Why coding in isolation can be detrimental: The importance of feedback and code reviews

Kelvin Graddick · 3 minute read ·     

When a fellow coder "disappears" for a week and then pops back up with a super lengthy pull request for code review, it can be both frustrating and amusing. 😫😂


But here's the truth: coding in complete isolation when you are part of a team is rarely a good idea. While it may seem tempting to tackle a task on your own without seeking any input, it can lead to various problems down the line.

The pitfalls of isolated coding

By coding in isolation, you miss out on valuable opportunities for mentorship and feedback. This is especially crucial, particularly when you are starting out in your coding journey.


Here's why:

  1. Mistakes can go unnoticed: When you work alone for an extended period, it's easy to make mistakes without realizing them. These mistakes can range from small syntax errors to larger architectural issues. Without regular feedback, these errors may remain unnoticed until it's too late.
  2. Limited growth: By coding in isolation, you limit your potential for growth. Collaborating with experienced developers allows you to learn from their expertise, gain insights into best practices, and improve your skills faster.
  3. Lack of diverse perspectives: Code reviews and seeking feedback provide an opportunity for different team members to share their perspectives and suggest alternative approaches. This helps foster innovation and ensures that the final product benefits from the collective wisdom of the team.

Learn from experience

We've all been there, whether as the coder who disappeared or the one who received a poorly executed end-of-sprint surprise. It's a common scenario, especially for developers who are just starting out.


But here's the catch: You can learn from these experiences and avoid repeating the same mistakes.


While it can be intimidating to ask for help or seek feedback, it is crucial for your growth as a developer. Embrace mentorship and actively engage in code reviews throughout the development process.


Remember: Every experienced developer was once a beginner, and seeking guidance is a sign of wisdom, not weakness.

The importance of feedback and mentorship

It's true that not all developers excel at giving feedback or mentoring others. This can be discouraging at times, but rest assured that there are individuals who are great at it.


Here are a few benefits of feedback and mentorship:


  1. Gaining valuable insights: Feedback from experienced developers can provide valuable insights into improving your code quality, optimizing performance, and following best practices. This knowledge will benefit you in your current project and future endeavors.
  2. Accelerating your learning: By actively seeking mentorship, you can accelerate your learning curve. Mentors can guide you through complex concepts, share their experiences, and help you navigate challenges more effectively.
  3. Building confidence: Regular feedback and mentorship help build confidence in your abilities as a developer. As you receive constructive criticism and learn from it, you become more adept at identifying and rectifying potential issues in your code.

So, have you ever found yourself coding in isolation? Many of us have, especially when we were first starting out. It's important to acknowledge this tendency and make a conscious effort to seek help and feedback from others.


Remember: The coding community is vast and supportive. Don't hesitate to reach out for assistance when needed.

Conclusion

Coding in isolation is rarely a good idea. To foster growth, improve your coding skills, and avoid potential pitfalls, it's essential to seek feedback and engage in regular code reviews. Embrace mentorship and be an active participant in the collaborative process.


So, let's break the cycle of disappearing coders and surprise pull requests. By fostering a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement, we can create better code, stronger teams, and ultimately, more successful projects.


Have you experienced the pitfalls of isolated coding or witnessed it firsthand? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!



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