re: The Golden Rule for Junior Developers VIEW POST


There is certainly a problem with developers not asking questions. The reason is that the status of a developer is to a large extent invested in their intelligence, by which I mean their perceived intelligence in the eyes of others. To ask a question is therefore an implicit admission, both that you don't know something, and that the person you are asking is more intelligent or knowledgeable. Your status is not served by making yourself look like an idiot, right?

Well, the thing is that we know junior developers are inexperienced. We don't give you the hard tasks because you need time to ferment. In order to overcome your natural reluctance to sacrifice whatever meager respect you might have in order to get an answer to a problem you must be prepared to let go of ego. It was a mirage anyway, so don't worry.

Okay, now let that sink in. Don't let your ego get in the way of asking a question. If you sit there and don't achieve anything, or worse do something terribly wrong because you didn't want to look like a fool, you will look bad.

So asking is good? Well not so fast. Asking a question that is thoughtfully posed after having tried to seek the answer independently will be respected. Asking questions every five minutes to answer things that could be found on Google in a minute not so much. Programming is a demonstration on the ability to think and solve problems, so asking too many questions if they are too obvious will only show you up as lazy. Asking questions that are well framed and display a understanding of the problem and a genuine attempt to resolve the issue is better.

So yes, the senior devs do evaluate and judge Juniors, but perhaps not the way you imagine. Don't be afraid to ask, but don't treat the time of your fellow developers with contempt either. Developers at all levels must be prepared to learn from others.

code of conduct - report abuse