Soft skills help developers level up. Here are the 10 I’d tell my junior self.

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

1. Exude kindness.

The tech world is full of strong opinions. You may perceive people as mean. They’re not. They just want the best outcome.

2. Ask stupid questions.

There are a million technologies. You’re not expected to know them all. People won’t judge you if you’re unfamiliar with a few.

3. Seek the relentless code reviewer.

There’s always that one person on every team. Nobody’s work is good enough.

4. Put your ego away.

Your peers are intelligent individuals with unique backgrounds and industry experiences.

5. Do the right thing, with intent.

Avoid sunk cost fallacy. It doesn’t matter if you spent 4 hours coding a solution. If it’s a flawed approach that won’t work, trash it.

6. Become a Professional.

With a capital P. Every task is an opportunity to produce beautiful, elegant code. Coding is a craft; you’re the artist.

7. Reference existing examples.

Search for existing internal or external solutions before starting a task. Read a few examples. Understand the code paradigms used.

8. Throw yourself into the fire. 🔥

You’ll never be *“ready”* to work on big features, execute production deployments or go on call.

9. Take initiative.

Notice opportunities to improve your team’s operational excellence, processes and developer experience.

10. Prioritize promotional work.

Don’t get caught up in the day-to-day minutiae, where you end up forgetting to grow your career.

Bonus: learn to write effectively.

We write all the time. In code reviews, in trouble tickets, in system design documents.

There you have it. The soft skills I’d tell my junior developer self.

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Curtis Einsmann

Curtis Einsmann

Software engineer; solopreneur. Writing to help developers level up. All stories free. Follow me on Twitter for more: https://twitter.com/curtiseinsmann