5 Simple Pieces of Advice for Junior Developers to Get Unstuck Without Looking Or Feeling Foolish 🙈
I have been practicing software development for +5 years.
In the process, I've been stuck on problems, but I've also unblocked other developers.
Now, reflecting on my journey, these are the 5 pieces of advice I wish someone had shared with me to navigate those moments of being stuck more effectively 🧠.
Advice #1: Limit the time spent on the problem
I used to spend hours debugging an issue to prove my capabilities. I can never get back those lost hours that could have been spent more productively.
Now, I spend a maximum of 30 minutes to an hour when tackling a problem. This prevents me from getting into rabbit holes or falling into the valley of despair.
Tip: Taking a quick break can also be surprisingly helpful, and you may find a solution out of nowhere.
Advice #2: Always check some channels first (Google, StackOverflow, private company channels, etc.)
When I started, I didn't have the reflex to Google first when I had a problem or would do it poorly.
Now, that is the first thing I do: I check Google, ChatGPT, company channels, etc. So, I don't have to look like a fool by going to a senior developer who will just do the googling for me.
Advice #3: Keep track of solutions you tried and what didn't work
It's easy to get entangled in a web of mixed solutions, resulting in a messed codebase.
Instead, adopt a systematic approach. Test one solution at a time, carefully document what doesn't work, reset your system to a clean state, and proceed to the next potential solution.
This method not only prevents chaos but is required to follow my next advice.
Advice #4: Find someone who can help after all your attempts failed
Once you find someone who can help, don't just say, "I am stuck." Instead, explain, at a minimum, what you're trying to achieve, what doesn't work, and what you've tried so far.
This is useful because:
It makes it easier for the person assisting you to recognize your efforts and diligence.
Your helper won't have to retry solutions you've already explored, thus saving time.
Advice #5: Document somewhere all the things I've learned (bonus point: share learnings with the team)
You've unblocked! Yay 🎉!
Now, go ahead and document what you've learned. This can be useful in the future for other problems or if you forget the solution. You can also contribute to your team's collective knowledge by sharing what you learned during the process.
That's it 😁
Thank you for reading this post 🙏, I hope it will help you in your journey!
Leave a comment 📩 if you have more advice for getting unstucked.