Ace your first year as a junior developer with this advice

Only do this if you need to.


Consider writing some failing tests before writing any code.

This is called Test Driven Development.

Not only will this give you good test coverage, but it will help you think about the structure of your code.

Learn how to write clean codeMastering clean code will make you stand out as a software developer.

So what exactly do we mean by Clean Code?Follows the S.




D principlesIt is testable and maintainableIt is easy to read and followIn other words:Any fool can write code that a computer can understand.

Good programmers write code that humans can understand.

 — Martin FowlerI won’t go into too much detail here, as the book, Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C Myles will give a much deeper insight into this area.

If you are serious about writing clean code and breaking out of the junior developer level, I highly recommend this book.

Writing clean code shows that you are passionate about what you do, and can create maintainable reliable software.

Not to mention that you will be making life a bit easier for the next person who comes along to add to your code.

“There’s a library for that”Have you ever told a friend about a problem you were having, and they respond with “Yeah, there’s an app for that”?Software development is a bit like this.

There are already a lot of answers to the problems you are trying to solve.

So when you are trying to complete a task, check to see if someone else has already solved the problem.

You can do this by:Looking for existing packages and librariesBrowsing sites such as GitHub and StackOverflow for similar solutions to your problem.

Hold it right there!.This doesn’t give you free rein to copy and paste code without a thought.

If you are using someone else’s code as an example, it is important that you understand what their code is doing and why.

Why is it using a particular design pattern?Why is it written in a particular language?.(Node.

js vs Python for example)What are the drawbacks?.Will it work with your current codebase?If you’re not sure, you can ask someone on your team for some guidance.

Searching Google for an answer is a common approach to solving coding tasks.

So don’t be afraid to turn to your teammates and say:“I’m thinking about using this library X or this package Y, I have seen some examples on here, what do you think?”Not only will this show that you are proactive, but it’ll also spark some conversation/debate from the team.

You might have discovered something awesome no one else knew about yet!Learn how to read codeWe have all seen those movies.

The ones where a hacker types rapidly as pages of code scroll down the monitors in front of them.

In the real world, developers spend more time reading code than actually writing code.

When adding new features or fixing defects, you will have to understand the current codebase you are working on.

How do you do this?.Read, read, read!Reading code is also a beneficial learning technique.

Reading existing code lets you see how others have developed a certain feature.

Things to keep an eye out for:The use of design patternsThe naming of methods, classes, and variablesThe use of commentsHow structure of project filesThe use of tests and how they are structuredSo where do you find code to read?Repositories in your source control at workProjects on GitHubRead answers/questions on StackOverflowCode challenge websites such as codewars.

com, which show the answers to challengesHave fun!If you take one thing away from this article, let it be this — is it important to have fun.

Enjoy writing code, solving problems, and continuing to learn.

You are at the start of an exciting career, so sit back and enjoy the ride!BONUS TIPSLearn the lingo.

We developers have our own funny language (“creating a branch” has nothing to do with trees!) so make sure you understand the key termsGet to know your IDE.

Learn the hotkeys, shortcuts, and customize it until you are comfortable with it.

This will increase your productivity.

Working on bugs is a great way to learn about the codebase.

So don’t be afraid to pick these up!Bring a notebook, listen with intent and write everything down.

Take on some side projects in your spare time.

It’s a great way to learn different technologies you don’t learn in your day job and will boost your CV.

Getting involved in work events is a great way to get to know your colleagues.

Why not organize one yourself?Thanks for reading!Have you any comments or advice for junior developers?.Are you a junior developer embarking on your own journey?.Leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.


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