Hey folks! 👋
Have you recently been hired by your dream company? Or are you a recent graduate who has recently had the opportunity to work with a team?
You may be perplexed as to how you can contribute to the team in the same way that some of your seniors do.
I completely understand! Every developer went through that stage and began their career with that feeling. Starting out as a junior developer has its own set of rewards and challenges.
It costs a great deal of patience and strategic thinking to make an impact.
And the same applies to every field you work in. There is no exception.
Today, I will give you 10 tips of my personal experience of how you can bring so much value to your team and how can you make your manager reach out to you for every help he/she wanted! 😝
1. Try being proactive ⚡️
As a relatively new member of the team in terms of experience, I used to have a lot of questions, such as - What would happen if I spoke up in a meeting? What will people think of me if I ask an irrelevant question? And the list of misconceptions is endless. As a result, I was always hesitant to approach someone on the team.
Well, the fact is, if you don't be social and proactive, you will not be notified to your peers as to how your work is and what are your strengths are. Especially nowadays where most of the developers are working remotely, there are very fewer chances to work together and talk face-to-face.
Even if you are a programming ninja who can crack the solution for every problem, there is no use if other people don't know about your skills. So, try to talk with others on a regular basis. Have off-topic conversations and ask the seniors to share their experience on the project so far. Trust me I have learned many things from my peers and seniors by just maintaining friendly relationships with them.
2. Ask questions 🤔
Few people feel difficult to admit when they don't know something, this kinda feeling stops them from asking questions to others. And there is another category of people who do some certifications online and feel they know everything.
But, the one who has the right attitude towards their career goals and wants to progress in their career. You need to be honest about your work, your knowledge and show eagerness to improve.
Asking questions is essential to career success.
Whether or not you identify them, there are many inevitable gaps in your knowledge when you are especially in an early stage of your career. Your senior might not know how to reverse a binary tree as you did. But he knows a lot more than you in terms of the process of work, what tool to use at the right times and what is the exact reason for a particular bug you are facing.
If you are in a thought of confusion and fear that your co-workers may think you are dumb if you ask them a question. Well in reality people really want to help others. Because as I said before, everyone came from a similar situation as you are. On top of that, asking questions demonstrates an eagerness to work well on your team.
3. Be a team player and a professional. 🤓
Being technically strong is not enough for you to grow in your life especially when you are in corporate. From joining the daily team catchup on time to sending an email to your client, everything will matters. Be aware that there are some set of people who are constantly observing your behavior and performance. I mean let's be honest, that's the reason why they are paying you right?
Every company has a set of rules pre-defined that you have to follow and obey. You need to set healthy work boundaries, communicate clearly and early on, maintain structure at work and prepare for things to go wrong.
You also need to understand the power of working as a team. Even if you have all the skills to work on specific functionality. Breaking down the responsibilities, and working together to complete the same functionality saves a ton of time.
4. Seek Mentorship 🙏
One of the important things that helped me a lot in my career is seeking mentorship from my seniors. You might not do that with everyone, but with one with whom you might feel comfortable. I literally approached him for every single doubt I have, every time I was stuck somewhere, and whenever I had to know about my assigned tasks.
Having a support system will not only make you a better worker; it will also make you a more fulfilled person as well. Having people at your side for aid, advice, or even just a listening ear can transform your work environment. Professional mentorship relationships create a space for you to engage with professional expertise in your field.
In the beginning, especially, try to do pair programming with them. So you can directly get a chance to understand how they will approach to solve a problem.
Pro tip: I recommend finding a mentor who has 2+ years on your experience level so that they have valuable insight without being directly in competition with your work.
5. Be ready to grab the opportunity 🤝
The best advice that I have got from one of my managers previously was,
You need to be ready with the right skills every time to grab new opportunities.
Because new opportunities won't come every now and then. But, when they come, you should not miss a chance to say yes to work on that. If you miss that, you may have lost a golden opportunity to mark your presence in the team.
So, always upskill yourself to the new technologies and be aware of the new features that are going to be added to your application. So that, you can be prepared beforehand whenever the requirement comes. A missed opportunity will cost you a lot!
The company really needs people like that. If you don't want to be challenged and want to have a routine work style always, understand that you are going to be paid the same salary and you will be in the same position for a very long time while your friends will quickly be promoted to the next level.
6. Ask feedback 🚀
Your goal as a junior developer is not to be perfect; your goal is to learn your craft. This means that you will make mistakes along the way.
Just as it is important to ask questions, it is also important to ask for feedback directly.
Learning is a trial and error process!
Not many people enjoy receiving feedback, but when it comes from the right people (i.e. people you trust and who care about you both as a person and teammate), it is extraordinarily helpful for your personal and professional development. So ask for code reviews as well as feedback from your team members. Constantly figure out if there’s a way to do something better.
Also check out : Programming is a Trial and Error Process!
There’s always room for improvement when it comes to coding, deploying, team procedures, communication, or otherwise. We thrive in an industry with fast feedback loops and constant iteration, so get used to asking for and giving feedback because it’ll make everything get better faster.
7. Constant learning & Learning how to learn 🧐
As a fresher, be aware that there are a lot of things that you still need to learn. Don't be comfortable with what you have learned. Even though it is serving your purpose, there might be some requirements all of a sudden for you to work on a completely different technology.
Also check out: How to Learn the Right Way : Personal Experience
A good developer who wants to grow in the fast-moving technological world should think to upskill himself to the latest technologies constantly. We cannot bet our entire career on a single language or tool!
8. Try to find new ways to solve the same problem 💡
You might be in a team where you have to provide support to the existing, already developed application. Or, you have been assigned the task of resolving a bug in the existing flow of code.
In either of the cases, you will get a chance of debugging the existing code written by someone else and understand their style of writing code. Every person has his own style of writing code, someone will use complex logic in a single method and someone wants to write meaningful code with many comments and small modular functions.
Also check out: How to Decide What to Learn Next? Asking the right questions.
In the process of going through the existing code, along with the mindset of fixing that bug, also think about why that bug has occurred and are there any better ways of implementing the same logic that was written with better optimization.
In that way, you can have a very good chance of contributing to the application and who knows you might end up reducing the load times of a particular feature.
9. Don't Overwork & Overthink 😵
Overworking as a fresher is really dangerous. You need to have a proper work-life balance. Otherwise, you might end up getting burnout. Have a proper schedule for your day. Do exercise, do whatever you like, and along with that try to complete the given tasks for you.
So many reasons are there for a fresher to over-work. If you are stuck somewhere or have a doubt about where to start, get help from seniors. If you feel working more hours makes you a better developer? Well, that's a myth. So many times it's better to not take up extra responsibilities. It's ok to have your personal time in a day.
Along with overworking, I have explained why you should not overthink in one of my previous articles:
10. Important: Blog what you learn! 📝
This is my ultimate tip and I recommend every developer irrespective of their experience to start blogging. It helps in a lot of different ways.
You said to learn something completely when you can demonstrate it better!
If you are a junior developer, you can write an article on what you learned. It helps you to understand that particular concept well. Because you might research about it before you write something.
As a senior developer, you have a huge potential to help lots of people out there who may not know many things you already know. Knowledge sharing doesn't only involve sharing but also involves an increase of your existing knowledge.
In parallel with sharing knowledge, you are also slowly building your own brand. At one point it will help you find your next big Job!
Personally for myself, starting writing articles in Hashnode helped me a lot!
I highly recommend you to check out this awesome article written by Catalin Pit : 5 Amazing Benefits of Sharing Knowledge as a Developer
That was a pretty big article. If you made it here, I hope you get something out of it.