Advice to New Developers From A Googler

Dear new developer,

Monica Dinculescu, who works at Google, has some good advice for new developers. I don’t agree with everything she says (ah, the cacophony) but some of it definitely resonates. She has a unique approach to an AMA (ask me anything) using GitHub issues.

My favorite answer was to this question:

Sometimes I feel like I’m not good enough to become a professional software developer

I think you’re putting too much pressure on yourself! Feeling like you’re not good enough is so standard in life it even has its own name: impostor syndrome. All the developers I know, myself included, have on countless occasions thought everyone else was better than them and they just accidentally got lucky. We’ve all been stuck on a problem for days, only to randomly discover a solution after a while, out of nowhere. I find stepping away from it or talking to people helps a lot! I also do this super annoying thing to my co-workers where I explain to them, out loud, the problem I have, but by explaining it to them I end up thinking about a solution. (this also has a name, it’s called rubber ducking!). Anyway, it just takes time and practice to become confident!

We all have difficulties. I remember lying down in my home office, struggling with one of the hardest problems I’ve ever faced (it was how to update a partial recurring reservation for a piece of equipment if the room reservation changed), and thinking “there’s no way I can do this”. I also remember interviewing in March of 2018 and feeling like “man, I am so out of date and useless”.

The joy of technology continually evolving is that I get to learn all the time. The downside is that I feel continually out of date. Chances are you might too.  Remember, if it was easy, we would have automated it.

I hope you enjoy all of Monica’s advice.

Sincerely,

Dan

One thought on “Advice to New Developers From A Googler

  1. OK, I am not a “developer”, but I am an actual engineer and I write mission (as in life) critical software and I am thinking just wow, maybe there are some people out there that really should be doing something else.

    No matter how much you desperately want be an Olympic 100m gold medalist, it doesn’t mean that you were born with the innate ability to do so, no matter how hard you try.

    Coding is no different, or even more to the point, architecture of robust and reliable complex systems of many components.

    Like

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