Hiring and Growing Junior Developers | Stories from the Hackery Ep. 3

An interview with Jacob Sims on hiring and growing junior developers

“Nashville is going through a renaissance, and that renaissance is being driven by technology,” Jacob Sims, Vice President of Development and Information Technology at Premise Health, says. He joins John Wark and Clark Buckner in discussing the importance of mentorship, hiring and understanding the learning process for Junior Developers, and retaining talent to make the culture and entire company experience work better for both junior and senior level teams. There’s great discussion by Jake on topics like:

  • why does he hire juniors as part of a fast growing product development organization
  • why hiring junior developers is good for your senior developers (!)
  • the impact of junior developers on overall team productivity
  • how fast can you expect to have juniors contribute value
  • what roles can junior developers fill
  • and so many more great thoughts for any development manager considering hiring junior developers

“Building a great organization pivots on learning”

1:43 Introduction to Jake Sims and to Premise Health
5:06 How do Junior Developers Fit?
7:40 Community Support: Why are mentors important?
12:08 The excuses for not bringing in new talent
13:35 Mentorship as retention: “juniors make our seniors stronger”
17:04 “This is an investment in the long term health of my organization”
21:05 The Learning process never ends for software engineers
23:36 Two Key Things: Passion and problems that become fun
25:28 Culture: “It’s not just about lines of code”
26:00 Jr./Senior pairing and “pizza-sized teams”
30:30 Expectations for Junior Developers
32:05 Deliverables from Jr. Developers: “In the pool with the big kids”
33:55 Job experience: Matching function with fit
37:50 Summary: Crossroads of learning and problem solving
40:50 Closing and last words on bringing on Junior Developers

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