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

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Mahdi Pourismaiel

It's really hard to give advice to anyone let alone someone who is trying to work in an environment as fast pace as development, but here are some general things I talk about to people around me and stuff that awesome people have suggested to me.

  • First of all, please have fun. Be it your job or your personal life. Write fun code, do a few side projects, contribute, get involved, go out, take a vacation, sit in front of a tree for an hour and wonder "why the hell am I sitting here?". Development is a fun job (at least for me) but it's demanding, taxing, stressful and some times really hard. Please don't forget to just have fun. Even mid project before a deadline when you feel the world is coming down on you, at least for a few hours, have fun and let it go. A deadline has consequences, psychological tiredness has even more consequences.
  • Secondly, you're gonna have to put a lot of time to learn stuff and you're not going to feel the 12 hour sitting in front of your monitor but it's going to catch up with you. I'm 23 and have back pain that my father doesn't feel. Exercise, take walks, interact with other people. Working 60-70-80 hours a week is not a joke. Take care of your body. You can read that article tomorrow.
  • Read as many books and articles and codes as you can, and read them again. It's impossible to make use of all the algorithms and functions and libraries and so on and a lot of times it's impossible to even understand them. But just reading the codes and the thought and knowledge behind them can help you out.
  • Do not jump on the hype train. Frameworks and languages and practices come and go. It's awesome to learn what they are and how they work but you have to be focused. Companies might want a FancyNewFramework developer today but a developer with deep knowledge of what she's doing is always in more demand.
  • Contribute. Write code, document, create issues, sort pull requests, discuss features and a lot more. Even labeling issues in an open source project helps. Open source matters, without it none of us would be here. And working on open source is not glamorous. There's no money involved, there's no support as well. Help and contribute in any way you can.
  • Join the community, but never join tribes.
  • And on top of it all, keep your head down. Both for your own reputation and for the sake of those around you. Your friends and colleagues will have questions and they're not gonna ask for your help if you're aggressive. Always thrive to be better and to help those around you be better.