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Discussion on: What is your best advice for a junior software developer?

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Bob Edmison

Two things:
First, understand that the code you write is going to have real impact on real people. Algorithms are not unbiased by default because a person had to write them. Your preconceptions and biases will leak into your algorithms unless you actively defend against them.

Second, admit your mistakes and learn from them. Most of us have a story about deleting that one file that brings down a system at critical time of year. If we ever meet over a beer, I’ll tell you about crashing our learning management system during final exams. When (not if) this happens, take responsibility for it. It will be uncomfortable, and you may fear for your job, but I promise, if you are working for a quality organization, your honesty will be appreciated by your managers, but more importantly, by your colleagues. You can only throw coworkers under the bus so many times before they return the favor.