Whether they're creating accessible, appealing, UX or ensuring proper web performance and stability, developers face the daily task of coding, building and maintaining a functioning web experience.
While these are all the normal, expected, roles and challenges that come with the job itself, there are some unexpected ways that developers can trip up and be forced to put out more brush fires than needed in the process.
From both personal experience and generally speaking, here are five mistakes that would be best to avoid when it comes to web development:
1) Not coding for scalability
One of the mistakes I've repeatedly seen is limiting the solution only to the problem stated by the initial scope of work without realizing the potential for the project to become bigger. Keep in mind that your solution may need to scale for more users or handle more tasks.
2) Not considering virtual machine (VM) environments for development
In the past, I've used my own MAMP stack when developing locally. This caused several issues. The first being that my environment did not reflect the same environment as the production server. Secondly, other developers working on the project had differing local environments. Last but not least, updates to my OS always blew out my local environment settings. This caused hours of having to rebuild my local server environment, whereas VM solutions are independent of your OS environment and tend not become affected by OS updates.
3) Not being open to collaboration
It's easy to silo yourself in your office. Developers are often introverts and feel more comfortable solving problems alone. However, collaborating with other developers and/or even designers can help facilitate solutions to problems that otherwise might take longer to figure out.
4) Not getting alignment with the client
As a developer, your worst nightmare can be showing the client a finished product that completely misses the mark on their problem. One of the great strengths of our agency, The1stMovement, is the ability to run design sprints with the client; involving not only the designer, but the developer as well. Taking the time to understand what the client wants goes a long way into saving time in the future.
5) Scope/requirement creep
The client may ask for something, it may seem like an easy task, but further down the road you begin to see a whole list of issues that may take days to resolve. Even if the request does not come with unforeseen issues, the project could be severely hampered by numerous requests.
Whatever pitfalls you may encounter (but hopefully avoid), web development will still play an important role in the future as digital experiences evolve on desktop and mobile. The only true skill necessary to master the craft is passion. Most passionate developers I meet try to understand technologies that are outside their wheelhouse, and generally seek new frameworks, even if those frameworks eventually become unsupported. Languages and frameworks will come and go, but a developer's drive to seek out and understand new technologies will be the only skill necessary to move forward. About the Author: Andre Yi is an Interactive Developer at The1stMovement.