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Antonin J. (they/them)
Antonin J. (they/them)

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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.

Top comments (7)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

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.

domitriusclark profile image

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.

notrab profile image
Jamie Barton

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 🤩

jfrankcarr profile image
Frank Carr

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.

antjanus profile image
Antonin J. (they/them)

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.

twigman08 profile image
Chad Smith

I'd say it depends on where you are working at, though for us we first start you off with a practice project that is sort of a stripped down project from an actual one we have. This teaches you our coding style, our git flow process, and the base of how our projects are setup.

After working with that for about a week, maybe two (we do not rush you, if we don't think you are comfortable we try to help you out) you are paired with a lead developer and put on an actual project for an actual client. It could be an existing one where we need bug fixes or it could be a new one where we are asking for new features to be implemented. We tend to start with more easier tasks (like maybe some simple CRUD if it's a new project) and see how you navigate your way through those.

The lead will work with you and be doing your code review. After a few more weeks if the lead feels you're comfortable with the project and our code base your tasks will grow to more complicated bugs or features.

oathkeeper profile image
Divyesh Parmar

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