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3 Things I wish I knew when I started as a dev

I wasn’t as great as I thought I was.

When I started as a front-end developer, I thought I knew almost everything about CSS, HTML, JS, and React. I had the common misconception of thinking I was proficient and could tackle everything, when in reality, I just wasn’t aware of how vast the programming universe is.

It’s a dangerous place to be when you’re falsely sure you know that much, because it can diminish your progress and trick you into thinking you already know enough. Also, it’s possible to get stuck forever here if somehow you don’t realize how big it is. Luckily I could go past this phase, but I wish that happened a little bit earlier. Nowadays, the deeper I go, the more I understand how huge it’s.

Just coding wasn’t enough. I needed my communication skills in place too.

The first unexpected moment was in interviews, being asked to describe what I had worked on before concisely. Later when I got the job, this skill was even more requested on standup calls, plannings, reviews, retros, and other meetings.

Being able to communicate and express myself clearly was just as important as my technical skills. If I knew this from the beginning, I would practice it more, potentially making it easier to climb the promotion ladder, because the far you go there, the more important it is.

It can be exhausting.

I never thought that by doing what I liked and earning some cash along the way, I could get mentally exhausted. I wasn’t aware I would encounter crazy deadlines, unnecessary arguments, finger-pointing, excessive extra work hours, constant everyday pressure, undervaluation, chronic stress, and consequentially, burnout.

It happens, a lot. If I had known about it earlier I would say no to a lot of things, giving myself more room to breathe when needed.