Just got my first job offer, going to take it. What are some tips for being the best junior developer I can be?

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Yesterday I got my very first developer job offer. Will be working with React, Node and MariaDB primarily.

What are some tips the more senior of you have for a junior starting his first job? :D

Edit: I really appriciate all the advice you guys are giving me, thank you so much!

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Here are some thoughts from an old codger. I've been doing software development since the 1980s.

  1. Don't think of yourself as a "junior." Think of yourself as an apprentice in a skilled trade. Maybe it's just semantics, but how we see ourselves now makes a big difference in our futures. An apprentice is going somewhere, with a goal of becoming a master someday. A "junior" is just a "junior." It doesn't say anything about your goals, your dreams, your aspirations.

An apprentice woodworker wants to be a master woodworker someday. But whoever heard of a "junior woodworker?"

  1. Work just as hard, or harder, on developing your personal and social skills as your technical skills. Being a great teammate and a great person is just as important, if not more important, as being a great coder. If your mates can depend on you to do what you say you will do, they will trust you with more and more responsibility.

  2. You are on an incredible journey that requires flexibility and constant improvement; being able to develop and hone new skills quickly is very important. Who knows how long React will be around? But if YOU want to be around and developing ten, twenty, or even thirty years from now, then focus more on learning the principles behind the technology. Languages come and go, but patterns remain.

 

Ask questions, often... It's not a sign of ignorance but a willingness to learn. When you ask though ALWAYS posit an answer that way the person knows you are at least thinking for yourself before you ask...

 
  • Never be afraid to say "I don't know".
  • Have trust in your own ability to overcome hard challenges.
  • Talk with your coworkers/managers about any roadblocks you encounter instead of waiting until it might be "too late".
  • Focus on solutions instead of blaming others.
  • No amount of years of experience can overcome kindness and friendliness when communicating with others.
  • Accept the fact that you will fail, and you will fail really bad. But make sure you never quit.
  • Take small breaks, whether you go to get a coffee, to the bathroom or for walk, your health is more important than deadlines.
 
  • Be eager to learn, both with help and on your own. Ask colleagues for advice, and do plenty of research on your own. Let the two areas mix - share articles you find with them, and research new things they mention in your spare time.
  • Ask questions, but don't make people hold your hand. If your unsure of a concept or tool that's mentioned, ask about it. If something's broken and you can't figure out why, do your own research before asking.
  • Accept that you will fail, often due to a lack of knowledge. It's no big deal, the seniors will do this sometimes too (albeit less often). The more important thing is getting back up and not repeating mistakes.
  • Focus on principles before tools. Both matter, but broader things like a good code editor, command line fluency, and basic language knowledge and design patterns go a long way. Knowing the basics means you can quickly pick and learn the right tool for each job. Knowing a handful of specific tools and nothing else just limits you.
  • Write, in some form. Take notes, write blog posts, keep a cheat sheet, write blog comments, whatever. Writing is how you focus and remember important info. Just reading and thinking means it'll fade away without much use.
 

First off, congrats. Getting your feet in the door is the first and big step of this incredible journey.

Chances are your first week or so might be a little "overwhelming". Don't worry about that, it's normal. For the first week you might even forget your normal patterns you tend to use. I remember fighting through that, then after a week of doing it, it one day just clicked. This is just programming. It's just the same thing you've always been doing to work up to this point.

Next is, ask questions. Do not be afraid of your senior thinking less of you. They were in the same spot as you were. Maybe even in the same company. As a lead I really like it when I am asked questions. Heck even "challenge" me sometimes and ask WHY that way. The why portion is the big part of the question and shows me that you want to learn actually vs. just get it done and not caring.

Finally, just have fun and be relaxed. Be a great person. Probably the most important advice really. Nothing is worse about coming to work and not enjoying it.

 

Motivation... to learn, to focus, to improve, to whatever. That's everything you need to do a job as good as possible.

 

Congratulations! Here's my advice:

Ask lots of questions, and don't be afraid to say when you don't understand or know something. You're not expected to know everything, no one is. Not even senior devs.

When asking these questions, always take notes so you don't have to ask the same thing several times.

Be kind. Show enthusiasm and willingness to learn. Communication is extremely important, so having good communication with your team members is worth thinking about. Not just the technical side of things.

Starting a new job is always stressful at first, when there's a lot of information to take in. For the first week or so try to focus on settling in, getting your machine set up how you like it, and learning about the people and company you will be working for.

 

Just be yourself and enjoy the journey! :) Congratulations!

 

Just make sure you grow every day. At the end of each day, have you improved in any way over when you started? That's the most important thing, IME.

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Žane Suhadolnik profile image
Web Development, Programming, Computers, Books, Outdoors, Metal, Games, Random thoughts.