Surviving And Thriving In Your First Year As a Junior Developer
Originally published by Peter Lappin on August 16th 2018 …and how to stay stress-free Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash I’ve been working as an apprentice developer for a year now, and I thought it time to share my experience with any people thinking about joining or who have recently joined the industry. With any new job, it can seem like there is an insurmountable number of things to learn. In IT, that is tenfold. Not to worry though, you don’t need to know everything. No project you’ll work on will ever have you handling every stage of production. The more likely option is that you’ll be given a specific area to look at, such as developing features or testing an application. Whichever area you are handling, you’ll only have to learn a handful of technologies. Photo by Fabian Grohs on Unsplash If this is still too scary or overwhelming for you, calm down! You aren’t in school/uni anymore, there will be no test. No one is expecting you to be an absolute genius your first day on the job. If you are, that’s great, but don’t let that make you think you’ll always be that way. You need to always push yourself, every week you should strive to tackle something you haven’t before, a language, framework, methodology, something that keeps your mind active and willing to learn. A side project at home can be very helpful for this, for example, if you think you don’t know enough about web development, try creating your own personal website. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but practice is better than lamenting your lack of ability. You don’t start at the top. Set yourself goals! Always keep yourself working towards something personally. I’m not even talking just about technical goals, set yourself some goals outside of your comfort zone. A lot of people in a junior position might never have had a chance to speak in front of others before. Being able to talk confidently with a point is one of the key skills developers should have. Sometimes a good product isn’t one that has been designed meticulously, but one that has a good story behind it. For most people going into a junior developer position, it is a period of change in your life. You may be getting accustomed to living alone, paying bills, you know, adult stuff. This in combination with a new job and trying to keep up with all the new technologies you’re using can be extremely stressful, something I have experienced first hand. What really helped me was realising that you are not expected to be as up to speed as everyone else. I would look around and see people completing pieces of work in half the time it would take me, and that would be very discouraging to me, but these are people who have been in the industry for years. It made no sense for me to compare myself to them, and neither should you. Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash In fact, they are your friends! Some of the most positive experiences I have had to date in my job have been sitting down with a more senior developer and discussing a problem at length. Having someone to converse with can make you feel like your voice is heard, like your opinion matters. No one is going to laugh at you for not knowing something, » Read More
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