We’ve all seen it, the magical powers that those senior developers seem to possess and utilize without even a seeming shred of effort. Their ability to always seem cool and collected even under the most intense of pressures, their constant, always knowing what to do in almost any situation level of prowess. So how does a lowly junior or budding mid level developer join the elite ranks of senior developers? Well, lets talk about it.

Ok, so not every senior developer out there is perfect and there may even be some “bad eggs” but lets face it, most young developers…


Ever been told you’re doing something the wrong way? Ya, me too. It can be frustrating but sometimes there really is a right way to do something. Take baking a cake for example…if you don’t do it the right way by leaving out some of the ingredients you’re probably going to have a not so great cake in the end and you probably just ruined your child’s birthday. Alright birthday cake shaming aside, I have good news…when it comes to code, just about 99.9% of the time, there is no “right way” of doing things. Let me explain…


So you’re teaching yourself to code, congrats! No, seriously, you’ve taken steps on a journey filled with opportunity, challenges, and rewards. You may have just written your first “Hello, world” program or maybe you’re even a little deeper in, honestly it doesn’t matter, this applies to all!

So at many points while I was teaching myself how to code I remember thinking is this really worth it? I have a wife, 4 kids, and I was working a full time job that was physically demanding and by the time the kids were asleep and I finally had some quiet time…


Ok so you put in the time and the work and you FINALLY got hired as a junior dev. The hard part is done right? Well…let’s talk about it.

Quick backstory, I’m a 33 year old husband, father, self taught developer and I got my first job as a junior software engineer 8 months ago. Here is my advice for how to handle those first couple months after getting your first dev job.

First, accept the fact that you will almost definitely feel a certain degree of “impostor syndrome.” I remember just trying to get my dev environment set up…


I know, I know…another article about becoming a self taught developer. But I promise this one is different. I feel like my journey is unique but many of the core principles apply to many people in the same situation I was in a year ago. Yes, you read that correctly…a year ago. A year ago I was working a job that I absolutely hated, making barely enough money to get by, especially after all the costs associated with having 4 kids. My wife, kids, and I lived with my parents because we just simply could not afford to even rent…

Kevin Whelan

Husband, Father, Self Taught Software Engineer

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