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It’s National Coding Week

National Coding Week is a chance for people to learn new digital skills with the support of volunteers in schools, hubs, libraries, businesses and NGOs.

Here at WSA we are busy designing and developing exciting new websites for our clients, so here are some top tips that help us code and manage projects better through these busy and sometimes stressful periods.

Plan, plan, plan

As tempting as it is to just dive straight into coding a website, proper planning will mean realistic deadlines are set and stress levels are reduced when a deadline is fast approaching. Simply planning out templates and breaking down complex elements into smaller, more sizeable chunks will mean that each stage can be reviewed and clients can be notified if there are any significant changes to the development phase.

Don’t say yes (or no!) to everything

It is so easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to everything a client asks for, but you have to be realistic in terms of your skillset and what you can achieve in a given timeframe. If you need assistance or certain parts need to be left out of the scope it is important to highlight these at the beginning of the project, rather than getting near the deadline and realising things can’t be achieved. This is also another reason why planning is so important.

Equally, if you say no to everything you are not comfortable with then you will never develop your skillset. Learning something new on each project will give you a great sense of achievement and help to further your career development.

Comment your code

Although your code should be written semantically and therefore be easy to understand, commenting helps to explain the intent at the time of writing and the reason why it exists. If another developer picks up your code, in which the intent is not clear, it could be modified in a way that changes the intended purpose and functionality.

Errors aren’t the enemy

It can be really intimidating when your code returns multiple errors and you have no idea where to begin in fixing the problem. Just remember that every error you fix is another skill learnt and another step closer to becoming a greater developer!

Resources

If you want to try coding from the comfort of your own home here are some great resources that will get you well on your way:

https://codecademy.com/

https://www.freecodecamp.org

https://www.theodinproject.com

https://upskillcourses.com

and finally… enjoy it!!

I believe there is no greater feeling than turning the blank space into something amazing and seeing your code turn into a fully functioning website. All of the struggles and errors will be worth it when you feel the great sense of achievement and pride from creating a website!

 

Jo Stevens, Front-End Developer – WSA The Communications Agency

 

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