2 Biggest Mistakes Junior Developers Make

Running @thedevlife on Instagram has exposed me to a lot of questions from software developers and engineers from different skill levels and experience. Using that information, along with my personal experiences in the industry, I have identified the two mistakes new developers make. If you are new to software development, this might be beneficial.

Waiting Too Long

When is a developer ready to start creating applications? That is one of the most popular questions I get. My answer to that question is “now.” Let me explain why. When I get that question from a developer, I take that question as asking for confirmation or in an indirect way asking for me to give them a little push to start working on an application. Sometimes it might even feel as if they are asking for permission to start. When you are new to programming, you might feel uncomfortable, and you might lack the confidence to start building, that is a natural feeling. However, you should put that feeling aside and get started as quickly as you can.

Some developers wait until they feel comfortable with the language or framework they are working with to start building. If you do that, you might have waited too long. One of the reasons you want to start building applications is to have something to show when you are interviewing for a position. The lack of a portfolio can have a substantial negative impact on your career. Waiting too long is not advisable. The applications or services you build might not become a great success, but you will gain experience by working on them. The apps you create can also be used in your portfolio.

Not Being Coachable

Sometimes I come across developers who love to use the phrase “I know” to cut someone off when a peer is trying to get a point across. The worst part about this is that some of the time, they actually don’t know what is being explained to them; they use the phrase “I know” to not appear vulnerable. If you always say you already know, your peers will stop trying to help you out because you will not be approachable. Sometimes, even if I already do know what is being explained to me, I give the other person a chance to say what they want to say because I could be wrong. Sometimes I am surprised and pick up a bit of new knowledge just by letting someone explain what they have to say or explain. 

My advice to you is to stay humble, showing your vulnerability might feel uncomfortable, but it has lots of value long term because you will learn from having concepts explained to you. On the other hand, if you are not open, you would be making it more difficult for yourself to learn new things.

Final Thoughts

 Remaining coachable expresses to the ones around you that you are open and willing to learn new things. Learning in tech or any other space for that matter is very important. The moment you stop learning, you start dying.