Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Junior Developer

This blog will be about exactly what the title says - The Junior Developer. Why The Junior Developer? Because that's what I am: A Junior Developer. I've been developing software using .NET, ASP.NET, and SQL Server 2005 for a little over a year and a half now.

And boy, it can be a rough ride sometimes.

I've had peaks so high that I couldn't see the ground. We're talking those programmer highs you get when you finally make that breakthrough towards which you've been battling for a week. We're talking the highs that come from finally developing that awesome algorithm that does exactly what you need it to do, no more, no less. We're talking that high that comes from creating that one method that answers all your business objects' problems

But we're also talking about the lowest of the valleys. We're talking bringing down the entire website by accidentally and unknowingly locking a table in a transaction that never got rolled back. We're talking forgetting to catch error's on the main login page so that no one can log in. We're talking forgetting to restart IIS on the production server after copying new files over. We're talking mistakes that could cost your company hundreds of thousands of dollars.

There's a big similarity for me in both these peaks and valleys: I find myself not caring about my salary. At the summit of the peaks, I don't care about how much I make because I'm so euphoric and in the moment that my boss could reduce my salary to $1 and I wouldn't care for at least an hour or so. During the troughs of the valleys, I'm so embarrassed, ashamed, and mortified by my own mistakes that no amount of money would make me feel better.

This blog is about the ups and downs of being The Junior Developer. This blog will offer tips for other Junior Developers, tips that I've come across either by my own research or, more often, my own experience (read: mistakes). The tips will not necessarily be coding tips: They may also be emotional, mental, or just plain old common sense in nature.

I'm starting this blog not only for myself, but for all the other Junior Developers out there that have experienced the highs and lows of being the low man with no experience. I'm starting it for every Junior Developer who needs guidance, who needs that dose of encouragement, or who's just about ready to throw in the towel.

Remember, brother (or sister!): You're not alone. I'm here leading the charge, and there's thousands of other Junior Developers who are or have been exactly where you are.

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