Last year, I decided to take a break from my job and joined 3 months coding Bootcamp. After graduated from Bootcamp, I have joined an Edtech startup as a junior developer and I still can't believe that I did it: I am now a developer.
Here are what I've learned during these 6 months (and more to go) as a junior developer:
1. Don't be afraid to ask the question, but do your research before asking
For me, there is no stupid question but also beware to do your research before asking a question. Always do more research if you face any difficulty when coding (Google is your best friend).
If you really can't find the answer to solve the current situation, you can always prepare all the approaches that you took and ask for advice from the senior team.
2. You will make mistakes
We will certainly, at some point, made some mistakes. For me, sometimes the mistakes are a good indicator of what area of knowledge or skills that I should be improved. Learn from the mistakes and don't repeat them.
3. Documentation is important
I can't stress the importance of documentation. It helps me to keep track of the process or journey when I develop a feature or fix the bug.
By doing this, I can always refer back to the document and through the documentation, you can always improve the quality of the software application.
4. Don't forget version control
Version control is very important for developers to track and manage the software code. I still remember the first time I joined the company, I took quite some time to understand the concept and run the correct command. But after getting used to it, you are comfortable using the command and track the code changes.
5. Bugs is your new friend
Bugs is that one thing that most of the developer (especially me) are afraid of. I will feel stressed if there are bugs that appear when I first started. But as time goes by, bugs become my friend. It gives me an understanding of what goes wrong in my code. From there, I can improve my debugging skills.
6. Don't reinvent the wheel
This is a good example of when I learned this. This happened when the product team decided to add in a new feature which is to create a carousel to display the new user that onboarded to the platform.
Me as a junior developer that likes to build things from scratch immediately decided to build the carousel from scratch which later found out the carousel is more complicated than I think. After a discussion with my colleague, we decided to use the external library to build a carousel which takes lesser time and effort than to build the carousel.
However, I will try to build from scratch for my side project just to get more practice and improve my understanding and skills.
7. Understand how the UX/UI works
For me, it's very important to understand the design before we start coding. Of course, you can dive in to learn more about the UX/UI but for now at least the basic understanding. This will make us understand more the reason behind why we build it and how it will bring the impact to the user when they use our application.
8. Imposter syndrome is real
Until now, I am still going through this stage which I feel I am not that good to become a developer. So I take the chance to speak with my teammates and boss to share my feelings. It's very important to speak up about how you feel because sometimes you will overthinking and ignore the accomplishment that you have done.
Conclusion: Don't stop learning, Be a lifelong learner
Software development is evolving rapidly and everyday developers have new things to learn, but don't ever give up! Finally, thanks for joining my adventure as a junior developer. Here is the recap:
- Do some research before asking a question.
- You will make mistakes. But make sure you learn from it.
- Document the process so you can always refer back.
- The bug is your new friend. Try to understand the bug and from there you can improve your debugging skills.
- Don't reinvent the wheel. There is always a ready library that can use in the application.
- Imposter syndrome is real but doesn't forget to appreciate yourself. Celebrate a small win and be confident in yourself!
I am grateful if you read until the end. If you have time, feel free to share your insight or experience so we can learn together.