Tips for Raising Junior Developers

In our last post we’ve talked about the open vacancies for the smart and gifted specialists. Some of the listed jobs are for the junior developers, what means that they’re only starting their IT careers. Most juniors think that they should be active, initiative and have good theoretical knowledge in order to get their first job. Most of them really have addiction to technologies, others are encouraged by high salaries, but all of them understand that the real success is measured by the desire for studying and self-improving. So, the young generation is ready for learning. But the question is – how can their colleagues and team leads help them with self-improvement and becoming a better developer?

Working in the IT company includes numerous components – programming, communication with clients and within the team, engineering, creating plans for QA and testing, setting goals, time management, understanding different business processes, and many others things. But most junior developers don’t even imagine that there are so many parts in the process of web and software development. They may need help. Project managers and team leads are responsible for simplification of the adoption process and motivation of the junior developers to become better specialists.

1. Learn to work with a team

The main goals by most IT companies are achieved by the effective work of the team where every IT specialist is a part of a huge working mechanism. Most juniors don’t have any previous experience of working in a team. Someone says that students can work together on the project at college but actually it’s not the same. At college, everyone gets their personal grade that comes first, and the result of the teamwork that comes second. So it’s necessary to explain them the ideology of teamwork, and that they are also responsible for the results, shown by the team, as well as all the other members of it.

Juniors won’t understand how to cooperate with colleagues during their first working days. Sometimes they’re even afraid to ask for help, and that only makes things worse. It’s important to explain them that asking questions is the only correct way to learn and succeed.

2. Learn to work alone

Sometimes junior developers can ask many simple questions, so it’s better to explain them that it’s easy to find the necessary answer for the frequently asked questions. Explain to them when it’s better to find a solution on their own and when it’s better to ask for advice.

It’s important to tell them about the project development cycle and the coding standards during their first days. In another case it will be more difficult for them to get adapted to the working process later.

A junior developer should understand well when it’s better to be initiative and when it’s not. For example, they may complete a task and won’t tell about it until the project manager or the team lead asks them. And they didn’t say that because they didn’t know that they should have told about it.


3. Learn the culture of time management

In any case, a beginner won’t be able to make the correct estimates with correct deadlines during the first moths. A project manager should take it into account, obviously increasing the assessment for the tasks. And young developers should understand  that if they don’t meet the deadlines, then they should tell about it to the project manager or a team lead. Or if they complete the task faster, than  they are expected to report about that. In this case, they will be able to learn more during their working hours.

It would be better for a junior developer to concentrate on one task at a time, and start working on another one only after when all the others are completed.

4. PMs and team leads should be patient and be smart mentors

Young developers without experience are open to the new knowledge that allows them to quickly learn new technologies. On the other hand, insufficient experience could influence the quality of a final product. Such a situation could be solved by a smart mentor, who would give clear tasks and real estimates, monitor and adjust the process, advice what to read and where to search for a needed solution. He should be ready to explain many things that could be quite obvious.

It’s important not only to notice the mistakes, but also to fix them as soon as possible and let the junior developer to think about their nature in order not to repeat them in the future.