Best tip for junior developers

Let me share this short story about Bob and the wise man

There was a small village where people care about the development of young generation and giving challenges to young kids was part of their culture.

Bob was excited to get his first challenge, he was asked to cut down an old tree. He went early the next morning to the tree, pulled up his sleeves and started pushing the tree. A wise man passed by and was surprised to see Bob yelling and trying to push the big tree, so he approached and asked the boy:

  • “Hey Bob, what are you trying to do?”, said the wise man

Bob replied without looking: “I’m taking down this tree, just a little more and I’ll finish”

The wise man smiled and said: “I have a sharp axe here, you can use it to cut the tree, let me show you how to do it”

  • Bob grimaced “I don’t think that will help me!!” and continued to push from a different position.

The same scenario is common in software development too, I saw junior developers use those replies when a someone gave them advice:

  • I don’t think that will fix the issue.
  • This is wrong!!
  • I prefer my approach

So, how could Bob handle this situation better?

He should listen, yes listening not just hearing and it&’’s hard to listen to advice that may conflict with the recipient’s knowledge, but with practice, this habit will take any person to a completely different level!!

The second part after listening is trying to understand by asking the right questions, so Bob could ask why the proposed approach is better, and by asking why, it shows that he is curious to know and eager to learn.

So the best tip to make any junior or intermediate developers improve faster is the ability to:

  1. Listen to the advice.

  2. Seek clarity by asking why.

That’s it, feel free to share your experience if you had similar situations like this before 🙂