Dear new developer, You are probably going to be dealing with text files sometime during your development career. These could be plain text, csv, or json. They may have data you want to get out, or log files you want to examine. You may be transforming from one format to another. Now, if this is … Continue reading Learn a little jq, awk and sed
Dear new developer, I enjoyed this post from Hanah Yendler on how to succeed as a new developer. Note that she is working at Eventbrite, a larger company (1100 employees according to wikipedia), so some of the advice may be a better fit for new developers at bigger companies. A few of the pieces of … Continue reading How to be a successful junior engineer
Dear new developer, There will come a time when you are looking at a system and trying to understand the choices behind it. You may be looking at a particular class, a subsystem, or a more fundamental choice, like the language or the system architecture. And you'll wonder what the hell the initial implementer was … Continue reading Don’t Shit on Someone Else’s Work
Dear new developer, Sometimes you are confronted with decisions for which you simply don't know the correct answer. This has happened to me many times over the years. A recent example is that the client wanted to build an online quiz. They wanted to be able to edit quiz questions and answers. They wanted it … Continue reading What if I have to make a technical decision and I don’t know the right answer?
Dear new developer, Sometimes you only learn through experience. This post catalogs 30 years of experience. As I read this, I nodded my head often. Good points include: Be ready to throw your code away A lot of people, when they start with TDD, get annoyed when you say that you may have to rewrite … Continue reading Things learned the hard way
Dear new developer, I want to build perfect systems. There's something so beautiful about a perfect bit of code that solves a problem elegantly and succinctly. Especially if it comes with a set of unit tests and great documentation. But, every time I start to work on any real world problems, tradeoffs come into play. … Continue reading There is no perfect system, it’s all about the tradeoffs
Dear new developer, I enjoyed this post from Rick Manelius (who also did a guest post a few months ago) about assuming positive intent. From the post: Chris [a client] could have crushed me, and yet he didn’t. In fact, he did the exact opposite and taught me an incredibly valuable lesson. Amidst the bickering … Continue reading Assume Positive Intent
Dear new developer, I remember the first full time coding job I had. I was able to work on a great team, on interesting problems. I was able to get into the "flow" that is such a magical state. I was paid well. I had free snacks. I remember going into my manager's office and … Continue reading Someday, You Won’t Want To Code For A Living