Junior developers thrive on trust and training. Even though you might start wary of the former and have little time for the latter, there is a way to make sure junior developers get the training they need. How?
Programmers are highly demanded. As a result, IT managers face a lot of pressure to make new development team members productive quickly.
It takes more time than before for Jr developers to speed up, this is a point of frustration for many IT leaders. There are three key points why this happen:
- Modern development socializes the development process. A programmer doesn’t just go off and perform his tasks; he interacts with the team constantly and collaborates in decisions and activities. Team-based activity and collaboration are hard to inject into computer-science curricula.
- Development tools and practices are in a constant state of renewal. Technology innovations, such as the cloud, and development models, such as rapid development and CI/CD, regularly emerge. Organizations prioritize and adopt these inventions at different paces and in different ways, which can negate a developer’s previous experience and expertise.
- Compartmentalized development teams and practices limit how much a developer sees of a project or problem. His insights and exposure to other roles are often minimal, which makes it both harder for him to work at his full potential in the present and prepare for a senior role in the future.
The Training Roadmap
First, it’s key to have an effective training plan, without it, your Jr devs can lose a year on the job, or even more. Even worse, promising candidates leave for better opportunities if they’re frustrated with their lack of progress in your company, follow these 5 tips to avoid this issue:
- Train junior developers immediately. While this first idea sounds obvious, many dev teams struggle to implement it. When you are working with junior developers, they need to have the skills they need before they join the team. If not, they will get frustrated and waste time. This is not a good way to start their career. It is better to start with skills so that they can get the most out of their early experience.
Certifications can help as long as it covers the skills your team needs. Look for specific certifications that match the job at hand.
- Train as a team. Hold regular sessions designed to familiarize every member of a development team with the project overall, as well as the tools, practices, and skills needed to execute it. This approach unites the junior team members and makes them aware of each other’s roles. It also avoids isolating developers in specialized programs or tasks.
You can use a collaborative development framework to manage a project from requirements gathering to production release to make this approach effective. While team members focus on their parts of the project, everyone should have access to all project information. Build broad knowledge of the project, and everyone’s part in it. Experience shows that tunnel vision stalls progress for junior developers.
- Trust them with basic assignments. The team approach can help with your development, but it can also hurt you. If a junior member of the team isn’t capable of doing the same things as a senior leader, then it can be hard for them to get involved. The intention of mentoring is good, but it may not be beneficial for everyone. Assign junior members tasks that they can handle on their own, and don’t give them work that they don’t know how to do. When you assign the task, fit it into the project framework and contextualize it within the scope of the project to help the junior developer see the big picture.
- Adopt a performance review routine. Junior developers make mistakes, right? As part of a team, they should test and integrate code. When they do, they might structure it in a way that is not optimal or even workable. A senior developer should review the junior’s work and correct his processes. Problem-solve with the junior developer by creating visual comparisons between the mistake and the project as a whole.
Deal with serious work habits or performance problems in private, but handle common code-related issues in the course of a project without distinction from the rest of the team.
- Promote growth through collaborative team design and review sessions. Every member of a development team should participate in design and review sessions. These meetings will help junior developers learn how more-experienced team members think. For example, they can see how the more experienced ones approach a design or solve a problem.
Coordinating the whole team for this process is a challenge. All the members have different tasks but in the end, they have the same goal. Do your best to support your Jrs in the early stages so you can avoid issues along the way and make the most out of your talent.