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Never Underestimate the Power of Research

April 18, 2018 - Chris

As an apprentice web developer, I’ve become engrossed in the wild world of building, fixing and being creative within a digital sphere.There are many expectations of working in web development that I’ve learned and also enjoy.  As standard developers clearly need to be able to code. Unfortunately, coding isn’t always perfect – so we also need to be able to fix any bugs that arise.  A good understanding of logic goes without saying, but something which may not be so obvious is; having the ability to conduct well-informed research.

Here are some of the initial tips I’ve put together based on my initial time at Fifteen.

Encountering Bugs & Developing Features

Even the best developers with expert coding skills at some point may run into something that they’re unsure how to approach. This can lead to many issues which inevitably extends development time. By possessing the capability to research efficiently, a developer can fix any bugs or code a particular feature they perhaps didn’t know how to previously. Ultimately minimising any additional time and client spend on these obstacles.

The Important of ‘Googling’

Further to this, when we conduct this research to find how to fix a bug, it must be done accurately and carefully. Sometimes the search queries entered in the SERP don’t give us the exact results we want. Google is getting a lot more clever with the rise of being able to understand user intent and even mega mind-blowing aspects such as RankBrain. But, sometimes we may think a ‘solution’ is found but further down the line, it comes to light that it isn’t correct. Worst-case scenario creates even more bugs to deal with.

This is also applicable to looking up how to create a specific feature on a website. If the wrong search terms are Googled, returned results may not be relevant, leading us down a path to the inaccurate explanation and in turn extending development project time. Research carried out with relevant search terms, will return results that are appropriate. Meaning errors fixes or feature generation is completed quicker. Never be scared to get really specific! 9/10 someone has encountered the same error you have.

However, always be robust with your approach. Take in all aspects of other developers problems and look to take each resolve with a pinch of salt. I look forward to building a solid base of knowledge off the cuff that I can use to better my colleagues.

Further Benefits

There is also the added benefit that while researching, we run into a new feature that we never knew about – which may, in turn, makes future projects easier, faster and more efficient. Being able to conduct research correctly and efficiently will ultimately improve your web development skills. You will be able to find solutions quickly and gain a more in-depth understanding code and the endless ways in which it can be used.

Keeping up with the Web Development Industry

Technology-driven, the web development world, its practices and processes are continually changing and updating. We’re challenged to keep on top of this industry knowledge. We must familiarise ourselves with jargon, understand different technical languages and slang terms. We can then use the powerful tool that is the internet search engine to obtain the answers we need. That is, the accuracy of the output is only the results of the accuracy of what we put in. We’re developers – we know this.

I am learning a lot from my time at Fifteen and look forward to in the future being able to mentor the next web developer superhero using all the knowledge I gained in my first few months here.

Chris

Chris

Apprentice Web Developer

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