Tips For Novice Web Developers
If you’re new to web development and eager to quickly go from junior to a mid-level developer, you’ve probably heard people say that you need to wait at least a couple of years before you do that. While that’s not entirely a lie, there are ways to accelerate the process and progress more quickly.
Now, we know you’re curious about how to do that. But, before we do that, we need to explain the difference between a junior and mid-level developer. It’s the only way you’ll be able to see where there’s room for growth.
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What’s the difference between a junior and a mid-level developer?
There are a couple of differences between a junior and a mid-level developer.
Naturally, a junior developer has less knowledge and skills than a mid-level one. You can easily recognize a junior developer by looking at their code – you’ll often see overly complex abstractions. This is because they’re more focused on making the code work than its aesthetics.
Mid-level developers, on the other hand, can write code that is easy to read and concise. Because of their experience, they’re much better at prioritizing and assessing the complexity of their tasks. Unlike junior developers, they work independently and rarely need help.
8 tips to quickly go from junior to mid-level developer
Now that we’ve gone over the differences between a junior and a mid-level developer, let’s see how you can speed up the transition and become a mid-level developer as fast as possible.
Make a plan.
Web development is a very broad field. There are many programming languages and even more frameworks you can work with. It’s easy to lose focus because there’s always room for improvement in pretty much any programming language.
For that reason, it’s essential to plan things.
First things first, go through the job listings and look at the job descriptions. This is where you’ll find all the information on the skills you need to get promoted. Many companies list the exact features the developer must have worked with to be considered for a mid-level role.
Once you’ve done that, create a list of all the skills you need to acquire, along with a timeline that includes the time required to consolidate knowledge through side projects. This will force you to focus on your progress and track it.
Review your code.
As we’ve already explained, junior developers are often focused on making the code work. Because of their lack of experience, the code they write is often difficult to read and understand. A good way to improve your style is by performing code reviews on your own.
The best way to do that is to go back to the code you wrote two weeks ago. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is each line of code about?
- Can I improve code readability, quality, or structure?
Keep in mind that if you tried this with the code you wrote just a couple of days ago, you’d just keep on seeing what you wanted to see. You won’t be objective. For that reason, it’s best to go back to a bit older code.
Become a mentor.
This may sound strange, but a great way for a junior developer to progress is by teaching others. This is because you need to truly understand things before explaining them to someone else. Furthermore, teaching will freshen up your memory and fire your passion even more.
If the company you work for doesn’t have a mentorship program, you can always educate others by recording YouTube or TikTok videos or writing a blog.
Of course, this doesn’t work if you’re entry-level because you need at least some knowledge, but it’s great for those with some experience.
Try pair programming.
Pair programming is a software development technique in which two developers work together at one workstation. The first developer, usually a more experienced one, is the one that’s writing the code, while the other developer should sit back and observe.
Now, some juniors find it daunting to simply watch what’s going on without participating. They feel discouraged when they see their colleague is faster at writing code, solving problems, and identifying the cause of bugs and errors.
But try to look at it from another perspective – this is going to be you one day! Pair programming is a great learning opportunity if you allow it to be. Ideally, it’s best to do a mix of pairing and occasionally work on your own.
Learn from your mistakes.
A growth mindset is something most companies pay attention to when hiring juniors. This is because people with this attitude are less likely to feel down when they make a mistake and are more likely to use it as a learning opportunity.
Remember that making mistakes is normal when you’re a junior. You shouldn’t be afraid to make them. Instead, try to embrace them as a part of the growing process. They will help you become a much better developer because that’s exactly how you’ll gain much-needed experience.
Work on a side project.
Working on a side project is a great way to perfect your existing skills, fill gaps in your knowledge, and practice something you haven’t worked on yet. What’s so great about them is that there are no deadlines you need to meet and deal with the negative consequences. The only person you’re working for here is you.
Now, this project doesn’t need to be big. It’s even better to pick something that can be finished in a day’s work or less. That way you won’t get bored, and you’ll be the best web development agencies in India able to accomplish something useful.
If you’re out of inspiration, you can try to come up with a solution that solves some of your everyday problems. You can, for instance, build a simple app that tells you when your favorite singer is coming to your city to perform.
Ask for feedback.
Asking for feedback is incredibly important, especially if your team leader or mentor isn’t used to providing it on their own. Don’t be afraid to communicate these things. All you need to do is approach them and ask them how they feel about the work you have done in the last two weeks.
Even if you receive negative feedback, you can use it to find out where there’s room for improvement and ask for advice. This way, you’ll be able to use your mentor’s extensive experience to further improve your skills.
Look at the bigger picture.
A big difference between a junior and mid-level developer is that the mid-level one can look at the bigger picture. This means that they can not only code but also understand the project’s requirements, the deadlines, and the project documentation.
This will help you understand how the entire development cycle works and adjust your coding style to the one that is already used on the project. Furthermore, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Does the code I wrote match with how things have been done elsewhere in the codebase?
- Is this code easy to maintain?
- Will this code reflect on other parts of the project somehow?
Answering these questions will allow you to become better at what you do and show your team leader you’re ready to get promoted.
If you want to go from junior to mid-level developer quickly, you need to put in additional effort. Simply doing your job isn’t enough because you’ll need more time to gain the necessary experience.
Of course, you’ll still need at least one to two years to get there, so be patient with yourself and trust the process.