3 Common Mistakes That Every Junior Web Developer Makes

3 Common Mistakes That Every Junior Web Developer Makes

When I was a junior web developer, I made a lot of common mistakes. Then, a few years back, during Halloween, I made a realization. 

It’s true, I made mistakes, but a lot of these mistakes came from three simple things. So that’s what I’m going to talk about and, hopefully, let you in on some insights when you’re starting as a junior developer.

It all just started with being afraid to fail.

Some people can code in HTML and pick up JavaScript quickly. However, that ability alone to translate and learn another language in a short amount of time is astonishing.

I was scared to do that. That’s one of the biggest mistakes I ever made as a junior developer. I was terrified to move on to JavaScript because I was afraid of failing.

I was so scared of being proven that I couldn’t be a developer. That fear gripped my chest for a long time because it was my first time.

During that time, I was going to the gym. However, I made excuses not to go there. I was uncomfortable there because I was afraid I would fail. 

I allowed that fear to control me. I allowed it to determine what I did, what I planned to do, and it was scary. So I ended up not going to the gym. Don't let this happen to you with code.

As new developers, the biggest thing that can hold you back is the fear of failure.

Another mistake that holds back a new developers’ growth is spending too much time learning a single language. Sometimes people spend six months on a single language and another six months on another language.

Realistically speaking, it should only take about two or three months to understand the basics of that language. HTML and CSS are easy to learn and pick up.

Yet, back then, when I was starting as a junior developer, it took me a year and a half to understand JavaScript. It was that fear that I allowed to control my decisions and my time.

I went as slowly as I could, focusing heavily on being perfect in everything so that I wouldn't be a failure.

What could’ve been 3-4 months ended up being a year and a half.

The last big mistake I made as a new junior developer was taking too many days off and sticking to only what I knew. I got this piece of advice from a senior developer from my Discord server a while back.

Practice, practice, and practice some more, but not for the things that you already know. Decide what language or line of code is a pain and what the perfect outcome will be.

It’s a simple mistake for new developers as well as veterans that have been in the industry for years. Even if it’s just for 30 minutes or an hour, keep practicing at what you’re bad at until you get better at doing it.

No one codes perfectly. Every developer out there has made the same mistake at different points in their career. Only you can feel what you are bad at or how you can improve an existing situation.

As long as you don’t give up and strive to be even better at what you’re doing, then you’re going to be okay.

Chris Sean
Developer Relations Engineer @ New Relic