What kind of work should I expect to be doing as an entry-level web developer?

I have a friend interested in entering the field but she's wondering what kind of work she'd be doing as a junior dev. I've been at this for almost a decade so I'm not sure just how far removed my own work is from junior work.

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I think it definitely depends on the size of the org and the challenges they are currently facing.

Based on our past experience, our next entry level dev would start with a practice project and then once they're up to speed, we'd either have them working refactoring tasks or a fairly segmented project while we get them up to speed on other things we're working on.

But I'd love to hear what others are doing.

One more note: It's great when an entry-level dev is able to chip in where necessary in able to contribute, but we should all make sure we don't get pigeonholed into doing the kind of work we conveniently took on early in our jobs.

Going through this currently with my first gig and it's worked wonders on proving what I didn't know I knew while also showing me a quick path to knowing what I don't.

Especially when you're able to closely collab with your team through the practice project. It will educate both sides into the workflow of that person/ the company and shows good habits to get into while building your process.

One of the things you should expect as a junior/entry level developer is that you will give up a lot of your time just to learn and understand how things work.

Most of my days consist of figuring things out and then the rest is actually writing code.

I've had friends try to get into the web dev industry but given up when things get hard or they don't see results immediately.

It's hard. Hard work pays off. If someone is genuinely interested, they'll stick around 🤩

What I've done with junior devs and interns in the past was to assign them easier tasks with clear guidelines to get them going on a project along with some learning exercises, such as documenting a particular module of the like.

It's really good if the organization uses Agile where they can establish good starter user stories and spikes to ease a new person, experienced or junior, into the cadence of the team and set them up for success. Also, pair programming, even if not a all-the-time thing, can help as well.

In interviewing, I'd recommend she ask about how they organize their work and what a typical day would be like. If the answers are vague or disheartening, maybe keep looking for a different organization.

hey that's great! I think Junior developers can get really easily overwhelmed and that makes work much harder than it needs to be. Giving them clear-cut projects and deadlines is a wonderful way to get them contributing and exploring the codebase early.

I still think back to jobs where I wasn't a junior dev but was new to enormous codebases, and my work was a similar deal: lots of smaller projects that did not require in-depth knowledge of the entire system.

Ben Halpern DEV.TO FOUNDER

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Hey yeah this is what we discussed to ask on here thanks for asking.

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