“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 first session, she told me that she was so surprised to see how many people joined. I think she hit a nerve.
This assumption was confirmed in the second session. This time she asked our colleague Lasse (Senior Product Engineer) questions and it was interesting and reassuring to hear that everybody struggles from time to time.
To kick off the session, Lasse answered Feli’s question about what he’d like to share with Junior developers with “It’s ok to not know everything”. It’s not bad at all to ask questions and nobody will think any less of you. Basically everybody has questions. Maybe they already know the answer to yours but they are still learning and asking questions. When Lasse first did pair programming, he struggled with imposter syndrome because he was he was afraid of being judged if he made a mistake. Nowadays this is how he prefers to work.
Does anybody actually claim to never use Google (or any other search engine) at all? I think they wouldn’t tell the truth. It’s 2021 and Google saves our lives on a regular basis. Of course, Lasse makes use of Google and Stack Overflow as well. We already learned in the previous session with Raffaele that googling or researching is a skill of its own. It’s not just about looking random things up, it takes more to find solutions and potential inspirations. It’s super important to know which questions to ask and how to break down a problem.
It’s okay and completely natural to get frustrated from time to time. Lasse tries not to get angry with code, though. Still, something that really annoys him is when someone doesn’t communicate properly and consequently disrespects his and his colleague's time. Writing code without documentation, for instance or unclear commit messages put Lasse’s patience to the test. If this happens, he tries to talk to that person and sets out to find the source of the problem. Maybe the person doesn’t know how to do it the right way or always did it like this in a previous job. Even if it’s hard, being patient and talking it out helps in most cases.
Thanks Feli and Lasse for this session and the insights and tipps. They certainly help many!