Journey of a Junior Developer

Alice Dean podcast into
Alice Dean, a Junior Magento Developer, has been with Fisheye, acquired by Youwe earlier this year, for 5 years. Having started as an intern learning Magento 1, she transitioned to a role of a Technical Account Manager, only to realise that her passion has always been in development and thus jump back into the deep end of Magento 2.
Alice took part in Smash the Bug Podcast with Joseph Maxwell, where she talked about her journey and shared some of her experience. Watch the full podcast below. Also, read Alice’s story and her tips for aspiring Junior Developers.


My Journey as a Junior Developer

After finishing my internship with Fisheye and my Web Development University course at Staffordshire, I started working full-time as a Technical Account Manager. Although I was in that role for 2 years, I ultimately realized that this was not where my passion lies, as I would still find myself doing development in the evening. So I decided to do development during the day, as a full-time job.

Although I was overjoyed to be a developer again, I did feel like I was back at square one with my career and fearful of my future. As I work with many other more experienced developers, at first I felt like such a small fish in a big sea!

However, being surrounded by such amazing developers has turned out to be nothing but an asset to my progression. Everyone I work with has gone out of their way to help me – carefully listening and answering all my questions, patiently sitting with me while I badly explain a bug I'm trying to fix, helping me reach the next steps towards a solution, giving advice and providing resources to aid my self-development. Moreover, our Senior Management Team not only believed in my potential as a developer but also covered the costs of my exams and my study guides, and even allowed me to study on company time.

Because of the support of my work family, I have passed my Adobe Certified Professional - Adobe Commerce Developer exam, was featured on a panel at Meet Magento UK and invited to be a guest on the SwiftOtter Smash the Bug Podcast.

I'm genuinely thankful to have the pleasure to work with the people I do. If you're starting out your journey as Junior Developer and feeling like a small fish, know that you're not alone. You'll be a big badass developer one day, the one I also hope to be!

Tips for Junior Developers

  • You are not expected to know everything, not even senior developers know everything! How you approach something you do not know will define your career path. Perhaps try the following:

    • Do your research, and have a go at trying to fix an issue by yourself. Give yourself 2 hours and if you still feel like you're not making progress, reach out to someone.

    • Rather than just getting a solution to an issue you're facing, ask someone to either explain how they achieved the solution or get pointers on where to look to try and resolve it.

    • Write down difficult issues and how you resolved them, you may need them in the future. This is also great to look back on to see how far you've come as a developer!

  • Preserve, you will reach your goals. But remember to take a break, a fresh set of eyes can help when looking at an annoying bug.

  • Magento developers - check the Magento GitHub. It's most likely that someone is facing the same issue as you.

  • Communication is important, but the type of communication you give can make it easier for others. When communicating about a task progression provide top-level information at the start of the update and then technical information. This can help people quickly read the part which is important to them.

  • Own your task! If there is a reason you cannot progress a task that you are on, reach out to others to help unblock it. You are not bothering people by asking for help. You are a team and you all want to succeed.

Good luck on your journey!