5 Mistakes I Wish I Didn't Make As A Self-Taught Developer

Focus on multiple technologies at a time


Abdul Basit

3 years ago | 3 min read

Long story short, I did my bachelor in Mechanical Engineering, during my bachelor, I got interested in programming. Now I work as a MERN Stack developer in a well-established company.

When I look at a year or two ago, I realize I could do some things even better. I don't regret my choices, because this is something that has passed, but I don't want newbies to repeat the same mistakes.

Mistake#1. Rushing, not understanding things

I, being a self-taught programmer, loved the increasing green color of the course progress bar! To me, it felt like recognition or achievement of getting things done. I was curious enough to study multiple topics in one sitting. I was in a rush to learn all, apart from the fact, was it even worth it to learn in such a hurry?

Don't rush! If you have studied a concept, practice it. Spend some time on it, solve challenges then move forward.

Mistake#2. Focus on multiple technologies at a time

In the tech industry, every day, there is something new to learn. I, being an enthusiastic person, wanted to learn all at once. So along with ReactJS, I started to learn Python too. So half of the time that could have spent learning ReactJS, I was spending on Python. And this doesn't end here! At the end of 2019, I got distracted by the fame of Flutter, and so I started to learn that too!

Now, don't get me wrong. It's okay to learn multiple front-end languages. It’s how one can survive in the tech industry. What I am trying to say is, you must focus and master one thing at a time.

For example, if you are learning Reactjs don't get distracted by React Native, angular, or some other framework. If you are into python, then just spend time on python and related things, not PHP or dart. If you focus on multiple things, you'll be just a half-cooked dish! And I'm pretty sure, nobody likes that.

Mistake#3. Leaving things in the middle

Let's say I have got the idea to build a dashboard for my portfolio, and I started to work on it. But as soon as I bumped into an issue, I'll obviously try to solve it. But just after one try, I gave up!

Resolving a bug might take just a day, week, or even months. At worst, it can take a year – if it's a complex issue.

Anything is possible in programming, just learn to think like a programmer

Mistake#4. Didn't invest enough time, although it's available!

I used to spend learning on average two hours a day. Now when I think about it, I could have spent at least five hours or even more!

My piece of advice to you (and my past-self)! Start spending more time learning. When you got fewer responsibilities, it's easier to invest time in learning. As time goes by, the responsibilities will only tend to increase. So, utilize the present moment as much as you can.

More time and fewer responsibilities are blessings. Use it properly otherwise you will regret

Mistake#5. Didn't apply earlier

I wish somebody could have told me you can never be perfect. There will always be things you don't know. I was done with the basics of HTML and CSS in the middle of 2018. My next move should have been to find an internship (doesn't matter if unpaid) and learn JavaScript parallel. Maybe I couldn't find it but I should have tried.

Our skills grow faster when we work in an office environment with a bunch of awesome people, clients, and on live projects. We have to do what he (the client) likes not us. By the way, I started applying after learning the basics of Reactjs.
Doesn't matter if you have only 5 HTML & CSS landing pages. This should be live.

Craft your resume, update your LinkedIn, create a live portfolio, and apply!


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Abdul Basit







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