Published: 14 January 2016
I have been one for nearly 3 years now, I’ve been employed by 2 agencies one for well over 2 years and now Sagittarius, just hit 1 month. The time before my career was spent at college learning a wide range of IT topics, I ultimately enjoyed the course earning highest grade but 1 unit really stuck to me and that was web development.
Going into the role for the first time was an experience, in college they could only teach us how websites functionally work to an extent, to see it in practise was really exciting. Even small text changes being put to a development environment and then seeing it pushed live and out there on the net! Really cool!
Before entering a role you have to make sure that the company your joining is the right fit for you, in your job interviews it’s always a good idea to ask how they plan on building a junior into a senior, whether it’s a plan or anything, just so long as you know and can gauge what’s in store for you for the next couple of years, the interviewer can also see you’ve invested in yourself to get better, which is a very hireable attitude, appealing to companies.
Being a junior means a lot of things but mainly it’s that pestering your team members for help if you’re stuck and researching comes with the job and is almost expected of you, you are far from expected to know as much as the lead dev who’s had 10+ years in the field, don’t feel intimidated by other members of your team, be inspired by them. What you don’t want to be doing as a junior is sat there twiddling your thumbs because hours, day’s even weeks will pass and you don’t feel accomplished, you won’t get the ‘Heck Yeah!’ moment we all crave. I fully recommend shadowing other team members, seeing how they do their work can be very beneficial, researching new tech, new methods or even trying little bits out for yourself. Explore the code, it can do marvellous things. Making the odd cup of tea can’t hurt either… I make tea… ok I don’t, but I hear good things!
Take pride in all of your work, no matter how small you feel or your team feels the work is, the more pride you take in your work, the more your employer and team members will help and invest in you and the more enjoyable tasks will start to come your way. Getting stuck into your first big project can be scary/exciting it really depends on the individual, for me it was scary. Not having a strong background meant that I would no doubt be asking for help, doing a lot of research online for hours on end. One thing to remember is that that’s all fine!
Be confident in yourself, that’s something I’m guilty of…, if I’m assigned an intimidating task, I’ll think to myself, ‘There’s no way I can do this!’ But behold an hour later doing some research and digging around I have firm grip on the task and most of the time it’s completed. This is known as the ‘Heck Yeah!’ moment I mentioned earlier.
Listen to everything your team members say you’ll absorb a lot of information and it’ll be a great deal to take in but being able to join in in conversation about any topic, work or social stuffs is always good, you’ll build a good relationship and start to feel part of the team.
So to summarise or TL;DR if you will…
Ask all of the questions, Have confidence and show pride, feel part of the team and learn.