One of the biggest sources of frustration for me as a relatively new software developer has been making the same mistakes over and over again and not learning from it.
I’m not so much talking about minor “brain farts” like forgetting to close a parentheses, those are just typing/style blips for the most part. Instead I mean things like forgetting about/how to use parallel assignment or confusing a few of the Array versus Hash methods in Ruby.
To help alleviate those issues: Enter The Error Log
When we had first started at Epicodus our instructors (shout out to Mike Goren and Debbie Cravey) suggested that we start an “Error Log” of the programming mistakes we were making and their solutions, if applicable. Don’t write down any judgements or opinions on mistakes, just the facts.
I will freely admit that I didn’t follow this advice when it was given. Hell it has been seven months since they first told us to try it and I am just now getting around to it.
Why start now?
Well since Jake Gordon came on-board here at TripGrid I’ve been coding and learning more and more every day. The byproduct of that is I’m be exposed to a lot of new material while at the same time being forced to revisit some of the things I wasn’t solid on from my time at Epicodus. In school you normally have the luxury of revisiting those basics and taking the time to brush up on those deficient areas so you tend to gloss over those repeated knowledge gaps.
“I’ll definitely remember this time…”, was the common mantra once you figured out how to solve/what caused that mind-boggling error …
…that same error you solved two weeks before on a different assignment after being stuck for hours and swearing you’d never have it trip you up again.
To this end I’ve decided to not only start an error log, but also publish it here on the blog.
Well partially I wanted an easily searchable database of my own mistakes/solutions but also it makes me accountable for putting real effort into filling those knowledge gaps. I know that I’d feel like a turd putting the same thing in my Error Log posts time after time, so I’m hoping it’ll motivate me to make more of an effort to shore up those weaker areas.
If you have any other tips or tricks for remembering those mistakes and their solutions, please comment and let me know what they are!
For those who caught the reference and those who should have but need a reminder: