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What does a Junior developer (JD) do - to those who hired a JD or those who have been JD ?

Andy Jack
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Joined: Nov 22, 2012
Posts: 257
I saw some Junior developer positions (intern/full time). Not much experience (0 - 1 year) and not many skills were needed for these jobs (example - Java, SQL, XML). One google ad, if i remember correctly asked only for java and python. Of course, its a different thing that they might ask you
a lot of things about "java" in the interview (Collections, Threads, Patterns, Regex, API's etc). Looking at such a small list of requirements (vs the ones for intermediate/experienced) and low requirements, I wondered what role could a JD possibly play in a
company.

So, If you hired a JD, what kind of tasks/projects did you give him/her ? OR If you were a JD, what kind of work did you do ? I am not asking for the specifics because they might be confidential.

Thanks in advance.

Java Newbie with 72% in OCJP/SCJP - Super Confused Jobless Programmer.
I am a "newbie" too. Please verify my answers before you accept them.
Jeanne Boyarsky
author & internet detective
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 31075
    
232

Andy,
I look for two key things in junior developers or interns.
1) That they understand what they say they worked with. If a person tells me, he/she built an application using JDBC for school, I expect memories/explanation on the topic of JDBC.
2) Potential. I'm looking for evidence the person can learn quickly and will fit in well in our organization. You can't really practice this. Although I can tell from your questions here that you actively seek out info - which is good.

As far as the work, it's going to be smaller development tasks with more mentoring and oversight. The details depend on the exact person and how they do.


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Bear Bibeault
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Fetch my coffee.


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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  67

Seriously, in many organizations a junior developer will either be assigned bug fixes to existing code, or finishing existing code. A "JD" will rarely write new code right off the bat.

My first task for my first development position was to debug and finish (given requirements) the memory diagnostic for the PDP-11/44. Most of the code had been written, but was mostly untested. And there were parts that were missing that I had to finish, but I had the rest of the code to use as a model.
Bear Bibeault
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P.S. The memory board I was testing (all of 128K!):


Yes. I'm old as dirt.
Andy Jack
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Joined: Nov 22, 2012
Posts: 257
Bear Bibeault wrote:Fetch my coffee.


Yeah ! Thats also one of the roles i heard about, besides faxing and copying...papers that dont even have java word printed on them. If they had java and a couple of other words, one could claim "java related work"
arulk pillai
Author
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Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3275
looking for

-- Quick learners
-- Good analytical and problem solving skills
-- Passionate about the chosen field and proof in terms of self-taught projects, open source contribution, etc.
-- Flexibility and right attitude.


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Junilu Lacar
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Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 5288
    
  10

Adding to Arulk's list:
- Eager to learn, self-motivated
- Shares what he/she knows, even if it's not much
- Open to constructive criticism

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Andy Jack
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Joined: Nov 22, 2012
Posts: 257
Thanks for all the answers. I was also looking for the kind of programming, debugging, documentation etc tasks that beginners are given.

Example - find logical errors in the banking classes, make an xml parser for our app, design and make the timer module for our android sports app, see our newly made api - learn to use it a bit - document it for beginners.
I'd appreciate it if I could get some tasks like these.

Thanks
Junilu Lacar
Bartender

Joined: Feb 26, 2001
Posts: 5288
    
  10

Speaking from my own experience, I don't think there's much difference in the work per se, just a difference in expectations in how well the work will be done or how much time will have to be spent mentoring and guiding the person doing the work. For more experienced people, you'd expect to have to review, correct, mentor, and guide less; with a less experienced person, you'd expect to do that a lot more. Also, the types of discussions I have with the less experienced people are different: I tend to try to explain the underlying design principles a lot more with junior developers so that they understand why certain decisions are made.
 
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