I just started a role as a programmer out of school and in the position I find myself in now, my manager is very 'hands off'. This hasn't posed much of a problem as I have a year of internship experience and a lot of the coaching I needed to integrate into the industry I have already.

All of that said, I love development and am committed to becoming a more effective developer, analyst, employee.. etc, and with that I miss the coaching I was getting at my prior internships. Now that my manager isn't much of a part of what I do, though, any improvement I do is mostly self directed.

So I wonder if anyone has advice or strategies on how to more effectively self-manage and self-coach in a role like this?

edit: to clarify based on an answer, I'm in a position now where I don't have any developers senior to me on my team. One with slightly more experience in this specific environment, but none that are significantly more experienced than me in general

3 Answers 3


You do not say how large your team is but I assume that there are some senior employees around (besides your manager). You can just ask them to assist you. I was always lucky to find some experiences programmer or designer to show me around and support me.

You can ask them:

  • to list frameworks and design patterns they find very useful. You can then start getting familiar with them.
  • to show you projects / classes / packages that they think were done very well and that show good design patterns.
  • to go over your code (this should happen with new developer anyway) and discuss the strong and weak points with you. Try to get opinions from different people to distribute the workload and prevent a learning bias.
  • to go over their code (what they are currently doing or what they think is interesting) and ask them why they they made certain decisions. Do not start arguing and try to prevent silly questions. That way may also learn a lot of shortcuts in your IDE.

What they can do depends on their work load and on how important 'teaching juniors' is to your companies culture. Some of the points above do not take much time, others do.

One additional remark: I've seen many young developers investing a lot of time trying to find the perfect tool to make them more effective (e.g. a viewer for git repositories). Looking for new tools is important but in my experience, it is more efficient to really learn one tool and than use it for a longer time.

  • Yea I think this is sound advice most of the time, unfortunately I'm not working with any senior developers.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Oct 28, 2015 at 17:30

Just because someone isn't more senior than you, doesn't mean there aren't certain things they know that you don't. Start some sort of study group in your junior team where everyone learns about something and shares it with the rest.

Look into answering questions on Stackoverflow and joining a local developers meetup or association. You need to interact with more experienced people and be able to bounce your ideas off of them as well as learn other/better strategies.

Working on an open source project is another way to have your code viewed along with seeing how development is done with a larger team.

Learning on your own is good, but up to a certain point. What usually happens to loan developers is they end up with a solution that is only optimum relative to what they know. Work with others and stretch your skills.

  • Yea I think Stack is particularly relevant. I try to be active across programmers and overflow and it's very helpful. There are a few code groups in my city but I don't have much expectations out of them.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 20:05
  • Although I'm always looking for wisdom it feels like I'm at a point where I get it, and just need to keep forcing myself into new problems and experiences.
    – Cdn_Dev
    Commented Oct 29, 2015 at 20:06
  • You may not find the coding group as a whole to be beneficial, but there has to be at least on member you can have an intelligent conversation with and pass ideas back and forth.
    – user8365
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 19:09

I haven't gone too far down this route, but one thing I started doing a few months ago was keeping a 'reflection' journal on my own time.

In lieu of manager or senior dev feedback I take the time every now and then to reflect on how things are going lately, what I've learned, how to improve, what action points I want to take going forward, and so on.

I think in my case the most important thing is to just give myself time to think about how to improve.

I also follow a bunch of business oriented pages on Twitter which offers a lot of great business, aka non development, advice.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .