“What being a developer really means” - that’s the name of a new internal series initiated by my colleague Feli. When I spoke to her after the session, she told me that she was so surprised to see how many people joined. I think she hit a nerve.
Feli #ChooseToChallengemy first guest was @pixari and we had a lot of fun talking about how often we google things or using stack overflow, how we felt in the beginning about pair programming, what his advice to early career devs is and so much more. Happy that you‘ve join @pixari 🤗06:44 AM - 03 Sep 2021
Throughout the session, everyone listened intently to what Raffaele had to say and it to me it seemed like everyone could relate 100% so it would be a shame not to share it with the world.
The first question Feli asked was about what he wished he'd known when he was a junior dev. One of the first and most important things for him was to "learn how to learn". There are many learning techniques and in the beginning it's not easy to figure out which one(s) work best for you. It's always good to have someone by your side to support you, too. Finding a good mentor is essential for Raffaele. He also mentioned that he used to avoid reading code, simply because he didn't understand it. Avoidance is never the best approach but he eventually managed to face these challenges head on.
Everybody knows the struggle: no matter how many times you look that one thing up, you instantly forget it after and find yourself searching for the same thing over and over again. For Raffaele, it's, among others, git commands. There is this omnipresent fear of destroying things and double checking definitely helps. Who can relate? In general, he says that googling or doing research is part of the job of a developer and he remembers that back then it wasn't as easy as today to simple type something and get a result within seconds. There's no shame in googling every day. Over time, he also learned that it actually depends on how you look something up. What he does is to search for topics rather than specific questions.
In the beginning, pair programming was hard for Raffaele because he wasn't structured. At some point he got lucky and found someone who helped him and told him to trust the process. Doing courses, watching videos and reading theory about it as well as practicing with nice colleagues helped him to get into it. Nowadays, he does pair programming every day and he thinks that it's essential. One thing he also learned was that you don't always have to do it with someone who is more experienced or an expert on that topic but rather do it with people who don't know much about it because they are the ones who challenge you the most and ask the right questions.
One of Feli's questions was whether there is something that really makes Raffaele angry. He said that he doesn't really have a lot of patience when the computer isn't fast enough (who stays calm in those moments anyway?).
Finally, Raffaele was asked about his advice for early career developers. Again, he repeated, having a mentor is a game changer and super important. Be your own cheerleader, believe in yourself and don't let the pressure of achieving something super big or a certain title fast get to you. We live in a performance driven world and it's important to remember that we all started out as beginners and nobody's perfect.
Thanks Feli and Raffaele for this great first session. You showed that, in the end, a lot of people do have the same struggles and meet the same challenges in their work - no matter what level.