Experienced developers will tell you after graduating from boot camp your first job will most likely be as a junior developer.
This is utter nonsense. Bologna.
Trust me, I’ve built several todo apps and I taught myself Typescript in only a few months so I know what I’m talking about.
Today I’d like to share with you ten tips to take your deving to the next level, whether you are a junior or a seasoned professional in the field.
Let's start off with the most obvious tip. Many of you are probably rolling your eyes at this one because it's the first good piece of advice you get when you're a junior. But why does it matter? NPM packages are updated all the time but sometimes we as devs don't have the time wait around for the next update or bug fix in the source code. Any competent dev worth their salt should be able to go in and make the necessary changes to keep their project on the right track.
Functions should be big. According to Merrium-Webster, a function means “an official or formal ceremony or social gathering.” Social gatherings encompass many people, all who do different jobs. A function in coding is no different. They should contain a plethora of functionality. In my React projects, I have one or two giant functions for the entire project. Don’t buy into the hype of smaller functions doing one thing each. It’s garbage. Keep all your functionality together in one giant function. It’s easier to read too.
Two or four spaces? I prefer five. When people look at my code, I want them to think, that’s Daniel’s code. What’s one of the first things they tell new writers or artists? To find your own unique voice or style. Coding is no different. Find a unique style. Grab your voice by the brackets. Experiment with different indents and layouts. Linters are creativity killers. Don’t use them. Your code is art. You are Rembrandt, your keyboard your brush.
Documentation is for the weak-minded. If you’re a good coder, you should know how your code works just by looking at the code. READMEs are for amateurs. Your code is the README. If another developer joins the project and asks for a README, they probably aren’t very good at their job. Recommend their position at the company be revoked back to junior.
Brush up on XML because I predict it’s going to make a serious comeback over JSON.
This one drives me mad. Stop committing so much. I commit once a day. Sometimes I don’t commit for weeks. Doing anymore only confuses and clogs up your flow. You want clean code, Uncle Bob? Look at my commits. Ideally, a project should only have two commits - initial commit and deploy.
Start pushing directly to the main/master/develop branch. Pull requests are for the gutless. If you believe in your code, dammit, push it directly to master. Branches only make things more confusing. As a team, we should all be on the same page, but how can you do that if everyone creates their own branches? What is this, the Wild West? Your team needs unity, one branch. One team.
I have to say, I’m flabbergasted with agile development taking over many businesses. Imagine building a house using agile. The foundation is poured and suddenly the owners want that second bathroom moved to the other side of the basement. Then they want the fireplace on another wall. Now the blueprints have to be thrown out and you have to drag the architect off of another project so he can fix the plans. This is why you lock the blueprints. Building software is no different. If your vision has to pivot halfway through the project, you’re doing something wrong.
Let’s be honest, you’re probably smarter than your designer. If he/she gives you designs for the app and you think they look like crap, overrule them. You have the most important job in the world. You are a software engineer. A God, really. You have an ego? Damn right, you should. Heart surgeons have nothing on you. Somebody has to do the really important work in this world. Show that designer a thing or two about designing.
Push for stricter dress codes - suits, lab coats, scrubs - something in that vein. We’re the smartest and most sophisticated profession out there - time we start dressing like it. I wore a tux to work on my second day as a junior dev and my colleagues were so impressed, they didn’t say a word.
Do the opposite of everything I just said.