When a junior developer is assigned to your team, it's easy to give them the "new guy" treatment. You might give them jobs you don't like to do or play some sort of harmless prank on them, but take it a step further and you're in danger of becoming a toxic workplace. Handing over jobs that are simply too difficult for a junior developer and ridiculing them when they inevitably fail is one large example of how a team joke can take a dark turn, forming a habit of treating junior developers poorly in the hopes that they'll "rise to the challenge." In reality, most teams would benefit from having another experienced developer, so why not help the newbie grow into someone you can trust? In this episode, Matt and Mike discussed how to challenge and mentor a junior developer by giving them achievable challenges, avoiding a "trial by fire" that they will inevitably fail.
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Sometimes helping a junior developer in this way is not possible because of: