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14 Mandatory Skills Junior Devs Must Acquire Before Heading to a Job Interview

Don’t waste your chances — level up your skills instead.

boy staring at the screen of his laptop
Photo by Wes Hicks on Unsplash

Entering the world of web development is definitely quite exciting and, at the same time, a challenging adventure.

Nowadays many people express their desire to become web developers — some of them are drawn to the never-ending expansion of skills and knowledge, the flexibility of the working hours, the opportunity to meet individuals with a different approach to life, etc. Of course, many people dream to become web developers for all the wrong reasons — they imagine the big bucks flowing without them having to lift a finger. Ah, splendid.

I’m here today to congratulate all my fellow future-to-be great at their job web developers who aim at establishing a successful career. Being a junior can be both very exciting and also very frightening — trust me on this, been there.

As a CEO and a full-stack dev, I think I can offer some valuable guidelines on what is the fundamental knowledge any junior dev must obtain in order to chase a career in web development. Instead of trying to figure out what to learn and what to educate yourself on, I suggest you take a look at the listicle down below. I’ll share with you my take on 14 fundamental skills every junior dev must acquire.

Have you ever experienced anxiety before applying for an interview?

Every job application process can be very stressful and anxiety-triggering.

Would I be good enough? Would I be able to nail the conversational part of the hiring process? Will I be successful at persuading the interviewer on why I would be a good fit for the company?

Questions like these are typical for any type of job, not just applying for a spot in web development. But, instead of just stating the obvious, I decided to try to gather some of the most crucial and important aspects of knowledge and skills that may guarantee you a spot in a web development company.

By checking all of the boxes, perhaps you’ll be far calmer and self-assured when heading to a job interview. So, instead of wasting your time and just browsing through a list of applications dreading rejection, try to emblement as much as the skills mentioned down below. Surely you’ll stand out in a conversation!

14 mandatory skills junior devs must acquire before heading to a job interview

It’s a no-brainer — every ideal candidate for a job, regarding the field, is a superb combination between hard skills and soft skills.

You may think that a web development career requires presenting high-valuable hard skills only. That’s certainly not the case — while being an expert in your job is important, also crucial is the ability to communicate, solve problems, and manage your time efficiently and effectively.

But let’s have a traditional approach towards the situation for a moment: let’s say you’ve come to terms with your conscious, deciding to pursue a career in web development. You can’t wait to gather all the knowledge and expertise! Then you open a website for job applications and browse through the list for junior devs positions. You stand in awe among so many requirements. This could surely be discouraging at first. But instead of stepping back, make a step forward instead.

Here are 7 of the absolute essential hard skills you must acquire for a junior developer position

Photo by 炫铭 on Unsplash
  • basic computer knowledge (yeah, I know!)
  • ‘googling’
  • flexibility in working on Windows/Mac/Linux
  • extensive bash knowledge
  • Git
  • SSH
  • IDE

Computer knowledge

Okay, this may sound like a joke to you, but I’m dead serious. I’ve witnessed people with a desire for a web dev career who lack basic computer skills. If you want to initiate a dazzling and successful career as a junior dev, first make sure that you view the computer as a natural extension of your arm. You get my point.

Googling

Perhaps you didn’t expect this hard skill either, but hear me out — many of the fellow junior developers frequently turn to Google when trying to solve a coding puzzle. Finding information on the search engine actually is quite a fruitful experience — you teach yourself how to reach a solution for your current problem. That’s way better than just going straight to a senior asking for their assistance. Self-education is incredibly important in web development.

Knowledge of working on Windows/Mac/Linux

Flexibility is also really important when it comes to being a web developer — you should, by all means, have expertise in working on various operating systems. Of course, the most famous and frequently used ones are Windows, Mac, and Linux. Before heading to a job interview, make sure you get familiar with all these systems — the end goal for you is to be able to operate and work with them. That’s viewed as a huge plus when hiring.

Extensive Linux knowledge

Now, when it comes to web servers, programming options, and hosting solutions, Linux is a huge plus, since it’s far more secure than Windows, for example. The software is open-source, providing an opportunity for all fellow programmers to contribute to it at all times. Plus, it supports almost all types of programming languages, it’s free and highly preferred for web servers all over the world.

