1. 26

  2. 22

    I was a little surprised, but there’s a lot of good stuff in this. (Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised.) I’ll add one more thing:

    At this stage in my career (many years in), the most important thing to me is that the people I will work with are nice people. Define that term however you want for yourself and your career, but for me that more or less means: friendly, positive, sincere, cooperative (“we’re all on the same team”); usually giving the benefit of the doubt; zero yelling, zero namecalling, zero belittling, near zero exhibited anger; zero human blaming (blame code, infrastructure, process, or other things).

    My point is: these are the people you will be spending your life with 8+ hours a day, 5 days a week. Whether those people make each day unpleasant or uplifting really, really matters (in the long run).

    1. 15

      This is one of the better instances of this type of article, but there’s a caveat to this point:

      Think about remote work, because being willing to work remotely will vastly increase the number of potentially available positions. Take any chance you get to collaborate remotely when you’re learning, whether this is contributing to an open source project or pair programming over the internet with a mentor. But also: think about how you will handle remote work psychologically. Are you able to focus all by yourself all day every day? Do you need to explore coffee shops and co-working spaces? Are you a person who will only thrive in an office?

      I think a junior developer has a better chance at career longevity if they surround themselves with developers in an office for at least the first year or two. Indeed think about remote work — I certainly did, and I’ve spent most of my career working remotely — but I believe those initial formative years are a special case. It’s also much harder to land a decent remote role as a junior; there just isn’t the same market for it.

      1. 3

        Job listings routinely lie about what’s “required” because the people writing them don’t know what the job really requires. Rule of thumb: if you hit 75% of the bullet points, go ahead and put a resume in.

        I would say, even less could also work. A lot of things listed in vacancies can be learned quite quickly.