Failing Forward: A Closer Look at Student Project Failures

Three things you should keep in mind before building projects as a java dev

Understanding the Use-Cases:

Understanding the use cases and application workflows and having a clear picture of how the feature should work and how users will interact with it is crucial to minimize potential issues when building projects.

It is very important to have a clear understanding of how the feature should work and how users will interact with it to minimize potential issues.

For instance, consider a scenario in which you are working on a Student Management System project with a feature that allows an admin to add a new student to the system. Here's how this process unfolds:

  • The admin clicks the "Add Student" button, triggering an endpoint in the application.

  • The application processes the request and displays a data entry form to the user.

  • The user enters the student's information and clicks the "Submit" button.

  • Another endpoint is invoked to capture and save the data.

  • The application layer processes the data and securely stores it in the database. (A visual diagram of the data flow from layer to layer within the application and proper response delivery is recommended.)

  • The application layer sends a successful response to the client, indicating that the student has been added.

This clear and systematic approach ensures that all interactions are well-defined, minimizing potential issues and enhancing the user experience.

How does it help
This approach helps you to understand the way the data flow should happen within the application (since thinking about the data flow you will better understand the architecture of your application well). This further helps code faster and debug faster.

Dependency Compatibility Issues

However, another common reason for failure is the incompatibility between dependencies. It is crucial to ensure that all dependencies used in the project are compatible with each other to avoid compatibility issues and potential failures. Make sure you add the right dependencies to your project with proper versions.

You can also take AI assistance to this, you can copy-paste your pom.xml file into ChatGPT or Bard prompts and ask to provide the compatible versions of the given dependencies.

How does it help
Avoids further issues that are related to dependency compatibility and helps focus more on the issues that are related to business logic.

Overwhelming Expectations

You often approach project development with high expectations and envision building complex projects without first assessing your current technical skills and resources. This eagerness to create sophisticated solutions can sometimes lead to overwhelming expectations.

It is more practical to build multiple projects that demonstrate your current technical skills by adding a little more improvement in each of them. It is always good to take it slow and build by understanding them clearly.

For example, consider scenarios where you have some limited skills.

  • If you just know JDBC, build a CLI-based standalone application that can perform basic CRUD operations.

  • If you know JDBC, Servlets and JSP try building a GUI-based application that performs CRUD operations again.

  • Later try to maintain HttpSession to a user and this can help you understand user tracking methods. Further, you can also explore more on other user tracking methods as well.

Note : Make sure that you follow proper layering within the application from very begining of building. This helps you easily adapt even more complex architectural designs in future.

How does this help
Focussing on building projects with the current skills that you own, will make less likely to face complex issues, and also you will endup having something to show-off about your current skills to your recruiter. This helps you stay away from procrasticating for not having a larger knowledge.