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Discussion on: Share your biggest challenges as junior developers

matt123miller profile image
Matt Miller (he/him)

How long do we have?

As background I have a degree in Computing with Game Development. Lots of OOP, some project management, some database stuff, 25% general game development. After an internship in my current company I now work there full time, graduated one year ago. I aimed most of my degree towards becoming a game programmer. I'm now work in web, sometimes iOS.

Everything I directly do at work I didn't learn in university. Learning Swift during my internship to ship some Apple Watch stuff, Javascript (mostly Node) and now PHP. Learn quick, get to work, improve as you go. SQL never clicked with me in university, luckily I work with a great developer who started out doing DB work before anything else. Thanks @scottharrisondev .

I had learnt everything in a beautiful OOP, compiled, statically typed language world. Then I worked with Javascript.... But actually the hardest part is learning where and when you can compromise now, accrue some technical debt, and get a feature developed. Most features over the last year have involved doing something slightly new and different for me. Huge learning opportunities but it's harder to estimate how long things will take, also makes it easier to introduce bugs which I have to later fix. So then I keep creating technical debt and struggle to find the time to fix that. Luckily I get away with it, our lead dev praises how I like to do everything correct and well structured so maybe it's not that bad.

There's often a lot of assumed knowledge in the web development world, even as we try to make it more and more accessible. For example when I started I didn't know what a .env file was and because they're not tracked by git I didn't know it was missing. Why does nothing work? Should I bother others because I can't even run the project or just keep googling? The answer is ask people, it gets easier. It keeps getting easier.

scottharrisondev profile image
Scott Harrison

Cheers for the kind words @matt123miller .

One of my biggest challenges when I was a junior dev was about self-doubt and losing track of what I was actually accomplishing. It's easy to get caught up in a project you are having problems with and lose confidence in yourself. In reality this is just a sign of you moving on to bigger and better things and learning. I try to keep in mind all of the projects I've been a part of up until this point and realise that hey actually I have made some pretty cool stuff that has made peoples lives easier and this is just another one of those projects...only difference is that it's in progress!