Andrew Pallant

Software & Web Developer

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How a Senior can Help a Junior Developer

Physical Link: How a Senior can Help a Junior Developer

Senior developers have a responsibility to help those who are new to the profession.   We are the one group of people that the junior developer can turn to after college.  Essentially the college gave the new developer 2 years of education, a piece of paper and tossed them out to sink or swim.

I personally do not like to see anyone sink.  I believe no matter what the skill set is, a person could be a little better if a helping hand is given.  I am not suggesting a babysitter, as no one really wants that.  I am suggesting an open door, an open mind and a little patience.   Juniors will make mistakes and they will often be a little cocky thinking they know it all coming out of school, but we need to remember their minds are still in the stage of learning.

Juniors can learn much more at their stage in life.   Their minds are like sponges and soak in the good and bad habits and knowledge that we share with them.  The best thing we can do for them is to teach them everything we know, encourage them to do extra learning on their own and to listen to them.   When I last managed a small team, I asked for a weekly report, which consisted of:

1. What are they working on?
2. Where are they on the schedule of tasks?
3. What obstacle have then encountered?  Are they still stuck, if not how did they over come it?
4. What is one thing they learned new this week?

During our weekly meeting, I would get one or two of the developers to talk about either the obstacle or their new found knowledge with the rest of the team.  This way all new and old developers had a chance to share and learn from each other.

In summary, help them learn in every aspect.  Listen to their ideas and new found knowledge.  Have an open door for questions.  Lastly; be cautious of your bad habits.

Related Reading: Can Senior Developer Learn From Junior Developers

Categories: Developer, Junior, Mentor, Professional Development, self-improvement, Senior

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