Learning how to code or at least trying is getting really popular these days. People are choosing to become developers for number of reasons, given that fact I decided to give you guys a hand and write up a post involving some tips for junior or pre-junior developers. Six, that in my opinion are the key ones are listed below:
Find a Mentor
Getting some guidance can be really helpful, especially at the early stages of your career. There are so many paths to take and things to learn that it is easy to get overwhelmed by it. If you don’t have that person in your circle of friends, try to ask your colleagues or find some experienced developers on internet that are willing to spare their time and give you a hand when you need it. I guarantee that you will find help if you will look for it, there are plenty of people out there who are more than happy to share their knowledge and experience.
Don’t Give Up
As mentioned previously you will get overwhelmed with all abbreviations, different technologies and coding techniques. But don’t give up. You will get used to it and eventually it will all make sense. In my junior years I had a small trick which used to help me understand better what was going on. In a daily stand-ups when more senior developers were giving their status update, I used to write down all the terms which I was unfamiliar with and afterwards I would google them or ask colleagues personally to give me bit more details about it.
Learn How to Debug Your Code
One of the biggest problems that junior developers find themselves in is that they don’t really know how to debug their code properly. When you start working on a real, production ready application, printing values into console won’t help much. So, spend a decent amount of your time to get comfortable with code debugging tools. Trust me, this is what you will be doing for 80% of your time, especially working as a junior developer.
Understand Your Code
This one might come across as silly, but I see a lot of new developers just that are just copying and pasting code from the examples they find on the internet without understanding how it actually works. I know there is a lot to take in when you start, but even if you are copying code around be sure to comeback to it and take a better look, since all good if copied code works as desired, but imagen fixing bugs in code you don’t understand.
Even though at the start you might think that tests are useless or start hesitating why you should be writing them if you can develop new features instead. In my personal experience time that you spend on writing tests pays off multiple times down the road. Additionally, with a good test coverage you can “trust” your code. You know that it is working as a design and you are not afraid to change it. In the end of the day, tests can be used as low level documentation as well.
This one was left at the very bottom due to the fact that it is applicable not only for junior developers, but for developers in overall. Actually, I see more senior engineers lacking curiosity than junior ones. Software development field is changing rapidly and you have to be constantly learning and eager to adapt to new technologies. As my friend likes to say “every day is a school day”.