Things to avoid as CodeNewbies!

20 November 2020 | 5 min read

In today's post, we will see on the most important things that CodeNewbies should avoid based on my experience observing the industry so far as a Software Engineer. Spending 13 years in the industry, I have observed various situations which make CodeNewbies get exploited.

I am a Junior Developer

I have shared this to many developers who recently graduated from technical bootcamp or students completing their college graduation and on the lookout for new roles as a developer. We always try to associate us with the term "Junior". Don't do this.

There are no Junior Developers in the industry.

Everyone starts as a Developer.

Learning all at once

Learning all technologies mentioned in job description at once is bit overcomplicated. This would cause burn outs. Instead try learning the concepts which are essential to perform the duties of a developer.

Keeping focus on one area at a time helps in mastering the topic and provides more value to our learnings. Shifting focus to various moving parts will not help.

Spending more on technical content than needed

I have seen situations where we tend to buy technical content either in the form of Courses or Tutorials on every technology that is out there. Don't do this. We will not work with all technologies right from day one. Having foundational knowledge helps and they can be achieved by going through various free resources. Today it is not difficult to find, free quality resources.

Join the technical communities in Slack or Discord around the technology which we want to learn. These days most communities have a - help section and I know there are many developers out there who are willing to help.

Building Common Portfolios

It is great to have a Portfolio website. It is a trend these days to have a Portfolio website. Instead of building a Portfolio website we can use alternative methods to show our skills.

Alternative ways can include any of these methods.

  • Collection of code snippets in Codepen where we have solved a particular use case.
  • Blog posts with what we have learned and how did we use it to solve the use case.
  • Create video on how we solved a problem and the approach we used to solve the problem.
  • Volunteer at a non profit of choice and get testimonials on work accomplished.

People who hire are interested in knowing more about the intuitive process that we have used while learning and building portfolio applications.

Looking for roles after Completion of Bootcamp

This is a common mistake we often do. We make ourselves busy with the tough learning cycles throughout the bootcamp. But we end up searching for roles only after completing a bootcamp. Most bootcamp out there do not provide any support with respect to job placements. Very few bootcamp provide placement assistance. If we are learning in one of those bootcamps we are lucky. But that is not the case very often.

Create a network the moment we join bootcamp. The early we start, the better will be the results.

So how do we start to build a network - We can start right from the bootcamp.

  • Reach out to previous students from bootcamp and see how they are doing.
  • Check with previous students to see if they would be interested in amplifying our voice.
  • Join nearest meetups and see if they have a welcoming group to support beginners.
  • Connect with members of the meetup on LinkedIn or Twitter and check if they will be interested to provide guidance and support.

These conversations and connections that we build in early stage often helps in the long run. Some of them from our connections might even become our mentor to guide us. These connections can also become our accountability buddies making sure we are accountable to what we commit to learn. The early connections will help us in landing our new roles.

Failing to share progress and get feedback from Mentors

We usually create the initial connections but later we fail to share progress.

Feedback is a great way to improve ourselves. Be open to feedbacks.

It is important to share our progress with the connections that we make in our meetups or LinkedIn. These can be by asking our connections to provide feedback on the code that we just wrote to solve a problem or asking review on a blog post.

Waiting for the golden opportunity

We often spend more time waiting for the golden opportunity. Trust me there are many developers who are successful in their career not because they started their career in a place that met all their expectations. Over time they steered their way through to reach the place where they want to be.

Everyone needs a starting point. It depends how quickly we start our journey from the starting point.

Gap is considered as a big problem in the industry. I know how difficult it is when there are gaps in our career. The industry is slowly learning to consider gaps.

Getting a role for 35$ to 45$ per hour in Midwest region on contract basis is not a bad thing. Don't concentrate on the pay when we start. Instead use that opportunity to learn to the fullest. The learnings which we gain initially are more valuable.

Once we start we can always change after gaining considerable confidence and experience.

Many might not agree completely with me on this, but it is the reality that we must accept.

Don't go behind Hype

We often go behind hype to choose a particular technology to learn. Social media often is the culprit to create that hype. Don't choose a technology by seeing its trend in social media.

Do research specific to the location!

We need to choose a technology to learn by research and what we can learn.

  • Check for the number of entry level jobs that are posted for a technology in our location.
  • See the trends on the technology that is in demand in our location.
  • See the number of people who are already available with the skills in our location.

Learning a skill where there is a large supply will not help us land our roles. So, finding the niche is more important.

There is no one-step formula

There is no one-stop formula to reach our goal.

Some might be successful by following a course like "30 days to learn", "100 days to learn".

Trust me everyone has their own learning journey. There is no one step formula. If we are not able to learn something in 100 days it is fine to learn it in 150 days.

What is more important is the consistency.

Consistency and commitment to learn and change our future is the key to our success.

Our planned efforts will help us reach our goal ultimately.

Have any other suggestions that should be included feel free to let me know, I will get them included here.

Happy learning and don't allow any one to exploit.