How does it feel to be a junior developer

When I go to events and I meet others juniors developers like me, everyone starts to talk about one thing (in fact, that’s why we get together in the first place): “it’s been so hard, but I am loving it!” So I decided to talk a little about this today and maybe help others who are in the same situation.

Your first weeks

You are so happy someone finally hired you and are excited to work with a team and develop the software. Suddenly you start to feel a lot like this:

  • You are terrified because you think you’re gonna be the intern who dropped the company’s database.
  • You hold your breath for a few seconds before typing git push origin because you are afraid you will push it to master by accident.
  • You have an idea of how to solve a problem, but you are terrified of breaking something important.
  • You move other’s cards in Trello by accident.
  • You are afraid to ask for help again to the team, they all look so busy solving complicated tasks!
  • “How am I going to ask for help if I don’t even know what is happening after spending almost 3 days trying to understand what I am supposed to do?! “
  • “How can she/he find the problem just by looking at it for like 3 seconds??”
  • “I hope I can be a great professional like this person one day!”

Some tips that may help you during this phase

After you freak out a little — or a lot — you start to think:

  • Oh no, that’s why nobody hires people without experience. They will fire me, I know NOTHING!
  • You feel like you are a burden to the team
  • hello Darkness, my old friend

Unfortunately, this is a very common experience for junior developers. Do not let this put you down, please. This is a sign that you are persevering and you’ll be fine. Here are some tips that I’ve learned that may be helpful when working on a team:

  • Understand and study a lot about Git. Seriously.
  • If you find a command line that you don’t understand, always ask if that’s okay to use it. It’s really important to check the source of the commands and to understand how it works!
  • Write clear and self-explanatory commits and Pull Requests.
  • Read the documentation, even if you don’t understand it at the first time.
  • Write down commands that your team uses frequently so you don’t have to ask every time.
  • Take 1 hour per week to learn something new will help you improve your learning journey.

How to motivate yourself

For those moments when you feel like you should quit:

  • Remember that you get to every day with people who have a lot of experience and have a lot to teach you (and I am not only talking about code) and they were in the same position years ago.
  • Celebrate every small victory that you accomplish every day.
  • If you are stuck for days, ask for help.
  • Know when and how to ask for help.
  • Talk to others so you can share your feelings with other juniors and seniors too and ask for advice.
  • When you feel like you still got tons of things to learn, remember how much you’ve learned until today.
  • Work on your motivation and enjoy the process. Try your best every day, try to improve your mental health. It can become a stressful process that may make you lose all the fun about programming.

How are you doing being a junior developer? Have something to share here?Do you remember how your first internship was like? What terrified you the most? How did you overcome your fears? What do you have to say for junior programmers like me? See you next time!

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