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How to be a Better Junior Developer (RailsConf)

How to be a Better Junior Developer (RailsConf)

Abstract:
Are you from a non-C.S. background? What about someone you mentor? Many junior devs’ top focus is building technical knowledge. However, they already have other skills that can help them in their roles immediately! Some of these include helping their team focus on the right tasks and working well with stakeholders like PM and support. This talk will discuss the non-technical contributions junior devs can make now and how their senior dev mentors can help them ramp up more quickly as a result.

Presented at RailsConf 2014 in Chicago, ~30 minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJW46x27W1w
Blog post: http://kwugirl.blogspot.com/2014/04/how-to-be-better-junior-developer_25.html

40be222374e709cae7543dee233fe2e1?s=128

Katherine Wu

April 23, 2014
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Transcript

  1. How to be a Better Junior Developer Katherine Wu @kwugirl.

    ! ! Junior Software Engineer
  2. where I’m coming from

  3. @kwugirl where I’m coming from > Long…! way…! to go…

    https://flic.kr/p/e9UTz
  4. @kwugirl constantly learning where I’m coming from >

  5. @kwugirl where I’m coming from > Pac-Man Not Pac-Man Pac-Man's

    eye
  6. @kwugirl can find a way to apply any skill where

    I’m coming from >
  7. @kwugirl expand ways for junior devs to learn faster &

    feel valued where I’m coming from >
  8. why it’s hard to be a junior dev

  9. why it’s hard to be a junior dev > so.!

    much.! to learn. how to help?? https://flic.kr/p/8iXWEJ https://flic.kr/p/eaGPCC
  10. @kwugirl How to help your team! 1. Ask good questions

    
 2. Give good feedback 
 3. Make your team look good So much to learn! 1. Get people to want to help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope Where We Are next: so much to learn, step 1
  11. 3-step plan for ! “so much to learn”

  12. @kwugirl 1. get people to want ! to help you

    so much to learn >
  13. @kwugirl “build relationships” so much to learn > get people

    to help you
  14. @kwugirl so much to learn > get people to help

    you > build relationships friendship is magic!
  15. @kwugirl so much to learn > get people to help

    you > build relationships
  16. @kwugirl so much to learn > get people to help

    you > build relationships
  17. @kwugirl so much to learn > get people to help

    you > build relationships mentor as guide https://flic.kr/p/6TJNK6
  18. @kwugirl so much to learn > get people to help

    you > build relationships the support team https://flic.kr/p/57gjkS
  19. @kwugirl show you did your homework so much to learn

    > get people to help you
  20. @kwugirl “If you’re busy, who else could I talk to

    about this?” so much to learn > get people to help you > show your work
  21. @kwugirl “Is there somewhere I could’ve found this answer on

    my own?” so much to learn > get people to help you > show your work
  22. @kwugirl so much to learn > get people to help

    you > show your work push out and extend https://flic.kr/p/86nc96
  23. @kwugirl show your appreciation so much to learn > get

    people to help you
  24. @kwugirl tell their manager so much to learn > get

    people to help you > show your appreciation
  25. @kwugirl How to help your team! 1. Ask good questions

    
 2. Give good feedback 
 3. Make your team look good So much to learn! 1. Get people to want to help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope Where We Are next: so much to learn, step 2
  26. @kwugirl 2. make it easy for ! people to help

    so much to learn >
  27. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy

  28. @kwugirl articulate why you’re confused so much to learn >

    make it easy
  29. @kwugirl “You had me up until _____” so much to

    learn > make it easy > articulate why you’re confused
  30. @kwugirl “I’m confused, because I thought you said a=b, and

    b=c, but here… a!=c ?” so much to learn > make it easy > articulate why you’re confused
  31. @kwugirl “I’m trying to ___, so that I can ___.

    I’m running into ___. I’ve looked at ___ & tried ___.” so much to learn > make it easy > articulate why you’re confused
  32. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    articulate why you’re confused courage to say! “I don’t know”
  33. @kwugirl “Wait, I don’t actually even know what that word

    means.” so much to learn > make it easy > articulate why you’re confused
  34. @kwugirl “Sometimes things are confusing not because you’re new, but

    because they’re confusing.” so much to learn > make it easy > articulate why you’re confused
  35. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    articulate why you’re confused team effort to get out https://flic.kr/p/agQkvi
  36. @kwugirl give specific, positive reinforcement so much to learn >

    make it easy
  37. @kwugirl “It really helped me when you…” so much to

    learn > make it easy > positive reinforcement
  38. @kwugirl how mentors can help learning so much to learn

    > make it easy
  39. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    how mentors help https://flic.kr/p/7N7nGa
  40. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    how mentors help safe environment https://flic.kr/p/bsR8Aj
  41. @kwugirl don’t be afraid of making mistakes so much to

    learn > make it easy > how mentors help > safe environment
  42. @kwugirl “It’s not a matter of if you break production,

    but when.” so much to learn > make it easy > how mentors help > safe environment
  43. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    how mentors help > safe environment Mike Monteiro, http://bit.ly/1i2P2yS
  44. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    how mentors help awesome mentoring! learning style teaching style
  45. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    how mentors help when it is ok ! to interrupt? https://flic.kr/p/37gGBL
  46. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    how mentors help keeping an ear out https://flic.kr/p/dZibct
  47. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    how mentors help “You will reach the top alive.” “Throw me the rope.”
  48. @kwugirl so much to learn > make it easy >

    how mentors help push up ! responsibility for deadlines https://flic.kr/p/9oXPuL
  49. @kwugirl How to help your team! 1. Ask good questions

    
 2. Give good feedback 
 3. Make your team look good So much to learn! 1. Get people to want to help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope Where We Are next: so much to learn, step 3
  50. stretch break!

