We Admit, Our Developers Committed These Mistakes
Everybody commits mistakes, who doesn’t? We are not prefect. In a company of programmers and web developers, we’ve seen these errors have been committed while working on websites. We are sharing these mistakes for the hopes that you can avoid it and if not find a corrective solution and eventually design and implement your own development process. Listed below are some of the bad mistakes most developers made:
- Wasting time in creating web content. Many years ago, creating websites mean coding, designing, AND writing web content during the HTML days. However, today’s web development is different, much specialized than before. Someone designs, someone does the front-end, another does the back-end, and someone creates the content. There are times some developers get carried away in the development process that they’re creating web content only to be reminded that they should go back to work, doing what they love most: coding.
- Using the old HTML codes. Some developers have used HTML for so many years that some codes are difficult to get rid of. Not only these old codes are incompatible with today’s HTML standards, they also create inconsistency across different browsers. Sometimes they neglect the size and style of the font because of the design and layout of the site demands it. It seems the site or application looks fine, but to a lot of users, it is unreadable. Thanks for having CSS, these old codes are replaced with other elements and attributes, and defining font size and types becomes easy.
- Using too many codes. These are the days of responsive websites, so the developers have to make it work. Programmers got carried away and over did the coding so much that “if” statements branched out in all different directions. This made the codes bulky, and unnecessary according to our boss. Actually, this sprang from coding without planning, thinking that it would be alright to immediately begin coding before considering other factors. Enough of the eager beaver!
- Ignoring SEO-friendly codes. There are times that we follow the client’s ridiculous requests just to keep them satisfied. We were enthusiastic with the project and made web pages that satisfied her. (She’s a good paying client, by the way.) From the users’ perspective, it was good. However, online marketing wise, it was a bad idea. Little did the developers realize that they almost forgot adding tags, related keywords and descriptions, alt attribute, and a functional call to action button in one of those pages. What’s the use of the website if it’s not searchable on search engines?
- Forgetting to test for responsiveness. Most developers code using their computers. Our developers haven’t heard of anyone coding on a tablet or smart phone yet. They work on their computers for eight hours a day or even more just to finish coding that they failed to check the website on different monitor sizes and resolutions, on tablets, and on smart phones. Now, they make sure someone has a netbook, an iPad, and an Android phone which they use to check on the websites they’re doing.
- Forgetting to test on other browsers. Just like number 5, since they work on their computers, and have three browsers installed, they forgot to test them on other browsers that they don’t have. Since then, we ask some members of the team to test the site on other browsers that they’re using.
- Assuming that once code functions well on the server it will work once it’s deployed. It still pays to have someone test your work and never assume that everything is fine. User experience suffers whenever a webpage error happens. Also, it gives hackers the opportunity to take advantage of these errors.
- Assuming that users will understand. Thinking that users will understand the word “address” on a data field, we never realized that this will be interpreted differently. It lead to a database error because some users put in their mailing address when what we really mean was email address.
- Making the website refresh after every interaction. Thinking that this step will help the user, but actually it doesn’t. Refreshing or reloading the page for every mouse click annoys the user and some of them are unnecessary. Refreshing after a transaction is done is fine but not overdoing it.
- No proper documentation. We admit, some developers forget documenting what they’ve done, when, why, and sometimes, how. We realized that documentation can save our asses in some critical moments. Not only it will record the process, it could also be a reference for others who follow the project for purposes of continuity.
What about you, do you have other mistakes in web development that you would like to share?