearly understand what you're trying to achieve and how you will do it. Starting with a plan will help you write more efficient code and avoid unnecessary work. Planning before you start coding is critical to writing efficient and effective code. It helps ensure that your code meets all the requirements, is easy to maintain and debug, and reduces the chances of running into roadblocks during the development process. Here are three methods you can use to plan what you want to code:
Outline your code: Start by writing down the steps you need to take to achieve your desired outcome. Doing so will clarify your thoughts and ensure you take all crucial steps. Outlining your code can also help you identify any potential roadblocks before you start coding, so you can address them upfront.
Mind mapping: Mind mapping is a visual tool that allows you to create a diagram of your code structure. This technique is beneficial for more complex coding projects as it gives you a visual representation of your code and helps you to see how all the different elements fit together.
Prototyping: Prototyping is a technique where you create a simple, rough draft of your code to see how it works. This method allows you to test your ideas and get a feel for how your code will look and behave before you invest much time into writing it. Prototyping also allows you to make necessary adjustments to your code before you start coding.
#2. Keep it simple: When writing code, less is often more. Try to write code that is simple, concise, and easy to read. There are two well-known techniques for writing code that is simple, concise, and easy to read:
Keep it simple, silly (KISS): The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. This principle applies to code as well. When writing code, strive to make it simple. Use straightforward and unambiguous language that is easy to understand and aims to avoid complicated and complex code structures.
DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself): DRY is a programming principle that states that code should be reusable and avoid repetition. Repetitive code is harder to maintain, so aim to write code that is as concise as possible and avoids duplication. Instead of writing code that repeats the same logic multiple times, create reusable functions and libraries throughout your codebase. Doing so will make it easier to manage and maintain your code in the future.
#3. Use comments: Comments can be a great way to explain what your code does, why you did it that way, and how it fits into the overall project.
In-Line Comments: to explain specific lines of code, use In-line comments. They are placed directly after the line of code and are typically denoted by a double forward slash (//) in most programming languages.
Block Comments: Block comments are used to explain larger blocks of code and can span multiple lines. A forward slash typically denotes them and an asterisk (/*) at the start of the comment and an asterisk and a forward slash (*/) at the end of the comment.
Documentation Comments: Documentation comments provide documentation for code used outside of the development team, such as by library users or API users. A specific syntax typically denotes them in the programming language, such as /** in Java.
Header Comments: Header comments provide an overview of the entire file or module of code. They are typically placed at the top of the file and provide information such as the author, the creation date, and a code description.
Todo Comments: Todo comments flag areas in the code that need further attention or work. They're denoted by a specific keyword, such as "Todo" or "Fixme", followed by a task description.
#4. Write reusable code: Instead of writing code from scratch every time, try to reuse code you've already written. Reusable code can be easily reused in other projects or parts of the same task without making any significant changes. It's important because it saves you time and effort and helps you maintain consistency in your work. Plus, it makes your code more flexible and versatile so that you can adapt it to different situations and requirements. But the benefits of writing reusable code go beyond saving time and effort. It also makes your code easier to maintain since you don't have to rewrite the same thing repeatedly. And it makes your code more organized and efficient since you can build on previous work and streamline your coding process. So next time you're working on a project, think about how you can make your code reusable. It's a small investment that will pay off big in the long run!
Write Functions: Functions are small blocks of code that you can use multiple times in your project. They allow you to encapsulate a specific task and call it whenever needed.
Use Modules: Modules are collections of functions and other code you can import into your project. You can create your modules or use modules created by others to save time and reduce the amount of code you need to write.
Create Objects: Objects are reusable components containing data and functions. You can create objects in many programming languages, and they are a great way to organize your code and reuse functionality.
Use Design Patterns: Design patterns are proven solutions to common coding problems. Using design patterns, you can write easy-to-understand and reuse code.
Refactor Your Code: Refactoring is restructuring existing code to make it more efficient and reusable. It involves breaking down complex code into smaller, more manageable pieces and reorganizing it to make it easier to maintain.
#5. Stay organized: Clear code organization is vital to efficient coding. Use meaningful variable names, keep functions and classes organized, and use clear, concise code blocks.
Use descriptive names: Give your variables, functions, and classes descriptive names that reflect their purpose. It will make it easier to understand what your code is doing at a glance, and it also makes it easier to find the code you're looking for.
Break code into modular pieces: Breaking your code into smaller, reusable components makes it easier to maintain and update. This process is known as writing modular code, and it's an essential aspect of good code organization.
Keep it visually organized: Whether you're using white space, indentation, or comments, it's essential to keep your code visually organized so that it's easy to read and understand.
