August 25, 2021 - courtney
Landing your first job as a developer is exciting, but it can also be scary diving into a new career. You’ve been through months, sometimes even years, of learning and practicing all to land your first job. Your first day of work is finally here, you are feeling nervous, your confidence is low, and imposter syndrome kicks in. It’s completely normal to feel nervous – I know I was for my first day. As a new developer working at a digital agency, here are the top 5 tips I have learned in my first 90 days that have helped me.
I used to think that being a developer was sitting at a desk all day just coding. I couldn’t have been more wrong in that assumption. Communication is a big part of being a developer. You have to be able to communicate effectively with your clients and with your team.
As a new (and even as a veteran!) developer it is very important to communicate if, and when, you need help. Don’t pretend to know everything – everyone was new once and even your senior developers don’t know everything!. Communicate with your senior developer(s) and ask a lot of questions! Don’t be afraid to be the newbie – be confident to ask the right questions to get the information you need to succeed at your tasks
No matter how much you think you know, how many certificates you’ve acquired, and courses you’ve completed – you will never be done learning. Thinking that you have nothing left to learn is a dangerous mentality for any developer, especially a new developer.
There is so much to learn in the world of web development and technology as a whole. In the world of tech, things are constantly changing and improving. As new technologies and frameworks are released, you’ll have to keep yourself informed to remain competitive and able to provide solutions for your clients that meet current industry standards.
Jump into Stack Overflow and GitHub to find the answers to questions you have, or just to scan through the questions other developers are asking. Develop a reading list of industry blogs and magazines. Take a course on new technology. Most importantly – code every day!
Here are some resources I like to keep my knowledge up to date:
Every agency will have different tools and processes that they prefer – but there are a couple of tools that I wish I had a better grasp on before starting my first development job.
As a developer, you’ll be writing a lot of code, so a proper code editor is a must. The code editor can make a big difference when you’re writing code. It will ease your life as a developer by helping easily navigate and edit code, especially if you learn the keyboard shortcuts to make coding a project just a bit faster. I love to use VS Code, here are some Keyboard shortcuts for VS Code.
Command-line experience is a must for a developer.
A lot of your work will be dependent on the command line (git), as well as some technologies requiring you to have command-line knowledge. There will be only a few commands that you’ll have to memorize and as much as you will end up using them, you won’t have a problem memorizing them. For everything else, there’s always our best friend – Google.
You should be proficient with different browser’s Dev Tool or Developer Tools. Being a web developer is not only about writing code or working with the command line. But also debugging!
My favorite browser to work with is Chrome. Here is the complete documentation on Dev Tools for Google Chrome.
Organizational skills and good planning can help you save a lot of time, reduce stress when the deadline is approaching, and help you finish on time every day. Making a simple project-based to-do list will allow you to: stay organized, keep your head clear and focus on the task at hand, highlight any roadblocks early, and easily keep your senior developers, managers, and clients in the loop. As the old saying goes – proper planning and preparation prevent poor performance!
Here are a couple of tools I like to help keep me organized:
It’s sometimes easier said than done to remain confident as a new developer – but being confident in the skills/knowledge you do have, and confident in asking questions about the ones you don’t is key to success.
Stay open to all new things and be willing to make an effort to explore and understand them. Being a great developer takes time and consistent effort. Be confident in knowing you will reach that senior developer level if you keep practicing, learning, and asking questions.
Are you a developer looking for your next opportunity? Check out our job openings – we’d love to have you on our growing development team.