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What I'd Expect From a Junior Developer

October 3, 2023
October 11, 2023
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When you take your first job as a junior developer you may be nervous about what type of tasks you'll be assigned and the expected quality level of your deliverables. In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed some of the types of tasks that you may be assigned as a junior developer. They walk through how and what a manager may ask you to do, and how much detail you're likely to receive before getting started. These tasks range from simple tests of your UI layout skills, through your ability to pull in information from an API and display it appropriately on the site. Every workplace is different and so Matt and Mike also covered some of the common struggles that junior developers may face in their new role including legacy codebases, lack of mentorship, and a toxic work environment.


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Who’s in This Episode?

Show Notes

What you'll learn in this episode

  • Some tasks that you might be assigned as a junior developer
  • How management (ie technical lead, general manager) may assign tasks to you
  • What is expected from your deliverables

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  • I’ve noticed a lot of new developers that are curious what their first days, weeks and tasks would be when they join a team
  • I’m going to outline what I’d expect from a new hire and how their onboarding process would/should go.
    - Note this is very different from team to team but I figure an example is better than nothing
  • The interview process is meant to give me an idea of what kind of tasks I could give you as a new developer
  • This episode is meant as a follow-up to Succeding in Your First Week as a Junior Developer 

Your first tasks

Junior front-end

  • Gain familiarity with a codebase
    - Assign a very specific task within that codebase that requires you to get it running
    - Ex. refactor a specific file to componentize a card layout or a form
  • Test UI layout skills
    - Given a wireframe and design create this page or components
  • Test API consumption skills
    - Assign a task like add updated at time to each comment in a comment section
  • Documentation
    - Update documentation based on any new findings

Junior Back-end

  • Create APIs
    - Create APIs for a marketing dashboard that shows number of registered users
  • Write test for APIs
  • Setup API troubleshooting
    - Use something like Postman to hit APIs to test different responses
  • Fix/deploy new cloud function
    - We use serverless when it make sense and knowing how to create a serverless function either through a framework (next.js) or cloud service (AWS, GCP) will be a key skill

First tasks for freelancers

  • If you’re not starting a new developer job but are jumping right into freelancing you have a bit more on your plate
  • You should be able to create a product for a customer
  • That can be using no-code tools (Wix, Squarespace, Webflow) or a basic static website (HTML, CSS)
    - If you use something like HTML CSS or Wordpress you’d need to know how to deploy/host your content

Junior Developer Struggles

  • Legacy codebases
  • Too much information is thrown at them
  • Complex build pipelines
  • Complex dev setup (docker)
  • Lack of documentation
  • Boredom
  • Lack of guidance/mentorship