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JC Smiley
JC Smiley

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Takeaways from a "Junior Dev Power Hour" meetup

Introduction

Today I attended a Twitter space, hosted by Danny Thompson and other amazing tech professionals, that gave advice to aspiring developers and early career professionals. Here are my biggest takeaways:

🧾 When you land that first job, focus on:

  1. Diving into internal/external documentation, architecture of the product/source code, and learning how each component works.
  2. Stay hungry. Keep doing the things you were doing that got the job.
  3. Figure out your role within the company/team, the roles around you, and the company processes within/around your team.
  4. How does your team add value to the company?
  5. Read other people’s pull requests to learn about coding, formal practices, and the codebase (what, how, and why).
  6. Make communication a priority.

My experience with my first job in tech taught me the importance of showing up ready to work, ready to give information, and ready to learn. I want to share making being part of the team a priority and learning each person's unique communication style.

❓ Tips for when you have questions

  1. Write down the question (key words and points) before you ask.
  2. It’s ok to use tech communities to answer some questions.

My opinion that I want to add is before you ask a question briefly state what you have done beforehand. This shows you have put in the work.

👨‍🏫 Mentorship

  1. You don’t need a dedicated mentor. Leverage tech groups and similar resources for help. Lurk in those groups by reading the comments and previous questions to learn from others.
  2. A great way to get mentorship is to make friends with someone in tech and find a way to meet them on a weekly basis.
  3. Attend tech meetups to get unofficial feedback, peer reviews, and more.
  4. When asking someone for advice, be concise in your question to someone and you will more likely get help.

My personal thoughts on this is that I’m a big believer in unofficial mentors by following people in their careers to learn from them. We are blessed in tech that people talk publicly about their highs and lows, their tricks and tips, and how they achieved something. Learning from them is as simple as reading their blogs, viewing their video content, or listening to their tech talks.

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