The Most Common Mistakes New Software Engineers Make

If you're just starting out in the world of software engineering, you're about to embark on an incredible journey. You're joining a community of innovative individuals who are constantly pushing the limits and redefining what's possible. But before you dive in headfirst, there are a few pitfalls you'll want to avoid. In this article, we will explore some of the most common mistakes new software engineers make and how you can avoid them.

1. Neglecting the basics

Are you eager to start building your own app or website? That's great, but don't forget about the basics. Before you can dive into the cool stuff, you need to have a solid foundation in programming concepts such as variables, data types, loops, and functions. Failing to understand these fundamental concepts will make it difficult for you to build complex applications.

2. Not testing their code

We get it, writing tests isn't as exciting as building out new features. But trust us, it's just as important. Skipping out on testing your code can lead to long nights of trying to track down pesky bugs that could have easily been caught with a few well-placed tests. Writing tests as you write your code can help you catch issues early on and ensure the reliability of your application.

3. Overcomplicating things

As a new software engineer, it's easy to get caught up in the idea of building something grand and complex. But oftentimes, the simplest solutions are the best ones. Don't try to reinvent the wheel when there's a more straightforward approach available. Focus on producing something functional that solves the problem you're trying to solve, instead of trying to make it the most impressive piece of software ever created.

4. Not seeking out feedback

It's important to remember that you're not in this alone. There's a whole community of software engineers out there who are eager to help you improve. Don't be afraid to ask for feedback on your code or ask a colleague to review your work. Receiving constructive feedback early on can help you improve your programming skills and catch any mistakes you might have overlooked.

5. Not being open to learning new things

The software engineering industry is constantly evolving, and as a new software engineer, you need to be open to learning new things. Don't get too attached to a particular language or framework. Instead, focus on developing a strong foundation of programming skills that will allow you to adapt to new technologies and frameworks as they emerge.

6. Avoiding source control

Version control is an essential tool for any software engineering project. It allows you to track changes to your code, work collaboratively on a project, and revert to previous versions if something goes wrong. Ignoring source control can lead to lost work and make it difficult for you to collaborate with others.

7. Not documenting their code

As a software engineer, it's your responsibility to ensure that your code is easy to understand and maintain. Writing good documentation can help future developers better understand how your program works and make it easier for them to maintain or modify it. Don't be shy about commenting your code and providing clear documentation on how your program works.

8. Not collaborating with others

Building software is often a team effort, and as a new software engineer, you need to learn how to work effectively with others. This includes learning how to use collaboration tools like Git and working effectively with other team members. Avoiding collaboration can lead to misunderstandings, inefficiencies, and a less productive team.

9. Not prioritizing security

Security is an essential consideration for any software engineering project. Failing to prioritize security can lead to data breaches, compromised systems, and other serious consequences. Don't skimp on security measures like password hashing, secure API calls, and applying security patches to your frameworks and libraries.

10. Forgetting about user experience

At the end of the day, the success of your software depends on the experience of your users. Don't forget that your application is designed for people, not machines. Focus on creating a user-friendly experience that meets the needs of your users and makes their lives easier. This means paying attention to details like user interface design, ease of use, and accessibility.


Becoming a software engineer is a challenging but rewarding path. By avoiding these common mistakes, you can set yourself up for success and create great software that makes a real difference in people's lives. Remember to prioritize the basics, embrace collaboration, and stay open to learning new things. With these tips in mind, you'll be on the right path to becoming an exceptional software engineer.

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