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Andrew Pallant

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Can Senior Developers Learn From Junior Developers

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I relate this back to when you are listening to grandparents tell story after story.  Somewhere in those stories you learn from their history.  Now when they ask about you, they learn more modern things.   Like the time I showed grandpa how to tour castles from my computer.   He learned that there was a tremendous amount of information at their fingertips, if they embraced something new.

It is important to listen to each other.   We as senior developers have lots to teach, but we also have lots to learn.   Most of us have been doing the same thing day-in and day-out.   We have learned new languages and new technologies, but not necessarily to the extent of the new developers joining your team.  They have recently exited their programs to join the work force.  During their college or university days, they had a hunger to learn.  Most of them soaked up everything their teach taught them and then explored other avenues and ideas to a greater extent.  New developers are little sponges and you never know what they have absorbed during their school.  Most after graduation have continued their learning either through their senior developer, through further schooling or simple through other means like reading or internet.

I am a believer that I cannot know everything and that everyone has something to teach me.   I have had some very good junior developers show me some cool new tricks.   Through those new tricks, I am able to show them how to refine those tricks into something truly amazing.   There are some great minds out there.

Remember, today’s junior developers are doing things that we did not even fathom at their age.   I went to school with Windows 3.1, OS2 warp and COBOL programming.   They went to school with DotNet, PHP and Windows 7 and Linux.

I currently do not have a junior developer working with me, but when I did; I used to have Monday mornings as a sharing time.   We would meet in the boardroom (breakfast sometimes) and share what we have learned or done.   We also used to discuss issues or choices.   We used this opportunity to learn from each other.

Listen to what your juniors have to say.   You may just learn something as well as teach them something.

Related Reading: Can Senior Developer Learn From Junior Developers

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