Welp. I was given a task to write an entry on the blog, so here we are! I would like to let you know that I am not a blogger, or writer myself, but I can ensure You, that I will do my best, to provide You with a handful of tips and some useful information. So, go, grab a coffee, or whatever You like to drink, take a comfortable seat, and dive into this article.
Bright Lights, big scene, huge audience… Naah, it’s not that story, But how is it gonna actually look like? Welp, most likely you will arrive at a new office (Just don’t be late!), you are gonna meet your team, get introduced to them, you can tell them a bit about yourself, but don’t overwhelm them with information about yours yesterday dinner, tell them something interesting, maybe about your hobbies? I am sure you will find something that suits you the most. Now, you can set up your local environment, install everything that you need for daily work, and set everything so it will be easier for you to work (e.g. Slack, Git, IDE together with plugins/themes, etc.). When you are done, you can go and read/ask about your company’s standards, get to know them, and start to introduce them into life. Once you finish doing all that stuff, you are ready to be given your first task.
Yaaaay! I am going to write some code! Welp, Sorry to disappoint you, but most likely not. your first task is probably gonna be to read some documentation, manuals, code, or check out any different source of knowledge. But why? The answer is quite simple – to understand what you are actually going to do, I doubt you wanna just sit and hit random buttons on your keyboard, not knowing what you are actually doing. First, you need to read about the project / task, you are gonna work on so you can get a better understanding of what you are about to do.
The first line of code
Woah, it’s actually getting even more interesting! You are about to write your first line of the commercial code. Congrats!
However, I have to pour some cold water on you, because it’s probably not gonna look like you’ve imagined it. You aren’t gonna solve problems with which even top developers struggle, neither it will be some huge rocket science. It’s gonna start off small, in the end, even hawk gotta learn how to fly. Good example of it is to fix some small styling issues, or changing the favicon. Don’t worry though! As you will gain more experience, the task will start getting harder and then…
You are gonna most likely encounter your first bigger issue
And at one point, you just won’t have an idea how to solve given problem, but chill, there’s a solution for it, actually a couple of them:
- Google the problem! You are most likely gonna end up on Stack Overflow or any different social network gathering developers, or some articles, YouTube videos, wherever you are gonna end up, check the proposed solutions, and check if they work for you, if not…
- Ask your co-workers. Don’t be afraid, they don’t bite (at least most of them), they won’t judge you. If they will know the solution, they will point you towards the right direction, or even give you a proposal solution, even if they don’t know the solution for the given problem, they are most likely gonna try to help you anyway, as best as they can. If it still won’t succeed:
- Ask directly on Stack Overflow or any other related social network. There’s a lot of developers waiting out there, just to share their knowledge with you, you just have to make the first step, and simply, ask. Try to describe your problem as good as you can, and provide as many pieces of information, as you can to avoid misunderstandings.
Last but not least, actually I even think this section might be the most important one…
Soft skills and Relations with Others
Sometimes, you are gonna work with non-technical people, and what might be easy for you, doesn’t necessarily will be easy for someone else, so don’t get frustrated, or mad at someone, if you will have to explain something to someone more than once, be patient and try to simplify the data you are trying to pass. At one point they will understand (or at least pretend they do).
Another important soft skill is creativity, almost every problem can be solved with multiple solutions, and the more creative you are, the more solutions are gonna come up to your head. In the end, development is a bit like a puzzle, except you have to create puzzles yourself, and then put them up together into one piece.
Yet another essential skill for every developer is communication, as you are gonna communicate with others almost every day, no matter if you work remotely or not, you should learn how to pass information properly. In your messages, try to describe everything as simple as possible, at the same time providing as much data as you can. Try to avoid misunderstandings, as they are gonna take your time, and cause unnecessary frustrations.
Don’t neglect relations with others, as everyone wants to be treated well, even a simple question like “How is it going?”, will let others know that you are interested about them, and your relations. They are really important, considering you are gonna work with the same people for quite a bit.
And that’s it.
I think that those are the tips, that are actually worth sharing, with fresh developers, to help get them started (from the non-technical point of view).