It's incredibly hard to make it as a Junior Dev or someone just entering into the tech world. It can be overwhelming, daunting, and could lead to burnout quickly. That's what happened to me!
In this talk, I'll walk through my story and what happened during my first job in NYC, how I burnt out quickly, and what I did to try to fix it. I'll discuss some of the self care tips I used and how they helped me adjust and ultimately love my job. We'll talk about how I learned to ask for advice, manage time better, speak up when something doesn't feel right, take care of myself better, and set goals, among others. Taking on a Junior Dev role doesn't need to be overwhelming and scary and it does get better; it got better for me and hopefully my story can help you in your career!
*Wow this is so weird! *Did we all enjoy yesterday’s talks? *And how about that after party? My name is Katelyn Hertel and I’m going to speak to you on how to make it as a junior dev and stay sane. *less technical but I am here to remind you that we are all human! We might code 24/7 but at the end of the day we are human and we need to make sure that we are treating ourselves well so that we can succeed.*how many of you in the audience would consider yourselves to be a beginner or a junior developer? And how many would say that you are a senior developer or involved in management? *This talk is for all of you!. Junior devs I’m going to talk about how you can make your every day lives better to avoid burning out and senior devs and managers at the end of the talk I am going to go over the same steps for you and how you can use them to help out the more junior members of your team.
Let’s start with a quote. (READ) *This quote is here to remind us that not everything runs smoothly all the time. *Sometimes we have to fail, sometimes we have to fall, and sometimes we get overwhelmed and burn out. *That’s what happened to me. So here’s my story and how I picked myself up and got back to work!
My name is Katelyn Hertel and I live and work in New York City. I work for a company called NewsCred as a Customer Support Engineer or CSE. I love ALL the dogs and I travel the world,
in fact, I recently got back from a trip to Bolivia where I worked at an orphanage teaching kids about computer code using MIT’s Scratch program! You can find me on twitter using my handle @katers_potaters. I’m always responsive there.
You can find me on twitter using my handle @katers_potaters. I’m always responsive there.
So how’d I get here? *I studied history and classical studied at Seton Hall University but I quickly learned that knowing Latin and Ancient Greek wasn’t going to get me very far in life. *I decided to attend the tech bootcamp bloc.io in Feb 2016 where I focused on Ruby and Rails. *During my time at Bloc I met this beautiful human, my mentor and best friend Brittany Martin who has been my biggest cheerleader. I firmly believe that everyone in any profession needs someone to help guide them like Brittany has helped to guide me. Brittany was there to help me sort through my problems and she helped me dig myself out of a hole when I was feeling burned out.
Before I go further I mentioned that I work at NewsCred, but what is NewsCred? NewsCred is a global leader in enterprise content marketing.
Read quote… that was a lot of words. Basically what we do is distribute content
Basically what we do is distribute content in all forms of media through either original content or licensed content. *Original content is created by us, the NewsCred team and licensed content comes from one of our 2,800 publishers, like the New York Times, that can be used on your blog or website. *We also do CMS design as well as maintain our own platform. *When a customer has trouble with something platform related or a bug is found, or literally anything breaks or goes wrong I, as a CSE, will fix ALL the problems… or at the very least I will track down someone who can. We also help to drive produc adaptation, help with integrations and assist with onboarding new customers to the platform *So now lets talk about my first job and how I hit burnout status.
I used to work for a Content Distribution Netork or CDN. I got hired 3 whole weeks before I graduated my bootcamp and I started the last two weeks in May of last year. -In June I got the opportunity to work on two BIG projects IPv6 and HTTP/2 -I was ecstatic! This was an amazing experience for a new CSE! But I had no idea how much work this would really consist of. -These projects involved sending hundreds of invites and opening countless tickets as well as onboarding a customer when they expressed interest in these products. -I soon came to realize that I was spending way too much time on these projects and not enough time doing what I was hired to do. -To me this was a BIG problem. -This is when I started TRYING (key word here) to balance both the projects and my original job And by August...
And by August… I hit Burnout Status HARD. -In fact by September I actually thought about quitting. I knew something had to change and here are the…
Here are the steps I took to turn it all around. I learned to not be afraid to ask for advice and better time management. I learned to speak up when something didn’t feel right and that I needed to set goals for myself. And most importantly I leaned how to better take care of myself. These are all things that might seem obvious or self exclamatory but sometimes we get so caught up in our jobs that we forget these simple steps.
Let’s start with asking for help or advice!
.-It’s REALLY hard. And I think that it’s hard for everyone in every profession. -I was afraid that my questions were dumb or made me sound uneducated, I mean I was a female junior engineer in a male dominated industry surrounded by experienced engineers! It can be so intimidating to ask an experienced engineer a basic question. -I ended up learning and accepting that in the tech world there are no dumb questions, no matter what at the end of the day we all have deadlines and things that need to get done! Any questions you have that will help you get your work done are not stupid. Remember, your coworkers are there to help you learn, grow, and succeed at your company. And when in doubt...
Power poses in the bathroom can always help with confidence problems. These poses might look like…
Next let’s talk about better time management. Originally I thought I was awesome at time management! But in reality… How many of you use some sort of calendar to keep track of your day? How many of you don’t?
