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 I also remember interviewing in March of 2018 and feeling like “man, I am so out of date and useless”.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 The downside is that I feel continually out of date.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

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