Git

The Git software is a very important aspect of the web development process. In a nutshell, it represents a virtual library of coding solutions; it’s open-source so any programmer can contribute. By using Git, any developer can benefit from all the gathered and distributed codes — this saves time and highly benefits the overall workflow. Definitely, the usage of Git is a must.

SSH

When we talk SSH, we refer to Secure Shell Protocol — a network protocol that allows system administrators and developers to log in and execute certain operations remotely. It’s very secure and uses encrypted data. By all means, it’s crucial for any junior dev to get familiar with this network protocol as it’s viewed by many as one of the safest remote access solutions. More about SSH you can read here:

IDE

The Integrated Development Environment (IDE) is a great programming helping solution for developers. Essentially, it helps you write code in a structured manner — it features syntax highlighting, auto-completion for specific programming languages, automated tests, etc. Perhaps the IDE is the best way to keep track of your coding without wasting much time.

What about soft skills? Here are my top 7 picks:

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash
  • be a little “nerdy”
  • try to understand coding in general, not per language
  • establish problem-solving skills
  • be curious and always up to date
  • have the ability to change perspectives
  • be open to communication and discussions
  • think “outside of the box”

Be a little “nerdy”

Nerdiness and geekiness go together with web development — I mean this in a good way. In order to establish yourself as a good web developer, I consider loving the whole process of creating platforms, websites, and writing code. People may describe a nerdy person as someone who is tech-savvy, keen on working with technology, as someone who absolutely loves Sci-Fi and can’t wait to indulge in a Star Wars marathon! Well, all of this is true — by loving programming, you will surely express readiness in spending time mastering the craft.

Try to understand coding in general, not just per language

Sure, you may be focused on one or two languages only — by all means it’s highly recommended to establish yourself as a professional and expert in a specific field of expertise. But this does not simply mean you must be blind and deaf for the technology as a whole. Good developers out there always have the bigger picture in their heads — try to grasp the whole concept of coding. This will surely help you become a better developer because you’ll always have the whole project in mind.

Establish problem-solving skills

Web development is perhaps the field where problem-solving skills are highly valued the most. Websites break, servers go down, buttons fail to work, bugs are frequent — part of the game is for you to be able to solve problems and issues fast and smart. You can certainly combine this soft skill with googling for example. The important thing here is to calmly accept the problem in question and to think of a smart and promising solution.

Be curious and always up to date

The thing with web development is that it needs constant evolving of knowledge and expertise. To be a good programmer, one must always be curious to know what’s new and to keep themselves up to date with new technologies, software, and updates. If you want a job that doesn’t require your knowledge and skills upgrade, then certainly web development is not for you.

Have the ability to change perspectives

You create your website for the end customers. By changing perspectives, you can easily put yourself in their place and review the site as if you are a user. Does it load fast? Is it visually appealing? Is it user-friendly? Sometimes, while trying to offer the best mistake-free code, we often forget other important aspects of the platform. Our task is establishing a dazzling end result both for programmers and for customers too.

Be open to communication and discussions

This soft skill deserves mentioning since many fellow developers sometimes deny contribution and mutual work. Imagine being stuck when writing your code — instead of wasting hours and days trying to figure out what the problem is, you can always engage in a professional conversation with a colleague. Discuss the matter and find a solution together, that approach is beneficial to all parties.

Think “outside of the box”

When in web development, try to always broaden your views, perspectives, and work approach. The constant development of technologies frequently gives programmers the opportunity to work better, faster, smarter. Instead of counting on old habits at all costs, test-drive what’s new. Maybe you’ll be able to find your next ideal work approach, schedule, tasks attitude.

The bottom line

I hope my views on fundamental skills and knowledge would be of great advantage to all of you who have decided to pursue a career in web development. Attention to detail, hard work, and a positive attitude have always proven to work charms. I’m sure that by implementing some of the advice from the article, you’d feel much more confident and well prepared when heading to a job interview. Good luck!

Hi, guys, I’m Ivan and I’m here to share with all of you my passion for words, great content, entrepreneurship, personal development, management, hobbies, and everything in between.

I serve as a CEO for my WordPress Development Agency @ Vipe Studio where I have the pleasure to lead a diverse, wonderful and energetic team of experts. Feel free to contact me anytime — I would love to exchange new ideas and inspire each other!

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Ivan Popov

Ivan Popov

i was once an athlete. then a journalist. now i am a ceo of vipe studio. still running marathons though.