By John Sonmez November 26, 2020 Succeeding as a Junior Developer I know a lot of you guys are in the junior developer role and you want to figure out how you can succeed how you can climb the little corporate ladder and get your big paycheck at that senior title. I did this, I help a lot of people do this. It's not that hard. But a lot of people don't really tell you what to do when you get your first job, unfortunately. #howtosucceedasajuniordeveloper #mentoringjuniordeveloper #juniordeveloperjob Transcript Of The Video John Sonmez: Yo, what's up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. And today, what are we going to talk about? How about succeeding as a junior developer? That's what we're going to be talking about. So, I know a lot of you guys are in the junior developer role, and you want to figure out how you can succeed, how you can get up there, climb the little corporate ladder like a good boy and get your big paycheck, get that senior title next to your name. That's what we're going to be talking about. I did this. I help a lot of people do this. It's not that hard. It's not that hard. But a lot of people don't really tell you what to do when you get your first job, unfortunately, but I'm going to tell you. In fact, hold on right there. Because I've got a book for you, The Complete Software Developer Career Guide. If you haven't checked it out, go check it out. Go buy it on Amazon. There's an audio version as well. You're going to like it, all right? It's going to give you a lot of advice to how to start your career honestly. Good stuff there. So click subscribe if you haven't already. On this channel, I teach you how to develop the soft skills that no one really teaches you in life as a programmer. So some people say that I am the nerd whisper, that I un-nerd you. I'll go with that. That's all right. Okay. That's good. All right. Let's jump into this. All right. So I got this question from Griffin. “I haven't found any videos about what to do once you get your first gig. Everything I've read/listened to is about how to get it. If you could go back to your first serious developer job, is there anything you'd have done differently? I guess I'm looking for some advice on making the most of this amazing opportunity.” Shit, I feel really bad that it took me three years to answer him. “So what advice would you give to a new developer to stand out, adapt and grow as quickly in the workplace as possible? The company is quite small and a tight-knight community.” I think he means knit, but I like the idea of a tight-knight community. I think that's really the best place to work is when you've got tight knights. All right. He says, “Additional info. First and foremost, I'd like to thank you for everything you're doing. Your videos, resources and complete handbook have helped me immensely. To keep this short, I started my first job out of college as a junior software developer this week. Everyone at work is extremely competent and helpful, which I'm grateful for. This is my first time in life where I actually feel imposter syndrome and welcome this feeling as I know I'm in the right place because I will be forced to sink or swim.” Good. You've listened to my videos, my friend. Good. And read my book. Excellent. All right. “I know the road ahead will be long and challenging. However, I'm excited for all the growth ahead.” This dude is really excited. I like that. All right. So let's talk about this. So what do you do as a junior developer? What do you do at your first job? What would I have done differently? So here's the thing, okay, and I think I pretty much did this right, is you need to ask a lot of questions, a lot of questions. All right? Don't be afraid to ask questions. So many of you guys, you fail because you're not asking questions, and you need to. You need to. You need to sit down with another developer who has been there for a while and they're going over stuff and you don't understand it, ask a question. Now, there's a good way to ask a question, and there's a bad way to ask a question, right? A bad way to ask a question is to give nothing about what you understand about it and just say why or what's that, right? A good way to ask the question is to say, “Oh, okay. So I see you're doing this here. And are you doing this because of this? If not, why?” Right? So ask a more specific question so you can get a good answer. Okay? There is no stupid questions. There's only stupid people. You've heard that. Don't be a stupid person. Don't be a stupid question asker. Ask a smart question. All right? Now, it might seem dumb to you to ask a question, but in the long run, it's going to benefit you, right? In the short run, they might be like, “Wow, we hired this guy that doesn't know anything. That's interesting.” But in the long run what's going to happen is that you're going to get up to speed that much faster. See, the people that don't ask questions, they're lost for a very long time. And then they get to a point where they have to pretend like they know things because they've been around for such a long time that it'd be embarrassing if they didn't know the answer to these questions. They never get the chance to answer a question, right? I'll give you an example. Here you go. You guys will relate to this, okay? Have you ever asked someone their name, been introduced to someone and then you forget their name, and then you can't ask them? You see them three or four times and you're like, “Shit, is it Justin or Jake? I don't know.” And then you can't call them by anything, and you can't ask them at that point. You can't be like, “Oh hey, yeah, guy that I have been talking to, that I met four times, what's your name? I forgot it.” You can't do that anymore, right? I mean, you should do that at that point, but the same thing happens. And so you don't want to actually be an imposter. You want to ask those questions. So that's number one. Another thing I would say is that, as a junior developer starting with a new company, get very familiar with the code base. Go to bed and sleep with the code base. Because the more familiar you are with the code base, the better you're going to be, the better you're going to understand what's happening. Now, it might be a huge framework, a huge system, a complex system, in which case understand the high level architecture. Again, ask questions, and then pick some area of code that you're going to study and that you're going to know really well. All right? Then try tweaking it, making changes, right? Before you're assigned stuff that you don't know how to do, be like, “Hey, if I needed to make this button suddenly do something different or take input this way or add an input field,” that's always a good thing. If you really want to get familiar with the code base, usually most code bases, right, most applications we have, they have two paths, main paths through the system, right? One is you enter some data, okay? And then you save it or you store it somehow. And so try creating a new field or new data that you can enter. The second one is that data comes up and is displayed from the database or wherever on the screen. So try to create some data that you're going to pull from somewhere and display on the screen. So if you can do both of those things, right, and you understand how to do that on your own, you're probably going to have a pretty good understanding of most of the changes that you're going to make in the code base. Because most things rely around that and you're going to understand all the pieces that it touches in order to do that stuff. So that's really important. And then you've always got to be learning, right? As a junior developer, I think a lot of developers think, “Okay, well, I made it. Finally got my programming job.” No. I've got my book here, The Complete Software Developer Career Guide. Like I said, read through this book. Go through this. This is going to help you out at multiple points in your career. And then still pick up other books. Constantly be reading. You should be reading at least one tech-related book per month, maybe one per week or one every two weeks. To be honest with you, to really get up on your craft, you should be reading blogs every day of programmers or watching YouTube channels of programmers to stay up on things. Maybe a little bit of hacker news, although that can rot your mind if you're too much into hacker news stuff. But you know what I'm saying? You should keep up-to-date on that stuff. You should create your own programming blog. I've got a course on how to create a blog to boost your career. We'll put a link up here. It's totally free, email course, okay? There's a link down in the description as well. And you can just go to simpleprogrammer.com, and you can click on that if you want to join there. But those are some of the things that you should be doing. Okay? And the final thing I'll give you is that, and this one is probably going to come as a surprise, is you should be mentoring other people, okay? I know that seems really weird, but as you learn things, teach them to other people. Okay? Why? Because that will help you to take knowledge to become understanding, which is really important. When you teach someone something, you gain a deeper understanding of it. Not only that, but when you do that process, you're going to become more valuable in the company, right? The most valuable person in any company is the person who makes other people valuable. Remember that. That's your job above anything else is to do that. If you do that, you will become irreplaceable, and you'll become the most valuable person in the company. So, do it.