I was barely staying afloat. I honestly thought I could keep track of everything I was supposed to do in my head. I started realizing I was forgetting about things that were due and missing appointments. It did not make a good impression. Eventually I came across time blocking like you see here…
Time blocking can be done on any calendar app out there. I personally love google calendars. -So Let’s say you have 6 things to do in one day. Blocking time to work on each thing for a specific amount of time can help to ensure you get to everything. -If time blocking isn’t your thing I would strongly suggest keeping a typed or handwritten to-do list handy so you can physically cross things off when they are completed. I can promise you physically crossing things off a list is one of the most satisfying things in the world. Remember staying organized with your time is key to success!
You can’t be afraid to speak up when something doesn’t feel right!
-NO ONE deserves to be miserable at their job or in life in general-And chances are, your instincts are right!-Talk to your bosses, coworkers, or anyone on your team that you trust. Let them know what Is going on.-Even if it is simply that you are feeling overwhelmed, speak up. Someone will help!-My problem was that I didn’t speak up right away because I thought the workload was normal. I was new to tech and didn’t know any better. As soon as I told someone how I was feeling, things started to get infinitely better for me.
This one is kind of self exclamatory… we need to learn to say no.
*As new or junior developers its really to say yes. *I said yes a lot… too much *But its also really easy to say no. *Here I will show you. NO *Can you send out 200 invites by the end of next week on top of your other work? No. *Can you flip 12 TLS certificates to support HTTP2 and IPv6 by the end of the day… on top of your other work? No. *Ready? On the count of three say it with me… 1… 2… 3… NO *As much as we want to be able to do everything… we can’t. We have to say no sometimes and that’s ok. People will understand
The next thing is to find a success story in your company and use it as motivation.
This is Peter, he is my manager at NewsCred. He started in November 2016 as a CSE just like me. He worked incredibly hard and got his work done each dayl Eventually in July 2017, only 8 months later he was named the Head of Support! Now he runs a team of 6 spread out in New York City and Dhaka Bangledesh! -I use Peter as motivation every day. He is proof that progress is possible and that I too can move up the ladder.
Next is setting long and short term goals for yourself.
Short term goals can be for the day, week, month or even the year. These short term goals should help dictate what you do in your daily life and they should help you get closer to your long term goals.
Long term goals could be for the next year, 5 years, 10 years, or even for a lifetime. These goals should consist of career goals, and life and personal goals. These goals should paint your big picture.
My main short term goal is to get better at the job I was hired to do. I can do this by asking for advice, being better at time management, not being afraid to speak up when something doesn’t feel right, and using Peter as inspiration to be better at what I do.
In the long term I want to keep meeting my quarterly goals, climb the ladder, and most importantly be happy. Higher ups help your junior devs to come up with long and short term goals for themselves. With your help they should have a good career path in mind!
We all need to take care of ourselves!-When your work day is over, if you are not on call, you need to put the computer away anddisconnect.-Disable notifications especially on weekends and on vacations-And treat yourself every now and then! Have a spa day, hit the gym, meditate, read a book orlearn something new.-Do something special for yourself that makes you happy at least once a week if not more. Remember, YOU come first!
*Building off of that. Junior Devs and Senior Devs and managers need to have good relationships. Your higher ups are there to help you as a junior developer *They have all the knowledge to share with you because remember they likely were in your position once *They want you to succeed or they wouldn’t have hired you!
And remember, no matter what… you got this!
How to Make it as a Junior Dev and Stay Sane! - Video coming soon!
How to Make it as a Junior
Dev and Stay Sane!
By Katelyn Hertel
"You don't learn to walk by following rules. You
learn by doing and falling over." - Richard
Branson, Virgin Group founder
• Katelyn Hertel
• Live in NYC
• Work for NewsCred
• I’m a CSE
• I LOVE dogs
• I travel the world
• Find me on Twitter
Who Am I?
• Katelyn Hertel
• Live in NYC
• Work for NewsCred
• I’m a CSE
• I LOVE dogs
• I travel the world
• Find me on Twitter
Who Am I?
• Studied History and Classical Studies
at Seton Hall University
• Attended Bloc.io in Feburary 2016
• Studied Ruby and Rails
• Met this beautiful human, my
mentor and best friend
How did I get
Content Marketing is a strategic marketing
approach focused on creating and distributing
valuable, relevant, and consistent content to
attract and retain a clearly defined audience –
and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer
1. Original Content
2. Licensed Content
3. CMS Design
4. Have our own platform
5. CSEs fix ALL the problems
• Drive product adaptation
• Help with integrations
• Assist with onboarding new customers to the platform
What do we
1. Worked for a Content Distribution Network or
2. I got hired 3 weeks before I graduated my
3. Started in May
4. In June I got the opportunity to work on 2 BIG
projects; IPv6 and HTTP2
My First Job
2. Turn Notifications off.
3. Make time for things you love.
4. Treat yourself every now and then!
1. Listen when your Junior Devs ask for advice
and offer them your knowledge.
2. Help them to better manage their time and
prioritize the tasks you assign them.
3. When they express that something is wrong,
listen and offer to help.
4. Allow your junior devs to say no and praise
them for doing so.
5. Be the success story they look up to.
6. Help guide them in setting their goals.
7. Make sure they aren’t working too hard and
are taking care of themselves too.
- There are there to help
- They have all the
knowledge to share.
- They want you to succeed
or they wouldn’t have hired
Have a Good Relationships
with Your Higher Ups