Junior developer, how coachable are you?
Technology is an exceptional field that changes day by day. New techniques are continuously emerging, which requires us developers to stay alert and keep ourselves up to date. Largely because of this, I believe coachability is the most important attribute for a junior developer at the training stage of his/her career.
Being coachable means a capability of being easily taught or trained to do something better. Coachability is not a technical skill but an attitude. It is the ability to control your personal emotions to handle criticism and pressure from your coach without losing your motivations and positive spirits.
Why is coachability important for a junior developer?
Improving your coachability is not only beneficial to your coach but also has a huge number of benefits to yourself. For example:
- Training and learning progress can be smoother and faster.
- The training experience feels more pleasant.
- You will see and understand your strengths and weaknesses more clearly.
- Accepting the feedback allows you to enhance your training and improve your ability to change.
- Coachable employees are more productive and efficient.
What is the difficulty in becoming more coachable?
Do a simple research and you can scroll down numerous ways of becoming more coachable, such as willingness to learn, listening to feedback, respecting your coach...etc. But in the end, it is all about your ego. The most important thing is to learn to leave your ego behind.
Because your ego is always there, here are some suggestions for you to overcome it:
- Accept that you are not perfect – you are still at the learning stage, be proud of that. Being embarrassed by your mistakes, which are acceptable as part of your learning process, just makes it more difficult for you to confront them.
- Even when you don’t agree with your coach, try not to be offended. Instead, try to be patient and listen to what your coach is saying, not how he/she is saying it.
- Try positive self-talk when your ego feels hurt, it’s an encouraging method that can push you forward.
- Trust your coach. Believe me, they are the ones that really, really want us to succeed.
- Remember your goals and remember why you’re learning.
As a junior developer being coachable is an essential attitude. You're willing to listen to feedback, willing to receive constructive criticism, willing to improve your performance. However, improving coachability, like any other abilities, requires long-term effort and appropriate guidance.
Coaching culture at Druid
I started my developer career five months ago at Druid and the coaching culture here has impressed me. The coaches spend time to explain their methods and most importantly, they listen to you. You have a chance to share your opinions and get feedback on them.
“You can also propose your solutions, maybe yours are better than mine”, says my team lead Petri. This is an example of how to make people more coachable. He gives trainees the opportunity to share their thoughts and takes them into consideration instead of forcing others to think like him. This, in my opinion, prevents from opposing the coaching and having negative thoughts towards the coaches.
At the end of the day, if you are a coachable junior developer (or have a thoughtful coach), you will go home with peace of mind without any work related stress, I promise you!