If you don’t make mistakes, you’re not working on hard enough problems. And that’s a big mistake. ~F. Wikzek
It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something. ~Ornette Coleman
While one person hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior. ~Henry C. Link
I consider myself lucky, in every place of work I had a mentor that helped me improve and taught me something that made me a better software developer.
Looking back I realize that most of what I’ve learnt I learnt because I made a mistake and someone was able to catch it and show me how to do a better job.
Not all software developers have the benefit of a mentor, either because they work alone or because their code doesn’t get reviewed or simply because no such person exist in their place of work.
In order to become a better software developer one needs to learn how to do so by himself. Reading blogs is one possibility as well as learning from mistakes others already made.
I have two sites I read daily that show mistakes and errors done by others and over time I’ve leant quite a lot from them:
- The Daily WTF – I really enjoy reading this site, It has coding errors and funny stories about our industry. It taught me a lot on what not to do as well as common pitfalls in software projects.
- Unmaintainable code – an extensive glossary of how not to write good code. Just read it and do the exact opposite.
Both sites are a good resource of mistakes done (over and over) during code development that can be avoided by understanding the reason they were made and why we shouldn’t do them again.