1st-time Programmer’s Experience

Errors First Time Coders Face

Website Developer
7 min readDec 7, 2022

As new coders, you may be wondering what programming is all about. Programming is delivering directions to a computer so they may be implemented. Programming is a thinking process in which one creates commands for a computer. Coding is converting your thoughts and ideas into a language the computer can read and understand. According to codecademy.com, it discusses how programming is a form of communicating with the computer. This means that when you’re writing a code and executing that into the computer in a language that it would understand, that’s what is considered the form of communication. How you must write code should be very strict. For example, checking that proper punctuation is applied and looking for mistakes. One of the most typical problems first-time coders encounter is the presence of errors.


Error Messages from Source code

Countless people have the same problems when it comes to programming. As a beginner coder, it might be challenging to comprehend how programming works and what exactly has to be done to execute a successful code. As first-time coders, we begin to write our code and see how we start to run into many problems, becoming puzzled and even upset about how this happened and what we need to do to solve this error. As a beginner, I experienced challenges and encountered several mistakes, which led me to discover that code is precise and accurate. According to cprogramming.com, first-time coders aren’t acquainted with how strict code is and how exactly it needs to be to avoid errors arising when programming.

Think Like a Programmer

As first-time coders, it’s hard to understand how to think how a programmer would. Typically we’d try hard and overthink a problem when it doesn’t need to be overanalyzed. According to cprogramming.com, they used a metaphor to explain the thinking process in coding. They shared how a State Farm advertisement in which the car wash firm gives the clients’ cars back with the soapy water still on them, and these firms wash the car but do not rinse it. They say this is an excellent metaphor for computers. Computers are pretty literal, much like that car wash firm. They follow your instructions absolutely and solely; they are unaware of your hidden objectives. Since every stage of the process must be carefully considered to ensure that none are omitted, the degree of detail necessary might first seem overwhelming, but you’ll get the hang of it with practice.

Walk forward ten feet.
Move your hand to the wall.
Move your hand to the right until you hit an obstacle.

Press upward on the indentation
Walk to door
Find light switch
Turn on light
Lacking the Ability to Plan Efficiently

When it comes to programming, first-time programmers will face many obstacles, like needing help to plan their code correctly. Often, people may need help understanding what they are doing, which is typical for first-time learners. According to simpleprogrammer.com, one of the common issues that beginners face is needing help understanding what they are asked. Instead of trying to bottle up all of your ideas in their head, programmers should have a template to work off of to help them understand things and make the process a little simpler. Planning your code and having a written plan is a great way to succeed. To be successful when coding, it is recommended that you have a plan on how the questions or code will be solved. Rushing your code will lead you to many problems and unsolved answers.


As first-time coders, communicating can be difficult. Sometimes, you may need to find someone who codes can help you whenever you need it. Sharing is essential as a coder and should be a skill you should master. According to simpleprogrammer.com, it states how needing to be more skilled in communicating with others is a struggle first-time coders usually face. You may end up in situations where you are unsure about a problem, and due to your lack of communication, it will be difficult for you to ask for help from your peers. It is essential to build this skill so that you always succeed in projects and whenever you are unsure about something, always ask for help and clarification.

Overplanning Before Coding

Many people are always advised to plan their codes before trying to execute them. Planning out how you would solve a question is a good thing. But other times, planning can lead to more mistakes and challenges. Also, planning excessively can negatively affect you. When it comes to newcomers and their coding journeys, they should not strive to find a perfect plan as well as a very long and confusing one. Most of the time, beginners try to perfect planning. This isn’t what programming is about because it isn’t something that will help you run a successful code. Before you try to run code, develop a solid plan to help you start coding. Beginners should avoid planning too much. When they do this, it can cause them to fall into many situations as well as their time being misspent.

Making Existing Code Worse

Another common issue first coders encounter is adding more code where it isn’t necessary and making it worse than how it started initially. It would be best to leave a more organized and put-together code than how you started it. Things that can make a code worse and too long can lead to a mess. The first example is code duplication. You are merely duplicating code and creating more chaos if you copy and paste a code block and alter the line after that.

function isOdd(number) {
if (number % 2 === 1) {
return true;
} else {
return false;
Equivalent Code:
function isOdd(number) {
return (number % 2 === 1);

Considering That if Something is Working, it Must be Right.

An issue that is quite common and that first-time programmers face is having a code down, and if it works immediately assuming that it is correct and they can move on. I have had this happen to me multiple times. I would write code that would be accurate, but more code still needs to be written. I would run into many errors and need help figuring them out. The code that right still needs some work and is unfinished. It shows step-by-step what needs to be fixed. The code provided has an invalid input and is not handled in any way, which can lead to errors. With that being said, this is considered a horrible code. This is one of the fixes that needed to be made.

const sumOddValues = (array) => {
return array.reduce((accumulator, currentNumber) => {
if (currentNumber % 2 === 1) {
return accumulator + currentNumber;
} return accumulator;
sumOddValues([1, 2, 3, 4, 5]) === 9


There is a multitude of beginner coders who need help with debugging. This is the method by which coders locate and correct problems. In an article by snapstack.cz they talk about how debugging can be a little nerve-wracking for first-time coders. Sometimes the code with a minor error is easy to detect and solve, but other times it can be very frustrating and take hours for beginner programmers to figure out. Debugging can also occur in a code that was noted skillfully. If you ever run into a situation where you need to debug, first, you should always know exactly what the problem is and where that problem took place. Another thing this website recommends for first-time coders is asking for help when they get stuck on a problem, and perhaps that person knows how to assist them.

Estimation of Time

Adding on to this website, there is another common issue that first-time programmers face. As a first-time coder myself, I always put more time and effort into running something; in reality, it isn’t that complicated. The website snapstack.cz talks about how we, as beginner coders, spend so much unnecessary time trying to impress others and get recognition. An issue this can cause for first-time coders who put too much time into something is that it can put them off schedule, and if you are working in teams, it can mess with your group members and cause them to fall behind. I can resonate with this because I have seen myself spending so much time on a code and later found that all that wasn’t needed. Now I know that it’s essential to estimate your time.

Doubting Yourself

The last issue that is common amongst first-time coders is doubt. Some programmers, including myself, fear failing and failing to do things correctly. According to copyassignment.com, first-time programmers tend to compare themselves to experienced coders, making them doubt themselves and think they can’t do it. This article recommends getting advice from people who are more experienced than you are so you can learn more. I am a first-time programmer and have noticed that I compared myself to more skilled people. I lost my motivation because I made myself believe I could not be as good as them. A while later, I dug out of that hole and started interacting with people and asking them questions. I listened to their experiences and took their advice. Now I feel a little more comfortable with coding.


It’s obvious the struggles that first-time coders go through and face daily. A lot of us have experienced these issues once before or even multiple times in our careers as well as in life in general. First-time coders go through many emotions as beginners, which can be hard to overcome. But one thing to always remember during these times is that even the best coders struggled and still do from time to time. Coding will become easier as you learn, and you’ll become more skilled over the years. The most important thing to do is never to give up. In programming, it’s okay to get frustrated but keep your composure and never be shy to ask for help. That’s one of the most important things to do. Doing that, you’ll only become a better programmer.