How to Avoid Mistakes as a Junior Software Developer

Dan Pickett

By Dan Pickett

May 19, 2022


Mistakes are inevitable when learning a new skill, and software development is no exception. Coding is all about experimentation—being able to solve every problem right away is simply impossible! In fact, even the most seasoned coders often dare to tackle a challenge without certainty as to how they’ll address it. 

Still, if you’re a junior software developer looking for your first job, your goal is to have a portfolio with minimal errors. The good news is that developers at any level can avoid common mistakes with the right resources in place.

Common Mistakes Junior Software Developers Make

First, let’s review a few mistakes junior developers tend to make: 

Building code that isn’t adaptable

Code should be built in a way that allows others to expand on it. Adaptable code is easier to rework in different adaptations and iterations, which is critical to its longevity.

Not anticipating errors

In programming, engineers should offer a plan B in case issues arise. A mature developer can anticipate common problems that occur in software and prepare accordingly. 

Building applications that aren’t equipped for large amounts of data

When junior developers create small, contrived applications, they design the programs to handle a few thousand records. But over time, most applications will amass billions or even trillions of records in their systems. Programs that can’t accommodate data at scale are big red flags to hiring managers.

How to Avoid Making Common Software Mistakes

Gaining experience working in the field is the best way to avoid errors and mistakes, but there are a few ways to speed up the learning curve to ensure you’re well prepared for your first job as a junior software developer:

Seek out mentors

Having someone with expertise and field knowledge to support you and review your work is incredibly valuable.

Understand design patterns

The software industry is young, but developers have still identified proven practices, known as design patterns, for overcoming common issues. Studying design patterns while learning to code enables you to leverage this collective knowledge to prevent mistakes. 

Think beyond functionality

Most junior engineers focus only on creating functional code, but it’s critical to design programs that can be maintained long term at scale. 

Practice in a safe environment

Everyone makes mistakes when learning something new, but it’s best to do it when sensitive data and company dollars aren’t on the line. Having the option to practice coding in a low-stakes environment (like a coding bootcamp) allows students to learn without the pressures of being in a professional setting.

To encourage hands-on learning, Launch Academy uses a challenge-based teaching approach that empowers students to put concepts into practice through experimentation. 


To encourage hands-on learning, Launch Academy uses a challenge-based teaching approach that empowers students to put concepts into practice through experimentation.


Many modern computer science programs include minimal coding in their curricula, but at Launch Academy’s coding bootcamp, our students write code day in and day out. That way, they face common coding problems and gain real industry experience and knowledge before entering the workforce. 

If you want to build the best foundation for a successful career as a software engineer, check out the syllabus to see if our coding bootcamp is right for you.