TOP 5 RISKS OF HIRING JUNIOR DEVELOPERS AND HOW TO MANAGE THEM
Hiring Junior Developers can be very appealing to companies, especially startups. Their wage expectations are considerably lower, they bring a newer generation perspective to problems, and are usually motivated and eager to start working to give their very best.
Needless to say, those advantages have consequences that are not all that great, but that can be easily addressed by good project managers and senior developers’ oversight.
5. Too eager to prove something
Fresh out of university it is expected that they lack confidence, which often translates into attempts to do extra work that may not be necessary, and actually add up to the companies’ technology debt.
Overengineering features in a product, adding unnecessary complexity to a code to stand out, and attempting to take tasks that are larger than what their knowledge can chew at that moment, are recurring situations in some companies.
Continuous senior-level oversight of work is always necessary to keep track of this natural impulse.
4. Excessive optimism
A major part of learning is making mistakes and not repeating them. When Junior developers enter the workforce they simply haven’t had a chance to make those mistakes yet. Consequently, they will be very optimistic and may assume complex problems have simple solutions that others simply haven’t considered at all before.
This type of excessive optimism, which may be disguised as arrogance, is generally also found outside the realm of IT, particularly in politics, where well intended youth tend to assume their simple solutions can fix complex global problems with no bad consequences.
Managers and senior developers can tackle this problem by explaining why some of the excessively optimistic solutions won’t work, step-by-step. This takes time, but it’s necessary to retain Junior developers and give them a chance to grow. Otherwise, like any other person that has their opinions rejected too many times without any feedback, they will eventually start looking for an alternative place to work.
3. May overvalue the latest technologies
At this stage in their professional lives, everything is new, whether it’s a proven programming language supported by a community of thousands of developers or something that came out the week before.
Most will be inclined to pick up the latest frameworks, languages, and tools, not realizing due to lack of experience: latest usually also means bug-ridden!
Oversight by managers and senior developers, when it comes to choosing what technologies to use for a specific task, is essential to prevent problems in the long run, if an unproven technology was picked up.
2. Undefined/undetailed life goals
Who knew what to do with their lives in their mid-twenties? Not many people. That’s why that typical HR question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” some firms do is so cringy… At that stage in our lives, most of us wouldn’t know what to expect to do in 5 months, much less 5 years!
It may very well be that the job the Junior developer took is exactly what he/she was searching for, or it may more likely be he/she just took it because bills need to be paid and peer/parents pressure made them do it! Yes, “I needed to work on something to make money” is a perfectly good answer, and so much more honest than the pressured “I always wanted to work for your Accounting software development company when I was growing up!”.
A good part of knowing what we want to do starts with want we DON’T want to do. So companies should keep in mind hiring junior developers comes with an additional risk of them leaving for something else after a very short time of working with them. This will naturally mean restarting the hiring process with every single pain that comes with it.
1. They bear the additional hidden cost of inexperience
Don’t get fooled by the apparent lower wages Junior developers are paid. At the end of the day, if there’s no proper oversight they can cost the company 10x of what Senior developers cost.
Their bigger mistakes are likely to end up taking time from the Senior developers to get fixed, this can lead to delays in projects, and delays in projects can lead to losing clients, and the money that comes with them.
In that regard, if a company is on a tight budget, hiring Junior developers may very well be an aggravated situation disguised as a solution.
HOW WE WORK AT ASCENDANTI
We only recommend Junior developers in long-duration projects or companies that have expectations for consecutive multiple projects that will require more than 2 years of development work.
Constant oversight of the Junior team is done by senior staff, particularly for those that are participating in their first work experience outside of the university.
A special effort is done to allow them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep them challenged. Never doing the very common mistake by some companies, of turning to Junior staff as those that get all the boring tasks!
Junior developers can bring a lot of value to a company, but they need to feel comfortable in staying with the company for the long run, for that to come to fruition. It’s our responsibility to make them at home and feeling like they are doing impactful work.
THANK YOU FOR READING AND CONTACT US TODAY
Hope you found this article useful. Contact us today to schedule a call and we will take a look at your company needs and discuss the best approach to meet your software development goals.