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

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Aidan Walters-Williams • Edited

I may be a little short on experience to give my advice here, I'm not exactly a senior but here's my two cents worth from what I've picked up from my own experience :)

If you have what you think is a good idea about how to approach a problem, voice it to your team! If it is a genuinely good idea, then it may be accepted and you can take the credit, and it will really boost your confidence! If it's not such a good idea, that's okay! More often than not, the more senior members of your team will explain to you why it's not such a good idea and possibly even give you pointers on what is, and then you've learned something - making you a better developer in the process.

Don't be afraid to ask questions! If you're stuck on a problem for more than an hour or so and you can't think of a way around it after searching for your it on your own, ask a team member regardless of how silly you might think it is! Chances are that it isn't at all that silly, and your team will be happy to help you in any way they can. After all, it's not only juniors that need to ask questions, senior developers aren't necessarily omniscient beings (although some do seem to be!)
Don't abuse or rely on this though, try searching/reading first - figuring stuff out on your own is a much more valuable experience than just getting an answer from somebody else!

Approach learning from an "Understand, don't imitate" perspective. Given the wealth of advice and examples available, it's so easy to find a solution that matches your exact scenario and just use that solution, rather than understand it. Learn how, and more importantly why, that solution works and apply that why to your scenario, even if it is the same.

Not getting your pull request through code review first time is okay. Everybody has their own approaches to problems, and a comment on your code review saying "X could be improved by Y because Z" doesn't necessarily mean you're not a good enough developer for only thinking of X, rather than Y. It's usually more a case of your haven't encountered a scenario that leads you to see the reasoning Z that causes you to use Y over X yet.

That's all I've got for now, hope it helps someone! :)

PS: Don’t work yourself to exhaustion trying to play catch up with the other developers, go at your own pace! Future you, your friends and your family will thank you for it! Coffee and vitamin supplements might be good for a temporary focus boost, but nothing compared to rest, socialising, exercise and hobbies!