  51. @kwugirl How to help your team! 1. Ask good questions

    
 2. Give good feedback 
 3. Make your team look good So much to learn! 1. Get people to want to help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope Where We Are next: so much to learn, step 3
  52. @kwugirl 3. narrow the scope so much to learn >

  53. @kwugirl prioritize so much to learn > narrow the scope

  54. @kwugirl timing matters so much to learn > narrow the

    scope
  55. @kwugirl so much to learn > narrow the scope death

    spiral of self-doubt :*( https://flic.kr/p/7e5kgk
  56. @kwugirl so much to learn > narrow the scope learning

    happens! learning style tutorial style
  57. @kwugirl so much to learn > narrow the scope Programming

    tutorials:
  58. @kwugirl so much to learn > narrow the scope goal-oriented

    vs. just playing https://flic.kr/p/azW9VQ
  59. @kwugirl team processes, product knowledge so much to learn >

    narrow the scope
  60. @kwugirl so much to learn > narrow the scope keyboard

    ! shortcuts https://flic.kr/p/9mjR
  61. @kwugirl So Much to Learn 1. Get people to want

    to help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope next: helping your team
  62. 3-step plan for ! helping your team

  63. @kwugirl helping your team >

  64. @kwugirl your technical contributions matter helping your team >

  65. @kwugirl don’t compare your beginner to someone else’s middle helping

    your team >
  66. @kwugirl “No one comes out of their mama’s womb knowing

    how to code.” helping your team >
  67. @kwugirl 1. ask good questions helping your team >

  68. @kwugirl helping your team > ask good questions how to

    use questions for good?? https://flic.kr/p/e5PKTt
  69. @kwugirl “Are we working on the right thing?” helping your

    team > ask good questions
  70. @kwugirl “Is there a reason we’re doing it this way?”

    helping your team > ask good questions
  71. @kwugirl helping your team > ask good questions don’t put

    people ! on the defensive https://flic.kr/p/6eFVyB
  72. @kwugirl helping your team > ask good questions ask All

    The Questions https://flic.kr/p/chf4im
  73. @kwugirl How to help your team! 1. Ask good questions

    
 2. Give good feedback 
 3. Make your team look good So much to learn! 1. Get people to want to help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope Where We Are next: helping your team, step 2
  74. @kwugirl 2. give good feedback helping your team >

  75. @kwugirl helping your team > give good feedback step into

    their shoes https://flic.kr/p/hgrkXJ
  76. @kwugirl helping your team > give good feedback speak up

    when you have good things to say https://flic.kr/p/4PdRQ8
  77. @kwugirl “I don’t have an opinion on this topic.” helping

    your team > give good feedback
  78. @kwugirl How to help your team! 1. Ask good questions

    
 2. Give good feedback 
 3. Make your team look good So much to learn! 1. Get people to want to help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope Where We Are next: helping your team, step 3
  79. @kwugirl 3. make your team look good helping your team

    >
  80. @kwugirl give awesome demos helping your team > make your

    team look good
  81. @kwugirl helping your team > make your team look good

    write a script https://flic.kr/p/fbQZmF
  82. @kwugirl be responsive, thorough, & empathetic helping your team >

    make your team look good
  83. @kwugirl Helping Your Team 1. Ask good questions 2. Give

    good feedback 3. Make your team look good next: pitfalls to avoid
  84. pitfalls to avoid

  85. @kwugirl pitfalls to avoid > “Girl Scout tax” https://flic.kr/p/7Eu25y

  86. @kwugirl pitfalls to avoid > don’t be sidelined https://flic.kr/p/du2JYZ

  87. @kwugirl pitfalls to avoid > stay focused ! on your

    goal https://flic.kr/p/cwrm2u
  88. @kwugirl Recommended Resources Team Geek: A Software Developer's Guide to

    Working Well with Others 
 (http://amzn.to/1gyRzAH) The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success (http://amzn.to/1kJC0vK) “How to Survive Your First Year as a Programmer” (http://bit.ly/1mSoyYI) “5 Undervalued Skills in Tech & Why You Should Master Them Anyway” 
 (http://bit.ly/1hu796E) “Self-promotion for Game Developers” (http://bit.ly/1kdVsmH) “Becoming an Influencer” (http://bit.ly/1htNrlt) next: recap
  89. @kwugirl How to help your team! 1. Ask good questions

    
 2. Give good feedback 
 3. Make your team look good So much to learn! 1. Get people to want to help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope Recap next: conclusion
  90. conclusion

  91. @kwugirl lean on your strengths conclusion >

  92. @kwugirl have confidence in your ability to learn conclusion >

  93. So much to learn! 1. Get people to want to

    help you 2. Make it easy for people to help you 3. Narrow the scope How to help your team! 1. Ask good questions 2. Give good feedback 3. Make your team look good http://bit.ly/1n6Wcdk Katherine Wu @kwugirl. ! ! Junior Software Engineer