So, you just finished your training and now you can proudly call yourself a junior web developer – with far-reaching plans, expectations of a steady, first-rate income, tons of projects, and ideally a great desire to code and code for your own pleasure. Will it really be so and what needs to be done to make such, albeit not entirely believable, dreams get closer to reality? Get ready, you’ll have to sweat. Even though you learned the technical base at the university or through professional courses, now you have to delve into self-study.

Programming is a universal field that is located at the intersection of a huge number of other fields and practices. Even experienced developers can’t know everything, and as a Junior, you’re not at all familiar with the huge knowledge base that’s yet to be explored. And, oddly enough, the best way to gain experience is to show that you don’t know something.

In this profession, at least once a day, we hear word of a technology that we haven’t yet discovered. Therefore, do not pretend that you know everything – ask more senior colleagues. Moreover, experienced developers are often even glad that they make a mistake – after all, they learn from mistakes. Don’t be afraid to show that you don’t understand something. The same goes for interview preparation. It’s better to be honest about what you really know than to make a fool of yourself afterward.

You will avoid blunders or ill-conceived actions if you find yourself a mentor. One of the best manifestations of educational cooperation in Tech is the mentoring system, because, firstly, you don’t have to work directly with such a mentor on a daily basis. You will meet with them weekly and tell them what you are doing and what you need help with. 

If you don’t have a job yet and there is no one to ask from a team of more experienced employees, the advice is simple. Attend industry events, pay attention to people who give lectures in the field that interests you, and talk to them about possibly taking you under their wing. 

Yes, this process is almost never free, but you will also gain enough experience from it so as not to regret the money spent. You can agree that having the backing of a person who can objectively look at your work and help you stay on track with your learning goals is always reassuring. But, of course, for this to work, you need to decide what kind of goal it is you are pursuing. And that might not always be getting a job.

Before you get into the system and narrow down your focus to the very specific problems of companies, decide on your personal goals. One of the most unpredictable challenges for a newcomer to the world of programming will be the realisation that you have to learn a million things that you are not even aware existed yet. Understanding that there simply won’t be enough time and energy for everything – after all, interviews are still to come – can seriously hit self-esteem and the desire not to quit what you started. To prevent that follow these steps:


  • go for a consultation with a mentor
  • identify strengths and weaknesses in your technical and personal plans
  • define goals for improving your technical skills
  • work on personal characteristics.

Next, decide what will be more important for you and your resume: learn a new programming language or become a better team player? And speaking of languages…

If you are a developer, and even more so a full-stack developer, it is imperative that you develop your aptitude for other languages. No matter what you are learning now, it is imperative to take on something that is drastically different from your daily work. Do you know Ruby? Switch to C# and it is guaranteed to help you stand out from the rest of the job seekers and boost your self-esteem.

At the same time, once you get into a language – don’t cut corners. Study its syntax, operators, and libraries, as well as its practical application. The first components are simple – a programmer who has the slightest idea of coding is able to gain the necessary vocabulary by writing code for several hours. Libraries are a matter of practice and your willingness to learn and not give up until you’ve mastered everything you need for your work. But in practical terms, you have to work for months and months until you learn all the tricks. This is where the real magic happens and how you craft your own personal style of problem-solving. Well, at least there will be something to do in the near future.

You can look for a dream job but try to devote time to side projects. Your side project doesn’t have to be super impressive. Ideally, anything you can handle in a day or less will do. If there are no ideas or suggestions, try to pinpoint a real-life that haunts you and solve it with the help of technology. You will be surprised, but such creative solutions are appreciated by employers. For example, you can:


  • Write an application that will automatically download the timetable of your local cinema once a week and send you a notification about which movie with a rating above 8.0 you can watch
  • Write a simple program that will tell you the city your favourite band is playing right now
  • Write a feature that will track discounts 
  • Create a simple photo album site, where each page will change its colour in accordance with the dominant colour in the selected photo

Remember that being a Junior means brimming with enthusiasm, testing your strengths, asking stupid questions, and striving to do something great. Only those who are motivated will be hired and mentored.

We will talk about what to do as a Junior in your first job in the following articles.

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