Answer the question someone wants answered, not the one they ask

Dear new developer, When you are coding, you must be precise. If not, the compiler yells at you (if you are using a statically typed language) or you have runtime errors (if not). A mistake as simple as misspelling a word or omitting a single quote can and have caused me debugging pain. This rigor … Continue reading Answer the question someone wants answered, not the one they ask

Are you ready to work remotely?

Dear new developer, Remote work is fantastic. You avoid a commute, have control over your work environment, and save money on lunches. However, it has downsides. You need a fast internet connection, you must be disciplined, over communicate and stay on task. You have to be OK with relative solitude. My desire to work remotely … Continue reading Are you ready to work remotely?

Think about how things can go wrong

Dear new developer, Think about the edge cases. This is one of the primary ways you can add value. Think about what happens when things go wrong. It's usually relatively straightforward to consider the happy path. Let's take the example of a relatively simple ordering application. People can login, see their orders, and can change … Continue reading Think about how things can go wrong

How to get the attention of a busy person

Dear new developer, This post talks about how to ask for mentoring, but the principles apply to getting in touch with any busy person. Busy people are by definition busy, and get a large number of emails and requests every day. (Here's a VC talking about the difference between ignoring and not replying, and how … Continue reading How to get the attention of a busy person

Balance Questions With “Banging Your Head”

This is a guest blog post from Don Abrams, lightly edited. Enjoy. Dear new developer, When starting out, the hard part is balancing two things: Asking questions Banging your head against the wall Additionally, as a new developer you'll likely be encountering something for the first time: a codebase that is really really large. Like … Continue reading Balance Questions With “Banging Your Head”