re: Important tips for a self-taught developer VIEW POST


Hey Rui! Thank you for the great article! In my opinion, it covers quite well the gotchas junior developers encounter in the company.

These are especially valuable to the developers that are starting their career while still seeking more life experiences. This stage of life usually is falling onto 18 (or even less) - 25 years old range and thus they may be chronologically younger in comparison to their colleagues.

It is important to grasp that chronological age (i.e. when you were born and for how many years you've lived so far) is not relevant in developer career, what really matters is your ability to learn and how many hours you've put into mastering the subject.

But sometimes junior developers still might confuse the age with professional experience and thus try to hide their own weaknesses. Just not to let people judge or assess them, which they fear may start coming from the years they have lived and not the years they've been practicing their craft. For some this fear prevents them from saying "I don't know" and come up with some excuse. For some, the fear shapes into the practice of consistently keeping their ideas to themselves because they are afraid their colleagues will say a suggested idea is silly. Some start escaping responsible tasks or roles in the team.

I have never had experience mentoring a highly mature person coming to development that
at the same time has had many years passed behind them, but I could assume they might encounter similar prejudices (though I hope that they have a life framework strong enough to challenge those, instead of hiding or pretending).

Yes, sometimes people judge you based on your age. You need to become tolerant to that. I'm not sure whether it is possible to ignore it completely, but it is definitely possible to be tolerant. I learned it myself. Tolerant means you hear it, but you don't care and focus on it.
It is just like the sound of cicadas or car noises out of the window - may be unpleasant and distracting in the beginning, but the more you hear it, the less it bothers you.

Focus on your experience - experiments with different technologies (frameworks, approaches, architectures, etc.) help a lot with that. Raise your weakest spots to just "okay" level, so you can at least communicate and try something out using those, and focus on developing the expertness in a few subjects that you are most passionate about. Share your ideas, no matter how wild they are, and keep listening to people's feedback.

This way, no matter what age you are, 19 or 50, you'll be so good, nobody simply will be able to ignore your worth.


That's a great comment, Vitaly, and it shows perfectly what I was trying to pass with my post. Thank you!

"what really matters is your ability to learn and how many hours you've put into mastering the subject."


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