Funny, but True Facts About Novice Developers

The blog post for today is my ramblings about common mistakes that novice web-developers make during their first steps in programming.

Just for fun. They:

  • Use W3Schools as a primary source for programming knowledge and do not question a single line of code they find there. (“W3C is a mystery world which I should learn to comply to“).
  • Scorn unobtrusive JavaScript.
  • The first book on web-development they ever read is a mid-90’s apocryphal issue claiming that JavaScript is not a programming language. A claim they embrace and use as an excuse not to learn JavaScript.
  • Find it amazing to overuse animated gifs that poorly anti-alias with the background of the page.
  • Extensively use frames and iframes without any obvious reason or for positioning purposes.
  • Play with the DOCTYPE of the page (“What will happen if I use XHTML3.1 for my website?“) or simply dismiss it.
  • Add an XML prologue before the DOCTYPE just because they saw someone else doing it.
  • Rely heavily on the miracle of the absolute positioning, and in a month realize the gritty truth that their work looks different and in most cases unrecognizably broken on different screen resolutions.
  • Put a 25 megabytes of a lousy <bgsound />, that is blocking the entire website while being downloaded.
  • Don’t pay even the slightest attention to the word “cascading” in CSS.
  • Overload the website with tons of crappy ready-made JavaScript found over the Internet (title bar and status bar scrollers, marquees, etc).
  • Use JavaScript in order to achieve effects that are usually achievable with CSS.
  • Put a greeting message in a JavaScript alert(“”) on page load, which scares even them each time the page is loaded.
  • Wonder why their PHP code is not executed when the page is open from the local file system. Later they find that they can run their very own web-server.
  • Use 10+ different fonts (5 of which are totally exotic and only they and other 10 guys are the only persons in the world who have them installed) and a color-scheme that is causing nausea and nosebleed to visitors.
  • Don’t test with other browsers except their default one and are sincerely surprised that their new website looks crappy in Opera.
  • Use vendor proprietary JavaScript or CSS without providing solution for other browsers.
  • Use <br /> and &nbsp; for layout purposes.
  • Use inline styles.
  • Force certain style rules with !important instead of making use of the cascade in their styles.
  • Implement feedback forms without a server processing script and wonder why they don’t work. Do you remember action=””?
  • Consider semantics, usability, accessibility and valid code useless stuff that they shouldn’t care of.
  • Use deprecated tags like <center />.
  • Start learning PHP or other server-side language before HTML.
  • Hard-code everything that should not be hard-coded.
  • Don’t care about encoding.

Do these facts sound familiar? Do you remember making at least 5 of these mistakes as a novice programmer?


One comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s