Junior Dev on a Senior team

I recently joined a new team at work. They are a rockstar team and I’m insanely excited to learn from all the seniors on the team. But that doesn’t mean I’m not intimidated to a degree and discouraged at times.

The team has two Senior Developers, two Senior Manual Testers, one Intermediate Automation Developer and one Product Owner. They’ve been together for at least 4 years with the same people. They are one of the few teams that haven’t been broken up and dispersed, something my company likes to do every year or so.

When the opportunity was presented to me to join the team, I was elated! The Senior Devs are highly respected and two of the best in our department. Learning directly, one on one, with developers of this level is a massive injection to your skill level. Things were going to just click with me from here on out. I would have access to close to two decades of developer experience. I would be a better developer overnight, +10 to all programming skill levels. At least thats the extreme fantasy I believed in and still do at times.

The Senior Devs have been insanely helpful. They are able to relate to what I’m experiencing, help me push through problems, mentor me in not only the languages we use but also in soft skills. I have learned a ton from them and will continue to. My skills have increased, but not the overnight success I wanted of course. 🙂 It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows though.

I learned that the cool new feature I wanted to write and bring into our app, the senior devs want to do the same thing. And they have seniority and the skillset to do it in half the time it would take me to do it. So I end up writing Unit Tests for their code, which sucks but I do learn from it. You have to fight for the features you want to implement. You have to speak up and tell them you want to do XYZ. You have to be able to back up every line of code you write. There has to be an explanation for every method and every DB call. Be prepared to rewrite entire sections of what you just spent 4hrs writing, it will be better in the end.

I am still very excited to be doing what I’m doing everyday. The experience is massively beneficial, but can be discouraging. Keep your head up, look at everything as a learning experience. Every critique is a lesson the senior has learned and is trying to pass on to you. Every code review is a knowledge transfer.