Discussion on: What is your best advice for a junior software developer?

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Scott Hannen

Find reputable online people that you trust and learn from them. When co-workers teach you, compare what they tell you with what you've learned. Trust, but verify.

Why? Because depending on where you work, many people who try to tell you how to work don't know what they're talking about. Or they know some things really well but not others. Sadly, the less they know, the more likely they are to try to teach you. That puts you in a difficult position, one where you have to evaluate the knowledge of people with more experience than you.

(This could be unnecessarily negative. Maybe I just had really bad experiences.)

The point isn't that you should correct everyone or try to be smarter than them. Rather, you need to defend yourself against learning wrong things. If someone tells you things that you learn are wrong, politely question them. It could be a misunderstanding, or perhaps you didn't understand what you read. If it's black-and-white and they don't get it, stop questioning them out loud but question everything silently.

Hopefully you'll find people who have spent some time on the right track. In my first few years I had the chance to learn from several and missed it each time because no one told me what I'm telling you. If you find such people, learn as much as you can from them.