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Pitfalls of My First Production App

dlionz profile image Damien Breaux ・3 min read

Prelude

To begin I'd like to say I'm not a writer/'blog poster'. I'm not apologizing just letting you the reader know. When I do try and write posts I tend to try and write like a writer. I will do my best to filter that out and just right like me.

Additionally, this post isn't really a tips guide rather its more of a train of thought post and a, 'think before you do' post.

Thanks


In the grand scheme of my development career I'm pretty new to everything. Currently I'm working at a C# .Net custom software shop. My Boss comes to me about 4 months ago and says hey we just landed this contract and I want you to develop it. Naturally I'm super stoked about this and start right away.

Read the requirements

My first pitfall was not fully reading the requirements and assuming certain things. I went about a month before I realized there was very specific things I was supposed to be doing in order to call the project complete. 4 months later this is still causing me headache because there is just so much I over looked.

JavaScript doesn't always make sense

When I first got this job I said JavaScript is my favorite language. Now... I hate it. Looking at my JS file in this project it is a nightmare of 16XX lines of spaghetti code. This application is a Form, one that a user fills out and completes. When I was given the project I thought surely the only way to do a form would be to create 20+ divs that contain form inputs and show hide with Jquery

$('#thing').show(); 
$('#thing').hide();

but I'm working with C# .NET why would I do this with all that JavaScript and not just let .NET do its .NET thing. Well I didn't and so last month my boss went through and cleaned up my file which was a big help because I got to see how someone else would structure it all. Unfortunately we have to stick with my solution because we ran out of project time many months back and it doesn't make a lot of sense to spend any more time/money refactoring the entire app.

Slow Down Dude

This is my first big project where I have done everything essentially on my own, when the client has an issue or problem I want to solve it right away and as fast as I can. Because of this I have miss read, miss interpreted, and wasted so much time. This last week was very disheartening as miscommunication has taken a big hit on my imposter syndrome. It feels as though I can only mess up and miss things the client has asked for over and over, and that everyone is just watching me go up in flames(this isn't actually the case as my boss and team are extremely helpful. I'm just anxious that on the inside they seem me for the bad employee I tell myself I am). Needless to say on Friday I pushed my last few changes so hopefully everything turns out ok and we can button up this project.

To Close

  • Read the requirements and don't assume
  • Use the tech that makes sense
  • Slow down, listen, read, ASK QUESTIONS, understand

Thank you for sitting and listening to me talk. Id love any critique of my writing as Id like to make this a more common thing this year.

Posted on by:

dlionz profile

Damien Breaux

@dlionz

Remote Software Developer living in San Fransisco. Follow me on twitter if you like animal crossing, and nonsense :D

Discussion

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hi Damien,

I really agree with you that reading the requirements is very important. what I feel, sometimes, is that, even if I read the requirements, my idea of the things to do is different from the costumer one... probably the best way is to make questions, give feedbacks and prepare a showcase/mock up/demo.

about the techs, I think the best way is to try different programming languages to understand their strengths and weaks, maybe developing simple apps.

thanks for sharing your thoughts, I'm in the same situation and you make me think deeper on it.

cheers!
Emanuele

 

Hey Emanuele, thanks for reading!

Learning other languages strengths and weaknesses would be beneficial for sure! Our shop however is really just strictly C# .NET focused so our ability to branch out and use other stacks is a bit limited :P

Asking more questions of the client would have really helped me through this project for sure and I'm hoping to take what Ive learned from this and apply it to projects in the future.

 

keep up the good job! :)

thanks for sharing

 

Hey Damien, just read both of your posts and I have to say I really like your honest storytelling style of writing. The topics you write about are really relatable and encouraging for me as someone trying to become a developer after getting a similar degree. Not to mention you make really insightful points. Also, I like your dog comic strip.

I'm looking forward to your next article!

 

Yes reading and understanding the requirements is must. I worked with a client whose requirements would vary after each build I shown to them. Those are even tougher to deal with.