Advice for Studying Developers and interns

DarkWhisperer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2005
Messages
150
So I'm a Senior Developer whose worked with and upskilled many Dev students and interns over the years. And a lot of that time is spent changing and improving their mindset, from one where they feel they're perfectly setup to work as developers, to teaching them that their learning has just started.

Recently I've started documenting what I've been teaching. As part of this exercise, I am curious to know:

1. What lessons did you wish you knew when you started as a Junior Developer?
2. What soft skills do you find has really helped you in your career?
3. Do you have any advice or lessons on how you go about learning a new language or framework? What works for you?
4. Any other advice or thoughts on the above in general.

Thanks for your help :)
 

Hamster

Resident Rodent
Joined
Aug 22, 2006
Messages
39,218
1. What lessons did you wish you knew when you started as a Junior Developer?
Pursue another career instead

2. What soft skills do you find has really helped you in your career?
Learn how to talk to non-tech people in English

3. Do you have any advice or lessons on how you go about learning a new language or framework? What works for you?
I write the same stupid password generator app whenever I play around with a new language. After that I just write more code.
 

skimread

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 18, 2010
Messages
10,859
1. What lessons did you wish you knew when you started as a Junior Developer?

I am a professional. My rate is R1K per hour. I don't work free.

2. What soft skills do you find has really helped you in your career?
See 1

3. Do you have any advice or lessons on how you go about learning a new language or framework? What works for you?
See 1

4. Any other advice or thoughts on the above in general.
See 1
 

skimread

Honorary Master
Joined
Oct 18, 2010
Messages
10,859
Share what you learnt otherwise it's like

I have learnt something about X that I won't share, what have you leant?
Please answer the following survey
 

Johnatan56

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 23, 2013
Messages
29,598
1. Well as an intern, I learnt it pretty quick at the end of it, even as a junior you have space for negotiation.
2. Being able to talk to management correctly and being able to explain an issue very simply and that they understand the need for it including its urgency. It also helps since management makes the payment decisions, not your tech lead, try and get noticed.
3. Pick a random project and start building it, most programming languages are all the same once you get enough experience, it's just a little syntax mess-ups, the logic is very similar and follows FP, OOP, and/or imperative, language/framework isn't very important.
4. Pick a tech stack that business likes, don't pick a dead language like COBOL, sure you can make a lot of money, but you'll pretty much be stuck in maintenance apps, life is more than just money. Don't be afraid of moving companies/positions if you feel like it doesn't fit, especially when you're junior, and as a junior, rather pick smaller companies where you can touch a lot of things so you can see what interests you, only go to corporate once you get past that initial junior phase as usually the bureaucracy can kill passion quickly as you don't really have an input on what you're building, so you'll never really progress as you'll not take intiative.
 

cguy

Executive Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2013
Messages
7,437
1. What lessons did you wish you knew when you started as a Junior Developer?
  • A good developer expresses complex solutions with the simplest possible code, and does not express simple solutions using the most exotic constructs they can find.
  • A developer should never be married to their code. Take criticism, and be prepared to throw it away and restart if this is justified.
  • Find the part of your job or studies that is difficult. Get good at that, since nobody else is.
2. What soft skills do you find has really helped you in your career?
  • Communication. From interviews to day to day work, keep people appraised of what you’re doing and listen to what other people say.
  • Despite the above, be mindful of others’ time. There is a balance - do due diligence before bothering others.
3. Do you have any advice or lessons on how you go about learning a new language or framework? What works for you?
  • Write a ray tracer in it.
4. Any other advice or thoughts on the above in general.
  • Study the hard stuff
  • The most commonly available jobs are not the most lucrative jobs
  • People in high demand, low supply jobs are treated better
  • Learn some stats/probability-theory, it will make all your decisions better
 
Last edited:

Leo_

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2014
Messages
253
1. What lessons did you wish you knew when you started as a Junior Developer?
  • Build your skills with the future in mind, and not on legacy code that you're maintaining.
  • Don't get comfortable in your job - always seek the next best thing if your current role isn't satisfying
  • If you spend more of your time fixing bugs and maintaining code versus creating solutions from scratch - Move! The amount of experience you obtain from green-fields projects is exponentially higher than maintaining some buggy legacy code.
  • Seniority does not always mean expertise. Don't always accept their verdict - research alternatives to their solution.
2. What soft skills do you find has really helped you in your career?
  • Communication. Know how to get your point across precisely. Know how to talk to techies and non-techies.
  • Listen. Take a step back and listen to what is being said, and objectively address each problem.
  • Question. It does not make you less intelligent if you question - it makes you curious.
  • Be a good person. Just being kind, humble, and welcoming to your colleagues goes a long way. Remember details about their lives, their birthday, their pets and kids names, etc. Genuinely ask about them. If they have a problem, sit over a coffee and chat about it. This is extremely helpful if you're managing people.
3. Do you have any advice or lessons on how you go about learning a new language or framework? What works for you?
  • Practice. Seriously. Get your favourite IDE and start from scratch. Follow beginner online tutorials.
  • Learn how to read APIs and Source Code. A lot of it is documented. Play around with it and discover what appeals to you.
  • Stackoverflow.

4. Any other advice or thoughts on the above in general.
  • Your skill is agnostic to the place you work. You can be picked up and placed in a completely different dev-house with similar languages, and you will thrive.
  • Learn more than one language. Don't limit yourself to just one. However once you know one, it's very easy to pick up another
  • Never become system or solution reliant.
  • There is more money if you're willing to move, but more comfort if you plan to stick around. Determine what you want.
 
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