How to Jump-Start Your Career as a Junior Full-Stack Developer by@taskica

How to Jump-Start Your Career as a Junior Full-Stack Developer

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According to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey, 55% of respondents identify as full-stack developers. The average yearly salary for entry-level jobs is over $100,000. Here are things to take into account before going for it: Choose your language (and stick to it) Read other people's code (and let them read yours) Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture and set your priorities in the big picture. Remember that everything you do must fit within the context of the entire system of the system.
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Tamara HackerNoon profile picture

Tamara

Fighting my own battles as a non-developer in the IT team :) Read a lot, and write less than I would like.

There is no lack of interest in full-stack developer jobs on the market. It’s no wonder that many strive for this position — with an average yearly salary of over $100,000 for entry-level positions.


However, if you’re looking to start your career as a junior full-stack developer, you’ll likely run into some serious competition. According to Stack Overflow’s 2020 Developer Survey, 55% of respondents identify as full-stack developers.


So how can you get started and set yourself apart from the others? Here are things to take into account before going for it.

Choose your language (and stick to it)

The first step to becoming a full-stack developer is to choose a programming language.


If you’re just starting out, it’s recommended to begin with an easy-to-learn language that is widely used. Opting for a popular language that your peers are acquainted with is generally a great option since it facilitates cooperation. Besides, languages that are popular are popular for a reason.


JavaScript has been the most popular language for three years in a row, so it’s a good place to start. Learn the most used JavaScript frameworks to hone your skills and become proficient in using the language.


You should also consider your career goals when choosing the right language for you. For example, if you want to work in machine learning, learning Python might be a better choice.

Whichever language you choose, try to stick to it for a while. It might seem like a good idea to learn as many languages as possible. However, learning many languages won’t necessarily make you a better developer.


Nikola Stojakovic, a full-stack software developer, emphasizes that learning too many languages is one of the biggest mistakes he made as a beginner.


“While it's true that experienced software engineers do know multiple languages, you should start by learning only one language. When you finish learning fundamentals of the language, you should start doing practical projects in it. Same applies to any tool / library / framework.” says Nikola.

Read other people's code (and let them read yours)


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You are not required to create everything from scratch as a junior developer. The truth is, you'll be using a lot of code created by others. That’s another reason why it’s so important to choose the right language that is commonly used by your peers.


To be able to use someone else's code, it's critical to understand how to spot good industry code. And the best way to learn how to recognize it is by reading. A lot.


It will not only help you recognize good code but also help you write better code. You'll learn tactics and shortcuts that you wouldn't have thought of on your own.


You can also learn a lot by letting others read your code. Code reviews might be scary at first, but keep in mind that they are not critiques, but rather helpful chances for growth.

Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture

Full-stack development can be quite overwhelming. While juggling between multiple different technologies, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture and set your priorities straight.


When you're attempting to solve an issue or debug code, it's easy to limit your attention, but it's critical to remember that everything you do must fit within the context of the entire system.


A more experienced developer understands that seeing the bigger picture is critical to success. So, as a junior developer, keep zooming out in mind, especially when you're frustrated.


If you get stuck, try visualizing the solution. Sometimes your brain only needs to perceive the argument in a new light in order to grasp the solution. To find the best answer, use pictures, whiteboards, or analogies.

Practice makes perfect


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Becoming a great developer doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and practice. Though some people are naturally gifted, the vast majority of developers started from the bottom and worked their way up to becoming highly skilled developers.


It’s impossible to master every aspect of full-stack development. So, don’t be afraid of failure. It’s necessary to learn, grow, and move forward.


As you progress in your career, you'll get the chance to enhance your skills. And, over time, you'll gradually build up the competencies that you'll need for the type of job that you want.


Here are some things you can do to practice your skills:


  • Do side projects. Side projects provide you with a place to experiment, develop interests, and gain experience without the constraints of deadlines. Consider little difficulties in your life and try to fix them in an experimental manner. You'll gain useful skills, gain confidence, and create something enjoyable.
  • Contribute to open source. Open-source projects allow developers to practice and hone their skills. You'll also gain a valuable skill that employers are looking for: the ability to collaborate with others.
  • Try pair programming. Pairing up with another developer is a great way to gain knowledge, learn, and solve problems. A mentor can guide you, and you can learn from your peers, too.

Always keep learning

You've likely heard it before, but continuing education is critical to the success of your career. The market is always changing, and because developers are tackling real-world human problems, they must always be actively pursuing the best solutions.


Learning doesn't stop once you've landed a job. The most successful developers are constantly learning, practicing, and furthering their education.


There is no one ideal method to stay educated, but here are some simple strategies to keep up with your technological abilities.


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Here are some things you can do to stay on top of emerging trends:


  • Consider a coding bootcamp. Coding bootcamps are intensive programs that teach valuable skills. They tend to be much shorter than a college degree and can help you land a job in a relatively short amount of time.
  • Follow relevant blogs and forums. You should regularly read blogs and articles. Reading relevant content exposes you to industry trends, new technology, and creative solutions, among other things.
  • Take online courses. There are endless online courses available. Look for the ones that are directly related to your field and job role, and commit to learning a few skills each month.

Over to you

The most important takeaway from this article should be that becoming a full-stack developer is achievable if you set your mind to it. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to become a master full-stack developer overnight.


Start by learning the basics and focusing on one specific programming language. Then, you can start learning more advanced concepts or practices.


Once you become proficient at developing full-stack applications, you can begin to grow your skillset and gain experience by working on real-world projects.


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Tamara HackerNoon profile picture
by Tamara @taskica.Fighting my own battles as a non-developer in the IT team :) Read a lot, and write less than I would like.
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