Every year, our team faces the exciting yet challenging task of selecting skilled juniors for our internship program. Last year, 250 young developers participated in our challenge. While these juniors arrive with a solid foundation in technical skills, there’s a broader set of skills that we help them develop for their further professional growth and career development. Let’s now take a look at some missing skills of our last year’s juniors that participated in the challenge:

 

Code Readability Over Code Length

One of the most crucial lessons we teach our juniors is the importance of code readability. While writing concise code is tempting, readability should never be sacrificed. Clear, understandable code is not just a personal preference but a professional necessity. It facilitates easier debugging, smoother collaboration, and ensures that anyone on the team can understand and maintain the codebase.

 

Team Spirit

Programming is a team sport. When code is written with the entire team in mind, it becomes a shared asset rather than an individual achievement. Readable code enables everyone to see the intent behind it, reducing the number of bugs and enhancing overall productivity. We achieve this through regular code reviews, which serve multiple purposes: identifying bugs, suggesting improvements, and exposing issues related to code readability.

 

Finding the Right Balance

We teach our juniors that finding the right balance between competing priorities is the key. For instance, while performance is important, premature optimization can lead to complex, unreadable code. We believe that “Premature Optimization Is the Root of All Evil.” It’s crucial to sometimes make trade-offs between immediate functionality and maintainability of the code. Similarly, we focus on avoiding over-abstraction and oversimplification. Skilled juniors often tend to complicate solutions; hence, we emphasize the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle to promote simplicity and efficiency.

 

Beyond Technical Skills

Selecting technically skilled individuals is only one part of the process. We also focus on fostering a deeper understanding of the context and purpose of their work. This involves thinking about the added value for the end user or customer, which ties into the importance of business value over technical excellence. This broader perspective helps juniors recognize the impact of their work and helps them realize the importance of effective communication with customers.

 

Effective Communication with Customers

Communication is another critical skill we nurture. Understanding and accurately interpreting customer requirements can significantly reduce the risk of project misunderstandings. The belief that “the customer can’t describe what they want” is a common challenge. However, by improving our communication skills, we ensure that we can fulfill his expectations. This ability to communicate clearly will safeguard our roles even in an era dominated by AI, as there will always be a need for humans to explain customer needs to AI systems.

 

Supporting Code in Production

Writing code is just the beginning; ensuring it runs smoothly in production is equally important. Given that every code has at least one bug and one unnecessary line, supporting production systems becomes a critical skill. Logging, metrics, and monitoring are often underestimated but are invaluable tools for maintaining robust and reliable software. These tools help us diagnose issues that are not easily reproducible and provide insights into the system’s performance and health.

 

As we will soon start another exciting summer internship program, we invite aspiring developers to join us and learn these invaluable lessons. Follow us on social networks to keep an eye out for our junior summer internship opportunities. Together, we can build a future where code is not just functional but also a joy to read, maintain, and extend.

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