Advice for New Devs


In this episode of Syntax, Scott and Wes talk about advice for new devs, our advice and opinions for how new devs can level up.

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Show Notes

01:59 - Get comfortable with your code not working

  • All of our code is broken much of the time.

02:40 - Compound learning and momentum is your biggest tool

  • There is no formation without repetition.
  • It sucks to hear, but honestly, if you get a little bit better every single day, you will be WAY ahead in years to come. Keep at it, keep chipping away, take the lows and the highs.

04:05 - Learn to read error messages

  • Is this error coming from my code?
  • Is this coming from the library? If so, maybe the library wasn’t expecting that.
  • Is this coming from the browser? An extension? Is it even related?
  • Stack trace is a treasure map

09:42 - Take the time to learn the concepts that scare you

  • They are often easier than they seem (though not every time).

10:40 - We all struggle

  • This stuff is hard — give yourself a break.

12:56 - Taking a walk is good for solving bugs

  • It’s hard to walk away from broken code, but it really helps.

14:33 - Get comfortable with the command line

  • You’ll need it

18:09 - The ability to replicate a design pixel perfect is a valuable skill

  • You will be shocked at how many devs can’t or don’t do this. If you want to avoid spending extra time on something, don’t make the designers tell you to go back and fix simple spacing, color, and detail things.

21:26 - You are on a team

  • Don’t get stuck in the "us vs them" mentality of internal company teams (e.g. devs vs designers). You are all working together to make something.

24:10 - You are not an expert

  • Even if you think you are an expert, you should always be seeking out alternate viewpoints and ideas. You are a student forever in this game.

26:14 - Scaffold with comments

  • It helps keep you organized once you get into the mess

28:30 - From Twitter

29:30 - Ben Newton

32:46 - Eric McCormick

33:31 - Jason Liggi

35:34 - Andrew Nickerson

37:15 - Michael Powers

39:33 - Jason Liggi

40:14 - Swashata

49:59 - Max Stoiber

43:34 - Pat Clarke

44:21 - Musa Barighzaai

45:20 - David Moore

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