I have crazy deadlines at the moment to the point where I spent about some hours on Saturday writing multiple if statements on the SalesRuby Sequentia before I had a power outbreak, so I’m going to make this brief.
3 mistakes junior developers make, and how to avoid them… You may notice a couple of these conflict with each other. This is not a mistake, since different types of people will make different mistakes!
1. Not asking for help often enough
I’ve worked with some junior developers who have sat there stuck for hours on something a senior could help them within a matter of minutes. This could be because the other developers seem busy and they don’t want to interrupt, or because they feel stupid asking for help. The imposter syndrome sets in, and they think they’ll look bad for not knowing a certain thing.
When it comes to interrupting people, if they seem busy, just ping them on IM and they’ll get to you when they can. As for worrying people will find out you don’t know certain things… well they already know you don’t know it all. They hired you as a junior after all, so this will come as no surprise to them.
The developers that ask for help the most often early in their career are the ones that have the chance to progress the furthest. Don’t hold yourself back!
2. Thinking you know best
This is something I usually see among developers. Some had graduated from university with a degree in computer science and was working under programmers who did not have a degree in this subject area. For this reason that will let your ego get in the way and certain times would do things differently to the way they showed you, because you thought you knew the ‘proper’ way to do things and they didn’t.
This often lead to you making big mistakes with the code, and these mistakes were compounded by the fact that the more senior people saw they were a direct result of you not listening to them.
While more experienced people aren’t always better than less experienced people, you will hinder your progress if you don’t drop the ego, put on the white belt (as the martial artists would say) and soak up the experience from those around you. Start viewing more senior people as resources to learn from (which will boost your own skills and salary long term) instead of seeing people like me with no certificate from university as gatekeepers lol. Don’t mind me please, but take everything here seriously it would help you likewise me.
3. Stopping learning in your own time because you got the job
This actually extends beyond just juniors, but I feel they are the most prone to it. I know I’ve certainly been guilty of this at many points throughout my career, and it’s ended up holding me back every single time.
While you’re trying to become a pro developers it’s all learning, learning, learning. You need the knowledge to get the job! Then you get the job, and since you now spend 8 hours a day coding decide that you don’t need to do any tech learning in your own time. This is huge mistake. Yes, you’re getting a lot of on the job experience, but you often won’t get the time to explore new tech or experiment with different ways of doing things. These are both huge mistakes. I’d set some time aside every week for conscious learning and improvement. Obviously you need down time, but at least a few hours a week or so won’t hurt, but could end up having a huge impact in your career over the months and years!