panic

What is it like to be a Junior Developer?

Shades Of Consultancy

You tell me what to do,
and I'll do it

I'm a Junior Developer and that’s Phase 1 of Web Consultancy.

It’s the magic moment in which you realise you can use your knowledge to make some money. You are probably a youngster on the edge of high school or something like that.

It was during my second year in computer science when a relative of a friend (of a friend) approached me asking:

“so you make websites, uh?
I need one, how much is it?”

The moment I realised I could earn money out of my beloved hobby I felt on the top of the world.

Junior Developer

What is it like to be a Junior Developer?

First of all when you are a Junior Developer you don’t care much about the quality or the process, you just swim hard to stay afloat and get to the end of the task/project.

You most probably want to deliver something that works, no matter how.

Another common trait of the Junior Developer is a simple coding approach to problem solving. As Junior Developer I used to lack in the big picture, therefore I threw tons of code onto trying to solve even simple problems.

Due to lack of experience you may even think to yourself in terms of "code lines per hour". Rather than focus on the quality of your solution, you feel proud in finding your way around huge source files. Complexity excites you 🙂

This is called being a Junior Developer and it’s all about gathering all the knowledge you need in order to deliver something that works.

Don't worry, we've all been there too 🙂

For how long will I be a Junior Developer?

If you are a curious person, you'll soon start to notice that things are changing around you. The truth is: you are changing.

Step by step you discover that your knowledge thrives, hence you start to grow opinions about “how” to solve a problem.

A good method to track your progresses across the Junior Developer phase is to observe your bookmark app of choice, and how it changes. I like Pocket a lot but you may use even a piece of paper because the only thing that matter is the content.

In the beginning you may save code snippets from CSS Tricks or StackOverflow but sooner or later you will turn your attention to more sophisticated articles and web conferences video-cast.

My suggestion for you is to review the links you collect because that is the mirror of your knowledge.

In conclusion, the moment you get caught in a religion war on best practices or programming languages, you realise you are not a Junior Developer anymore.

What's Next?

To be honest with you I tried to answer this question many many times, each time had been a little bit harder than before.

Why?

That's because as your knowledge grows, you will become aware of the knowledge you still lack of. The more experience you collect, the more possibilities for mistakes you see all around, hence the more opportunities for you to grow your knowledge even more.

Knowledge it's a majestic loop, a wonderful trap.

One possibility is to aim for the Senior Developer title, I will write specifically about this phase but for now I can already tell you that it requires you to be able to correctly extimate your time and to help other Junior Developers in their daily job.

stay hungry, stay foolish Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs


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