1 month in to my first developer role

On the 1st of June, I started my first junior role as a front-end developer and it has been an intense, amazing and incredibly fun month! I have been making sure to write notes everyday at work so that I can look back at my progress and it has also been useful to see how much time I spend on certain tasks. Basically because I love to be able to look back at something and compare to where I am now. It’s such a confidence boost!

I have worked on both internal and client projects, and both on my own and together with the other front-end developers. It has been really rewarding to be able to see their code and try to emulate them as good as I can, like naming things so it makes sense and (to find and) re-use classes to keep it as clean as possible.

The workload has been close to perfect. I have gotten work where I have been challenged and got to do a bit of my own thing together with tasks that were a bit more straight forward and easier. It’s a tricky balance to meet where you, as a junior, feel like you are progressing but not get too overwhelmed with too many new, complicated tasks.

Before I started, I worried a lot about not being good enough. Sitting around loads of talented developers, just asking a simple question can be quite intimidating. I was assigned a mentor as I started, which really helps. I know I can ask anyone in our team for help but she is specifically assigned to answer my questions — which is really comforting when I feel insecure.

There have been times where I have felt stressed — when something doesn’t quite work and I spend like 2 hours trying to fix it then end up asking my mentor Chloe and she solves it in 5 minutes. But it’s like she told me: “Now you know and this problem is not gonna be a problem for you again”.

I still struggle a little in meetings though. My colleagues talk about a lot of things I don’t understand or recognise yet. But I need to remember that it’s a learning curve and I am not expected to know all of these things yet.

For myself, and for anyone else who might be looking to start a junior role, I would like to share a small overview of what I have learnt/worked with over the last month. Obviously it would never be exactly the same for another junior but certain things always cross in similar roles.

Some of the things I have learned:
GitHub — Open pull requests, merging branch into master, adding repositories and resolving merge conflicts.

SourceTree — Git client. Create branches, stash changes, commit and push my work to Github.

MAMP —Local environment.

TargetProcess — Our project management software. Each developer get tasks assigned here to complete for each sprint.

Command Line — Nano (Linux text-editor), Gulp + Browser Sync.

CSS — More SASS, LESS & learning BEM naming convention. Working with different CSS files for each component.

PHP — Working with arrays, if and for each statements + learning how to write it neatly with HTML and one-line if statements. Also learned how to control cookies!

JavaScript & jQuery — I have been able to write a lot myself to make it work (which is really cool!) but I have gotten a lot of help to write it neater and shorter.

Magento (E-commerce platform)— Creating a module, block, templates, theme, adding a jQuery plugin to a module, using BlueFoot CMS (that Gene built!) and getting around the admin.

Other bits —Using SVGs, icon fonts and Photoshop editing (optimising content for web).

I am sure there are things that I don’t even realise I have learnt as well but I am making progress everyday! Can’t wait to see where I will be in a few months time :)