You have recently started your first programming job and the honeymoon blues have kicked in. The initial excitement has worn off as you begin to notice it’s more difficult than you first thought. There is a huge difference between studying and watching coding videos to actually completing a job to a standard that pleases management and clients.
Not only this but because technology changes at such a fast pace, what you learned even 6 months to a year ago, may not be as relevant now. The idea of this article is to help you overcome the initial shock so that you can become an incredible web developer-
It’s perfectly normal to feel nervous, stressed, overwhelmed and even on occasions unhappy. All of this will pass as you start to gain confidence and begin to feel like you know what you are doing. The important thing is not to give up on your dream job.
If you have been in your job for 6 months, it’s your first day, or even if you haven’t found a job yet, following these principles will keep you going in the right direction to becoming the best developer possible.
- Rome wasn’t built in a day
Nobody is expecting you to be an expert on your first day, nor in weeks or months. Once you take this pressure off of your shoulders you will start to enjoy the learning process more.
Web development encompasses a wide range of skills and knowledge and it takes time to develop this. What is important is that you want to learn and want to better yourself. You are at the very early stages of a long career. Your career isn’t dependant on what you know right now.
- Try your hardest to solve problems
Your team members and managers are there to help you and if you are completely stuck, obviously you will have to ask. Before you run for assistance at every challenge, make sure you have exhausted all other possibilities prior to taking up other people’s time.
You could go to your boss or college two or three times and they could say, “have you tried…?” If your answer each time is no, you come across as someone who is not able to think on their own two feet. It would be much better if each time your answer was yes, demonstrating that you have tried everything you can.
- Stay curious
In this situation, curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Instead, it shows a willingness to learn and absorb all the information that is available to us. You may feel that by trying to understand the ins and outs of everything you will take more time to complete tasks.
As long as you have the time, investigating how the answer has come about is more beneficial than just knowing the solution. If your code wasn’t working but now is, discover why. It’s not necessary to understand every intricate detail, as long as you can try and understand the concept.
- Continue to improve
The first thought when something goes wrong is desperation and self-doubt. Don’t get caught up in these emotions, take a step back to allow yourself some perspective. What were you hoping for and why didn’t this come about? If your code didn’t work, what can you change?
Some strategies to try could be:
- Analyze the situation that didn’t go your way
- Decide where it went wrong
- Focus on the steps to take for it not to happen again
If you don’t learn from your mistakes, you run the risk of making them over and over again, and this doesn’t just apply to coding.
- Master problem solving like a pro
It is a major part of the job. Whether you are writing new code or fixing an existing code, at the end of the day, there is a problem to solve. To do this, you need to go back to understanding- understand exactly what the code is supposed to do.
Fixing any problem involves testing each stage to see if the problem has been resolved. It is the same for a web developer.
Debugging- This is probably where you will run into the most problems and it could take days or weeks to overcome. Overcoming this problem may drive your crazy but you will feel amazing once you find the solution.
Non-technical skills that will help you advance
- People skills
Again, a developer’s job is not just sitting at a desk looking at a computer screen. There is a significant amount of human interaction, particularly with your team members. Then there may be some interaction with managers, senior developers, and even clients.
Respect the workload of your colleges. Respect their workspace. If they are under pressure to reach a deadline, don’t annoy them with your issues or unintentionally interrupt them. Keep the communal work areas tidy and who you would like to find them.
Proactive workers do more than what is just required of them. You know how frustrating it is when you are the only person in your home to change the toilet roll. Imagine if everyone in your office had the same attitude and never refilled the coffee pot. Do more than just the minimum, not just to get noticed, but because it’s the right thing to do.