Being a junior has a lot to do with a state of mind. besides technical skills.
I want to tell you how I changed my “junior” state of mind and how I was able to give value much faster, which translates into a better salary, roles, and opportunities
I will share practical tips that you can implement starting today.
If you haven’t read it yet, check out
As a team member, you can give a lot of value by helping to improve aspects of the work that are not necessarily technical.
Working on software, there are many processes in place – from the way the team is planning its goals, executing them, dividing the workload, reviewing the code, finding bugs, communicating with each other, learning from past mistakes, and many more…
My point is, that you can see where you find difficulty working in the team and come up with ideas on how to make it better.
Improvement #1: The Onboarding Process
No matter your technical level, one thing that you can help the company to improve is its onboarding process.
This is the first process you will be experiencing as a new employee. Especially when you are a junior, your tasks and responsibilities might be very unclear (at least to you).
When you finish with the onboarding process you can take initiative and propose to improve the process by adding all the missing pieces (that you had to deal with).
Present these suggestions not as complaints but with solutions and ways to already help the next new junior coming onboard.
Improvement #2: Communication
One thing that most teams can improve on is communication. Usually, the team’s “daily” (or the “standup”) takes wayyyyy too long, and it is not really clear to the team member who is doing what.
Two main reasons that I found for that are:
- Developers get into the nitty gritty of their technical issue
- People don’t come prepared and need to think during the meeting about what they are working on
One thing you can propose, which I did and helped my team greatly, is for everyone to summarize their points into the following template: Done, Today, Blocked, Further Ahead.
The idea is to summarize what you are working on in the most non-technical way. Developers should help each other avoid too many technical terms and avoid going too deep into the problem.
If another developer needs technical help, the “daily” meeting is not the place. All they need to say is that they need help to accomplish the goal, and set a meeting with the relevant people to solve it.
Working in a team, there are many more improvements you can make, I just gave two main ones as an example.
You can improve on the way the company and team are tracking issues, tracking bugs, connection and communication with other departments, time managements, workshops to improve the team knowledge,arranging game nights to get closer to each other and endless more potential…
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- Tip #3: Self Improvement
- Tip #4 – Asking For Help
- Tip #5 – Receiving Feedback
- Tip #6 – You Will Never Be “Ready”
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Who am I, and how did I end up here?
I am a software developer and Instructor with extensive experience leading both teams and projects, and over a decade teaching students and training staff.
A few years ago, Jonathan (Owner @Solvism) found me a job in a technical position after I moved to the Netherlands. He guided me through the Dutch working culture and got me a great fit. He did this in… wait for it… one day!
Since then we kept in touch, and when I had the opportunity to join the team and contribute with my knowledge and experience, I had to jump in! So here I am!