Dev News Weekly

The Last Dev News Weekly: Where a newbie gives advice to newbies


Dev News Weekly was designed to give you (and me) 10 useful software/web developer stories every Tuesday morning!

The thing about the software development field is that it’s fast moving, ever changing and now encompasses a wide array of skills, frameworks, languages and disciplines.

I often compare being a developer to being an author. Saying “I want to write code for a living” is a lot like saying “I want to be an author”, it doesn’t really narrow things down at all. If you’re an author you could write sci-fi, mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, “how-to” books, etc. If you’re a developer you could do web, mobile, wearable or PC development. Within each of those are thousands of options and combinations of languages, operating systems and frameworks to work with.

What I’m trying to say is, the thing about the software development field is that it’s fucking huge!

As a newbie to the profession, it’s important for me to realize that I cannot learn all the things right now. Spending my time reading about the newest tools to take advantage of the hottest frameworks within the most popular languages is not a good use of my time now. I just need to focus on my learning, so sadly I have to discontinue my Dev News Weekly posts.

10 Pieces of Advice from a Newbie Developer to Newbie Developers

  1. When you’re overwhelmed by all the frameworks and languages you want to try, just pick one and go with it to try it out. There’s no “right way” to find what you’re good at.
  2. Listen to experienced coders talk to each other. I do this by listening to podcasts like Ruby Rogues. It’s great to hear that experienced coders have some of the same issues you have.
  3. Don’t worry about doing it right. Don’t even worry about failing fast. Just try and then learn.
  4. Schedule time to write code (I need to follow this advice).
  5. Go meet developers in your area. They are mostly nice and mostly socially awkward too (I need to also follow this advice).
  6. You cannot learn all the things right now.
  7. Feel comfortable being uncomfortable. The unknown is your new home – via @DianeKerstein
  8. It’s almost always a typo and you can do it! – via @latazzajones
  9. Stick with it because it can be very overwhelming early on. – via @robertcyoung
  10. Start today. Stop reading about it and just start writing it. – via @brianllamar

Pick of the Week

I needed to have something else in these posts besides my usual blathering and 10 news stories, so I will choose one thing each week to promote just because I like it.

twitter-logo-round-edgesMy pick this week is Twitter. You may have heard of it. It’s that site that lets you share what you had for lunch using 140 characters.

It’s also an outstanding way to connect with mentors, icons and other programming newbies. For example, when I got stuck on my advice list I asked for help on Twitter using the #codenewbie hashtag and was answered by other supportive developers and newbies. Give it a shot and follow me: @scottpantall.

Thank you for reading!

If you know of any other good news sources for developers (especially newbies like me), please let me know!

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