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Discussion on: Do you ever get frustrated with your Junior Developer(s)?

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Jeff Avallone

I've been a senior developer at my company for quite a few years now, and coincidentally I read over the requirements for my position today. They're pretty standard for most places, and one of the requirements is that I mentor more-junior developers. So, for you, I wouldn't worry about if you're bothering the senior developers you work with because it is literally their job to help you.

If they are getting bothered by your questions in a way that you notice, then I've got bad news for you: You're working with a bad senior dev. I don't know if there's anything you can do in that case, so lets ignore it and focus on senior devs that either a) don't get bothered by questions, or b) deal with their frustration without taking it out on others ("are grown-ups" in other words)...

First-off, as others have already said, asking questions as a junior dev is a very good thing. It's part of how you learn. If you think you're asking too many questions or worry that your questions are too basic though, try something that a junior dev that worked under me started doing. He told me once that he worried he was asking me too many questions, so he started asking himself "What would Jeff say?" before asking me a question. Most of the time he got an answer from imaginary-me. Even if you don't get an answer from your imaginary senior dev, you might figure some more details out and be able to ask a more informed question.

As for worrying about wasting their time, don't worry about that either. Most of the senior devs I know (myself included) subscribe to the "Montgomery Scott School of Project Estimation". You take your estimate of how long a project will take, multiply it by 4, then tell your manager that number (my manager knows I do this, and in fact then further multiplies it by 2). This is done to account for unforeseen problems with the project, poor project planning, and answering questions from junior devs.

Good job thinking of others though!