Use a project management tool: Project management tools can help you keep track of your code and stay organized. From tracking issues and bugs to keeping your codebase organized, these tools can help you stay on top of your code and ensure you deliver quality code every time.
#6. Test as you go: Don't wait until the end of a project to start testing your code. Write test cases and debug as you go. Testing as you go will help you find and fix problems before they become bigger problems.
Test-Driven Development (TDD): This method involves writing tests for your code before you write the code itself. By writing tests first, you ensure that your code meets the requirements and works as expected.
Continuous Integration (CI): CI is a software engineering practice where code changes are automatically built and tested, allowing developers to catch bugs early in the development process. By using CI, you can quickly identify problems in your code and address them before they become more significant issues.
Automated Testing: Automated testing tools allow you to run tests on your code without requiring manual intervention. These tools can save time and ensure that your tests are consistent and reliable.
Pair Programming: Pair programming involves two developers working together on the same codebase. This method can be highly efficient because you can catch bugs as they occur and have a second pair of eyes to help identify issues. Additionally, pair programming can help you develop better coding habits and improve the overall quality of your code.
#7. Take breaks: this is an easy one. Coding can be mentally draining, so taking breaks and stepping away from the computer when necessary is crucial. Always beneficial to avoid burnout and come back to coding with fresh eyes. #8. Use the right tools: Many tools can help you write more efficient code. Select the best tools for you and your project, and use them to your advantage.
Visual Studio Code - code editor with built-in debugging and Git integration
Git - version control system for tracking code changes and collaborating with others
ESLint - static code analysis tool for identifying and fixing code issues
Prettier - code formatter for consistent code style and formatting
Pytest: A popular, full-featured testing framework for Python
NUnit: A popular open-source testing framework for .NET applications
TestNG: A testing framework for Java that provides advanced features like data-driven testing and parallel test execution. Or Mockito, a Java library for creating mock objects, can be helpful in testing and verifying the behavior of your code.
TestFactory: A testing library for Apex that makes it easy to create and run tests for your code.
CSSLint: A linting tool for CSS that helps you catch and fix common mistakes in your code.
npm - package manager for installing and managing libraries and dependencies.
#9. Learn from others: Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help or look to others for inspiration. The coding community is full of amazing developers who are always willing to share their knowledge and help others become better coders.
Attend Meetups: Whether it's a local programming meetup, a hackathon, or a coding workshop, these events are great opportunities to connect with other coders and learn from each other. Plus, they're often a lot of fun!
Join Online Communities: There are tons of online forums, Reddit communities, and Discord channels dedicated to specific programming languages, technologies, and projects. Joining these communities is a great way to get answers to your questions, share your knowledge, and connect with other coders worldwide.
r/learnprogramming: This community is an excellent place for beginners to ask questions and share their work. Members are friendly and supportive and are always willing to offer advice and guidance.
r/coding: This community is for coders of all levels and focuses on programming in various languages and platforms. It's a great place to get advice on best practices, find new resources, and connect with other coders.
Coders' Cafe: This channel is a great place to connect with coders from around the world, share your work, ask for feedback, and find new resources.
The Coding Hub: This channel is a community of coders and developers who share their knowledge, help each other with projects, and discuss the latest trends in the industry.
Follow Influential Coders: Follow coders on social media, subscribe to their blogs, and check out their GitHub profiles. You'll learn a lot from their code and the projects they work on, and you may even get to collaborate with them on a project.
Jess Lee (@jesskah) - Jess Lee is a software engineer and open-source contributor. She is a Stanford graduate and a PM with Google Maps. She is actively sharing her thoughts on Twitter and coding, diversity in tech, and her experiences as a woman in the tech industry.
Aria Bendix (@ariabendix) - Aria Bendix is a software engineer and tech writer. She is active on Twitter and writes about technology, coding, and women in tech. She also provides insights and advice to aspiring coders and developers.
Kent Beck (@kentbeck) Kent is a software developer and consultant best known for his work on the Agile software development methodology. He's a thought leader in the industry and always shares his insights on coding and best practices on Twitter.
Uncle Bob Martin (@unclebobmartin) - Bob is a software consultant and a reliable resource on Twitter for coders looking to improve their skills and learn about best practices in the industry.
Pair Programming: Pair programming is a software development technique where two programmers work together at one workstation. One programmer writes the code, while the other provides feedback, suggestions, and guidance. Pairing is a great way to learn from someone with more experience and get real-time feedback on your code.
Get Involved in Open-Source Projects: Contributing to open-source projects is a great way to build your skills and give back to the community. You'll work with other coders on real-world projects and may even get noticed by potential employers!
Bonus: here's a short list of blogs to follow.
And much more (complete list here).