The Top 5 Things You Need to Know to Be Successful as a Junior Developer
1. Ask for Help
The longer you work as a developer, the more you’ll realize how little you really know. Never be afraid to look up a term or concept you’re not familiar with, and never be afraid to ask your more senior co-workers for assistance. Getting answers to your questions is to everyone’s benefit because it makes you a better employee.
Beyond asking questions, there are several ways you can receive help as a junior developer. Pair programming with more experienced developers is an excellent way to learn the ropes at an organization and to find out about useful tools and techniques. You can also ask your colleagues to do a code review of your work in order to receive some constructive criticism.
2. Show Initiative
Your employer will hire and train you for a given role, which may not correspond exactly with what you’ve learned so far. As a junior developer, you should accept that you may not always be able to work on your projects of choice.
However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t continue to look out for your own interests. You’ll likely have many different employers over the course of your career, each one requiring a distinct skill set. If you’re not currently in your ideal position, work on yourself by learning talents and technologies for the job you want. A great way to do this is by starting side projects that you can push to production and showcase on your resume.
3. Keep Learning
Although you may have been hired as a junior developer, learning new concepts will give you a better chance of rising up the ranks. There’s always another skill to grasp that will benefit you in your work, from how to write better code to how to communicate your ideas effectively.
4. Find a Mentor
Even when you’re working as part of a team, being a junior developer can be a bewildering and sometimes isolating experience. To counteract these problems, find a good technical mentor who can provide advice about your work and help guide you along your career trajectory.
Mentors can come in many forms, from both inside and outside your organization. If it’s one of your co-workers or connections, the relationship often develops organically as you get to know each other better. You can also find external mentors at programming conferences and meetings, where they can give advice on topics such as job interviews and the state of the industry.
5. Don’t Give Up
Patience and determination are two of the successful web developer’s greatest virtues. Waiting for tests to complete, learning a new framework, and fixing a nasty bug all require a serious amount of tenacity and a high tolerance for frustration.
However, it’s important to realize that you’ll get better just by showing up every day. Whether it’s learning to ride a bike or learning to code, nothing worthwhile can be achieved without a lot of sweat and hard work — so be prepared to take chances, make mistakes and stick to it.