Rambli Just my thoughts…

Find your Focus


When I first started out as a junior developer, I was working on two parallel projects – A database entry system and very early website.  Both were exciting, both were interesting and on both I scratched the surface on what I was doing.  I realized at that time that I enjoyed doing both but that I couldn’t do both well and learn everything I would really need to become really great at it.  So I thought about what I wanted to focus in on and learn about more – web-based development or databases.

I chose web-based development and then started the path down VB, ASP, Cold Fusion, PHP, COM, .NET, etc, etc.  I was focused on an area, not a language – this was key – I didn’t want to understand the pros/cons of languages and how they could interact with each other better.  I wasn’t able to ignore databases completely as working with any of the above was a requirement, but I didn’t focus all my learning energies into them at that point in time.  Later, at one of my jobs, I had the opportunity to join the Database group and immerse myself in that technology for a few years which helped me gain a further appreciation for that role and apply it my skills in Software Development (I knew I wasn’t going to be a DBA, but I could be more knowledgeable in that area).

What’s all this mean?  Then and especially now, as a junior starting out, I needed some focus and I had to assign that to myself.  I seeked out jobs that narrowed on web development, I read every book I could to get up to speed and be more useful in meetings, I worked late on projects and when not on projects I tinkered with new ideas and concepts I was learning.

Being a Junior developer is not easy – everyone is asking for everything and you’ve only got so much experience under your belt.  There is an unwritten onus on every junior developer when hired – you need to put in extra time and effort to get into the game – if not said, it’s there, if said, well now you know.  When everyone is coming at you with a myriad of requests, I found having your own focus was a great way to showcase where you want to be and get to – people can connect the dots to where you’re headed and when you’ll get there (and if they can’t they are doing it wrong) and if you’re doing things right – they’ll want to be there when you connect the last one.


About the author

Greg Thomas

Add comment

By Greg Thomas
Rambli Just my thoughts…

Your sidebar area is currently empty. Hurry up and add some widgets.