First time in a tech company can be intimidating, so here are a couple of things I have learned that really helped me along the way…
1. Asks questions so you don’t waste time!
Before, I used to think “I can figure this out” and “It’s only a matter of time that I will debug this”. Now that I know better, I would suggest that you should ask all questions as soon as possible. Yes, you should be proactive and make a concerted effort to research and use Google or try to figure it out. But as soon as you get stuck, ask right away.
I use to hold off on asking questions and it would set me back so far behind schedule, so learn from my mistake. 5 hours googling or 5 seconds asking?
Time is too precious to waste. Ask everything and ask right away.
2. Know the difference between a workaholic and high performer.
I use to try to learn code by doing crazy amount of reading here and there. This seems okay at first because I am a junior developer and my main job is learning. The problem was, I barely saw any progress with my skills. I then learned that I was obsessed with coding. I was trying to code nonstop and learn without a purpose.
I took a step back and decided that if I am going to use 100% of my efforts, I can’t let any of that effort go to waste. So, I then focused on my given task at hand (which was an internal project at the time). This allowed me to be more specific and have a purpose when learning new material.
3. The workload + learning curve.
Being a junior developer comes with tons of learning and new challenges.
I felt like there were infinite amount of materials that I needed to learn that would require lots of time. I really wanted to know all of the material and quickly so that I could perform the task given to me, but tackling learning curves that way could get very messy. I ended up skipping and taking too many shortcuts. So, sure I completed the work I was given, but I left with very basic understanding about the material.
Take your time and get past that learning curve. As a junior developer, your workload isn’t as intense as a veteran entering the job. So, take this time to really climb those learning curves.
4. Learn from your neighbors.
Before working for WhirlWind Technologies, I learned from books, articles, YouTube tutorials, etc. Lots of people learn this way. Now, being with a tech company, I figured that I could do the very same in my cubicle. Well, so I thought. After my experience working on a project with several other developers, I learned that people are the best resources. Why? People are like a network of resources. All of the best articles and information that I read are from my co-workers’ recommendations. I, too, contributed great links and references to valuable information. It is like a give and take situation. When people recommend resources, they usually recommend something they found very useful or truly believe it has great value to be helpful to others. I encourage every junior developer to collaborate with your team as much as possible and start a sharing community by offering tips and tricks that could help others around you.