6 common mistakes developers make and how to get rid of them

Arnaud Lachaume
Cica-Laure MBappéLink to author's LinkedIn profile
September 17, 2021
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We collected commons mistakes developers use to make, regardless of their professional experience. Read on.

Table of Content

Nobody’s perfect. Even if we do our best to provide good quality work, we just bump into some messy errors and unexpected omissions. A lot of reasons could explain these (and usually do).  Let’s look at a list of some crunchy ones and how to prevent a catastrophe.

common mistakes of developers

1. Not updating data protection

A highly sensitive subject here. In the past few years, security and data privacy have been crucial matters for everybody, including software engineers. 

According to a survey conducted by JetBrain, 91% of developers are concerned about how their data is collected and used, and 49% of them take steps to make sure it remains private.

If you don’t have a security engineer working with you, you have to handle security on top of everything else on your plate. And the common mistake that developers make is not to update their security stack. 

Cybercriminals are improving their strategies every day to hijack or destroy your data, so you have to make sure you assess your vulnerabilities regularly and see if there’s anything affordable you can do to boost your data protection. 

2. Start coding without planning

Sometimes, developers are so eager to start a project that they forget about the basics. 


Take time to design your project, step by step. Set your goals, think about your implementation, plan each milestone and use a project management tool to estimate your project deadline. It will go a great length to prevent mistakes and manage the unexpected if it arises.

3. Bad time estimates for development.

It’s possible that you do not take into account all the aspects of your missions and only provide estimates based on your development. 

Well, coding is not just coding. 

You may have meetings, tests, and analysis time that can add up to your development process. Break down your work into milestones and if you can, estimate your work in days and not hours. And don’t forget to add a little buffer - it could come very handy in case of unexpected surprise, and if you don’t use it, well - you’ll just be the star of the show delivering ahead of time!

4. Lack of knowledge about the business

This is especially true for freelancers that are taking gigs from various sectors. Sometimes they don’t take the time to do their background research about the company they’re working with and the business challenges of the sector. 

Take time to acknowledge the business environment and don’t forget to ask your client about their goals, this will highly help you deliver fit-to-market software.

5. Ignoring the documentation

Ok, we know, documentation is not always up to date, but when it is, please do bother to read it! 

We see so many developers that run projects without reading the documentation. It can end up generating errors and a considerable waste of time… 

Plus - think about your peers who wrote the documentation. Nobody likes doing it. But when someone has extended the effort to do it (and sometimes even do it well!), share a bit of love and appreciation ;)

6. Looking for help

The pure goal of a software developer is to find solutions (save the world with JavaScript?) So when a problem occurs or something you just don’t know about comes up, it’s becoming an obsession to solve it on your own. This is a very commendable approach and most of the time, it works. 

However, if you feel really stuck, do not hesitate to cry for help. Your ego might take a bit of a bruising, but don’t worry - that heals pretty quickly! If you don’t have any superior or co-workers, the developer’s community is very supportive and you’ll always find someone nice willing to help. 

There you are. These mistakes happen regularly, don’t they? And we’re pretty sure you know all about them, and you try to avoid them. But, we’re only humans after all, so keeping them in mind might help. Just follow the best practices in your software development fields and you are good to go - at least you minimize your chances of a critical mistake!
Do you have other common mistakes in mind? Share them with us on Twitter.

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