Software development

Making mistakes: Introduction

All developers will eventually make their share of mistakes during their careers, and that’s OK. We all learn from defeat and evolve through experience. Naturally, the bigger portion of that process will happen at the very beginning when everything is new and exiting, and we tend to bite off more than we can chew. Most mistakes are temporary flaws in our skill set and will be ironed out quickly while we learn. But there is the other kind that is a little harder to shake, mostly because they are harder to figure out or are just hiding well enough.

That last kind is the one I find the most interesting and the most dangerous, which is why I’d like to talk about it for a bit. I had expected this to be a quick one post topic, but it turns out to be a lot more complex. So complex in fact that I have decided to split it into a series of posts. This way I can just add a new post to the series when needed while not alienating any readers with super long reads. It also helps in creating a good number of initial posts to get this blog started, which isn’t so bad either.

This series is intended to list a bunch of mistakes that I have made during my own career as a software developer. But as indicated, I really want to talk about those nasty ones that kept eluding me. I want to talk about the little ones with serious consequences and the big and obvious ones hiding in plain sight. I have hopes that this may guide newcomers to our trade to steer clear of some murky waters.

The plan is to have one specific mistake in each post of this series. I will try and outline both how it is made and how it may be mitigated. I will also describe a range of possible consequences that can be expected, along with the consequences I faced when I fell for it. That being said, the biggest mistake anyone can make is pretending to not make mistakes.

  • Part 1: Don’t code in secrecy, publish what you’ve got!
  • Part 2: Clean all your binaries before doing something important.
  • Part 3: Never underestimate a coder’s pride.
  • Part 4: Don’t ever create your own BCL.

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