5 More Inspirational Tips for Junior Developers
You sent in your resume, had your interview questions, got the job, and maybe now you’re looking at getting a certification or a salary boost. But how to stay the course? Following on from our first blog post with the initial set of inspirational tips, we’re following this up with our next set of tips. Keep to the plan, use our tips, and continue to motivate yourself.
Our second set of inspirational tips
This is the second in our series of inspirational tips for junior developers.
1. Put away your phone
When coding it is very important to try and avoid distractions especially social media. You need to deal with your fear of missing out (FOMO)! However, you need to balance this with not just staring at your monitor for hours on end working away. Small breaks are good for you, especially if you’re stuck on a problem. Look away from the screen and focus on something in the distance to help your eyes. Get up from your desk and move around for a few minutes to help your body. There are many utilities and tools to help you with mindfulness and to focus better – utilize them. Search out new software and technology that can help you work in the best way. Microsoft have introduced Headspace and Apple have their mindfulness Focus feature across macOS and iOS, along with their Watch that can remind you to stand every hour. Software applications and apps will be available for whichever platform you use. Or why not try to write one yourself as a coding exercise?
2. Always plan and make sure you manage your projects and time
Now that you are concentrating and not getting too distracted the next step is to plan, plan, plan. You will need to become efficient at managing your projects and time by setting well defined priorities and deadlines for yourself, learning to delegate and how to say “no” sometimes. Learn what works best for you whether these management practices should be done every day, week, or month, or all three! Match them with your responsibilities. It’s obviously good to start with a defined plan but summarizing and checking back at the end of a defined timeframe is extremely useful as well, to learn what went badly, what went well, and what still needs to be accomplished.
3. Play with the code
It’s really important to play with the code. Deliberately changing things to see what happens enables you to learn how to break something (and then fix it again). In addition, you might find a quicker or better way of accomplishing something. If you do this on a regular basis you will probably learn a lot more, a lot quicker. And this leads on to our next tip…
4. Read the error messages
You must read the error messages. When something doesn’t work, or you’ve deliberately broken the code make sure you read those error messages. Reread them until you have unearthed and understood every piece of information they might offer. Look them up, learn what they mean, especially those generic error codes like “404 Page Not Found”, “PC LOAD LETTER”, and “Abort, Retry, Fail?”. Discover and note down how/where to find the answers to error messages and codes. You will need to know how to get answers to the problems you encounter.
5. Security and privacy
Initially the WWW (World Wide Web) really was an actual WWW (Wild Wild West), with a free-for-all attitude of anything goes. For instance, look up just how internet pornography inspired online credit card payments and e-commerce. But now in the modern world there are best practices, specifications, requirements, and actual laws. Therefore, security and privacy should always be primary guiding principles in anything you code. Think like a hacker – go back to tip three above and try to break what you’ve developed in terms of security and privacy. Don’t use backdoors, or if you do, absolutely make sure you remove them before code completion. Consider these:
Can you bypass the security checks?
Can you avoid or disrupt the encryption?
Can you get to the really juicy data and download/offload it?
Can you do something that you shouldn’t be able to do?
Can you access/see something that you shouldn’t be able to see?
What happens if you input something crazy/unexpected?
Where to go from here…
Stay curious. Contemplate which direction you want your developer career to go in such as frontend/backend, JAVA, Python, React, blockchain, or full stack. Try different development languages and stacks out to discover which of them twitches your interest. Work on side projects like we suggested in tip one.
We’ll be posting a final blog in this series of inspirational tips for junior developers in March so why not bookmark our resources web page or follow us on social media (LinkedIn / Facebook / Twitter) to hear when we post it.