Alexandre Olival


Road to Mastery: A Junior Developer’s Story

Not actually related to this article, at all.

So you just graduated and started prospecting your very first job as a developer. Congratulations!

Look at you all smiles with that shiny new diploma.
No more late night sprints to wrap up that dreaded essay or getting kicked out the library or, god forbid, actually putting in the effort of having your assignments finished before they’re past due.

Now, if you’re anything like me (and assuming of course you do fit this description) you’ll be left with more doubts and questions off of campus than what it took to get your BsC. Or perhaps you’re just a curious passer by. In either case, welcome.

Humans have been writing since at least 3000 BCE. As with any other activity that kickstarted our intellectual evolution, writing is a positive feedback of complexity and sharpness that empowered and evolved both itself and the writers (us). Hence, today we have complex grammar, poetry, books, songs, screenplays, billboards, etc.

Writing forces you to focus your thoughts such that they may be interpreted and understood by any reader (assuming you do it correctly). It gives them meaning and shape. And, like the positive feedback activity it is, it makes the writer more aware and conscious of them.

During my late years at University, I made a point to inform myself and learn about the professional world of our craft as much as possible. What to expect, what to do, what perils and challenges await a newcomer. What to aim for. What could I achieve, and how. I strived to burst the academic bubble and not be caught by surprise (at least not as much) when I finally landed on my desk.

And fortunately it did kind of work!

Since then, I had the urge to write about my experiences and be the kind of pioneer I wish I had met before I wrapped up my course.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, in any school or course prepares you for the rocky path you must face when entering any profession.
Developers however have it worse. We’re plagued with career choice doubts, high pressure deadlines and an overwhelming amount of new stuff to keep up with.

It’s hard out there for a newbie.

So I decided to write this series. Take advantage of that positive feedback and help both myself and you. This post serves as an introduction while I figure out the pacing in which I will be writing these and to give you more or less the tone of what to expect. Each subsequent post will focus on a different aspect of the struggles of the Junior developer, and most importantly my own struggles and experiences as I try to make my way from a confused dimly-lit and overwhelming cave to a fearless and happy spot in my career (spoiler alert: there is no such thing - sucks for us huh?).

If you, like myself, are a newcomer (or better yet a soon to be Computer Science graduate), please indulge me as I shine the flashlight and pave the way.

My name is Alexandre Olival, and this is my story.

Chaos is inherent in all compounded things. Strive on with diligence.
- Buddah

UPDATE: The second entry in this series is out, take a look :)

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