As a beginner developer, improving your code skills is probably one of your top priorities. But where do you start? With so much information out there, it can be tough to know which techniques are worth learning and which ones will actually help you write better code.
In this blog post, we’ll share 10 beginner-friendly techniques that will help you write better code – right away. So if you’re ready to take your coding skills to the next level, keep reading! 1. Start with a plan
One of the best ways to write better code is to start with a plan. Before you start coding, take a few minutes to think about what you want your code to do.
Don’t just jump into writing code because you think you know what needs to be done. Take some time to really understand the problem at hand. What are the inputs and outputs?
What are the expected results?
What are the steps involved in getting from one to the other?
What data structures will you need?
Are there any edge cases that need to be considered?
Answering these questions before you start coding can help you avoid getting lost in rabbit holes for hours or days. It gives you a chance to solidify your mental conceptualization of how the project will work, validate it against any clear leaps of magical thinking, and develop a set of test cases to check your work against as you go.
Winging it can be fun (and often tempting) but this approach doesn’t need to box you in constrictive ways or take up hours of time. Even a few minutes sketching a diagram on paper before you fire up your editor will pay outsized dividends.
Developing a clear understanding of what needs to be done enables you to turn your idea into a concrete plan. Even if the high-level program structure you develop isn’t perfect (and let your inner perfectionist off the hook — it won’t be!), you’ll find the resulting code easier to read and the complexity of extending the code much more manageable.
And while your code will be cleaner, you’ll really benefit the most from countless hours saved on problems that could’ve been avoided if you’d identified a few unknowns and laid out the plan. That’s countless hours gained to tackle more advanced problems and develop skills that benefit you and your career. Tips for developing a high-level plan
> Develop a clear understanding of the problem you’re trying to solve. Before you start coding, take some time to think about what you want your code to do in order to solve that problem. Write pseudocode before you start coding. Pseudocode is code that isn’t quite real code yet. It’s useful for sketching out the structure of your code without getting bogged down in the details. Draw a diagram. Visualizing the problem can help you better understand what needs to be done and how the different pieces fit together. Check your work. Once you have a plan, […]