I was asked this question a lot while we were looking for our second Junior Developer. Just over a month into my first job as NewAperio’s first full-time Junior Developer and there I was helping to pick our second Junior Developer. It was more than a little disorienting to be on the other side of the questions that just two months before I had been lobbing at developers during my own job search. Now that I’m coming up on my five-month mark, my thoughts on that simple question are a bit more cohesive than before:
It’s a Lot of New Stuff.
Although I have a background in Computer Science, before joining NewAperio I had barely done any Web Development; in school or otherwise. Here I was, not only lacking Web Development skills but also having only heard of Elixir, our main programming language, as a result of coming across NewAperio’s Junior Developer posting.
Nick, our unofficial “head” of onboarding, and I dove into Elixir and then Phoenix using a mini project inspired by a game he and I both loved: Hades. It was fun and awkward and turned my brain into an incoherent pile of goo by the end of each day. After a few days of being led into the dark abyss of Elixir and Phoenix development by Nick, I was brought onto my first project. After the initial, head-spinning project introduction, I decided that as much as I preferred understanding the broader picture, this picture was too broad for my “baby dev” brain at the moment. So instead, I started by only focusing on the parts of the project that I needed to know to work on my first feature.
It’s a Lot of Autonomy.
My first feature was a modal for confirming that the user wanted to delete or cancel something in the app. Now, months later, I can appreciate the Delete Modal’s simplicity and see that it was a good introduction to the Phoenix LiveView library. At the time, however, everything felt like a blur as I walked, wide-eyed through tutorials. Although I had used the Phoenix Web Framework in my bootcamp with Nick, I hadn’t touched Phoenix LiveView, which is the main feature of the Phoenix Web Framework that the project centered upon.
But I was trusted to figure it out. And if I couldn’t figure it out, I was trusted to ask for help. These facets of working at NewAperio took me some time to get used to, but through sincere encouragement, it sunk in. My coworkers were here to help and to support me and they trusted me to do and to ask for what I needed.
And the People Here are Great.
Looking back on my five months here, my favorite thing has been working with my coworkers. They are funny and goofy, while also being genuine and kind-hearted. They are smart and helpful, as well as thoughtful and open-minded. And I've loved having this community with me on my “baby dev” rollercoaster ride towards developer maturity as I continue to learn what it’s like to be a Junior Developer at NewAperio.
I’m so glad that I applied.
These are the tutorials I worked through when building my Delete Modal Component. However, since LiveView is evolving so fast, I would recommend checking out some of Patrick Thompson's newer blog posts for more up-to-date information: