We all aspire to become great programmers. Great programmers behind successful products such as Google AdSense, Oracle Database, Mac OS etc. but what does it take to get there? Are you showing any signs of a promising great programmer? These 7 warning will raise the red flag for you if you are guilty. you_are_coding_it_wrong

1. Warning: You fail to plan before you start coding

We have all heard the saying “Failing to plan is planning to fail”. Almost all projects start as simple ideas. It’s very tempting to go directly into the code. All works well then the user asks for feature x, y and z. You add the new features and soon discovered you need to integrate feature m with feature y and drop feature c. but wait a minute, feature z is needed and depends on feature c?

2. Warning: You fail to use software version control

In 2009, Mark shipped the first version of the ERP software. By mid-2010, he was half way working on the features for version 2. One of the most valuable clients calls and asks for new features to version one and can’t wait for version two to be out. The client writes a fat cheque for the company that Mark works for and Mark is told to add the new feature?Mark thinking to himself: But wait a minute, where is the source code for version one of the ERP software? I think the cat ate my source code

3. Warning: You’re lazy on the keyboard. You prefer e_id as a variable name instead of employee_id

We have all been there, management and the marketing department promised the release of version 13 the killer ERP software by the end of this month. Customers made pre orders and can’t wait to start using the new software. Pressure is mounting on you to finish early. What do you do? You take coding shortcuts and abbreviate as much as you can.

4. Warning: You repeat yourself. Write a function that does routine work then copy and paste it in multiple files

It was supposed to be a simple application for connecting to the database. The user asks for a single addition window that requires database connectivity too. Its only one more window you say to yourself. So you copy and paste the function. Then another simple request comes in and you do the same.

5. Warning: You struggle to read you own code after three months

So finally the HR department approves your leave and you take that long vacation to Paris and return after a month. You spend the next two months doing other works and suddenly you are required to update code you worked on three months ago. Wait a minute, I didn’t write this code. If I did then I would remember the code.

6. Warning: You are selfish with your code. You don’t want to share your solutions with others

Google search rocks, stackoverflow has great answers. Posts on LinkedIn have helped me a great deal but C# 6 just got released and people are struggling to find feature x. You have found it. Have you shared how to find it with those who are asking how to?

7. Warning: You work on multiple projects at the same time.

Do you usually have more than one more project open at the same time? Working on the ERP software in Java and a payroll program in C# etc.

The Moment of Truth

are_you_a_bad_programmer We are all guilty till proven innocent. If you answered yes to the above question then read the following article Cant’s keep up? 7 ways to make yourself a better programmer?Update 2015-06-29: 7 Warning: You work on multiple projects at the same time has stirred good debate. A follow up article has been published that clarifies what the warning means.The Skeptic’s Guide to Multitasking. Multitask smarter

Take action now

Is there an honest programmer here, share via the comments section. Which warnings are you guilty of? Kode Blog is dedicated to making you a better programmer. Get free programming tips, tutorials and articles by subscribing to our bi-weekly newsletter below. We promise not to spam and you. Happy coding and sharing!