Monday, August 31, 2015

Working with a junior developer

When I (a senior developer) have to supervise someone new (a junior developer) - who can be a new employee or an intern - I use the following steps to get the junior up to speed without taking too much of my time:

Note how it starts with an informal discussion of the problem to be solved. I sit down with the junior, tell him what I know about the problem, draw some sketches on a white board. The critical step is to let him write a problem definition document that repeats what we have talked about. When I review the document, I can verify that the junior has understood the problem well. This pattern repeats with design and test documents. It reduces my burden of supervision (I don't have to write anything) and helps the senior to really understand - not just "hear" - the problem. And last but not least, we get good documentation. Win-win...

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