3 Mistakes Junior Engineers Make and How to Avoid Them to Set Yourself up for a Successful Career in Tech

Reza Fazeli
2 min readFeb 13, 2022


So you’ve just started your tech career.

There are a few mistakes you should be aware of that can slow down your progress. Let’s introduce these mistakes and discuss how you can avoid them to become a better engineer and accelerate your career growth.

Mistake #1: Being afraid to reach out when you’re stuck

Avoid spending hours debugging a code while a teammate could help you resolve it in a few minutes.

It gets harder to reach out to someone as you spend more time on a problem and don’t find the solution. Set a rule to spend at least X minutes on a problem before reaching out to someone else, but no more than Y minutes. If you can’t reach a solution by Y minutes then you’d have to ask for help.

Sometime you even find the solution as you’re typing your question to ask a colleague.

Mistake #2: Asking bad questions

Learn to ask good questions.

Once you decide to reach out to a teammate about a problem, you need to ask good questions that make it easy for the other person to give you the information you need.

Here is a list of steps you can take for asking good questions (inspired by an article by Julia Evans on this topic):

  1. Do some research before asking your question
  2. Find a good time and the right person to ask your question
  3. State what you know
  4. Ask questions where the answer is a fact
  5. Be willing to say what you don’t understand
  6. Identify terms you don’t understand

Mistake #3: Avoiding challenges because you think you’re not ready

Nobody is every ready for everything.

The bad news is that early on in your career you will doubt yourself and feel like a fraud. The good news is it’s not just you, everyone else experiences imposter syndrome too. So don’t miss opportunities because you feel like you’re not ready.

There is always more challenges and concepts you are unfamiliar with. And the only way to level up is to stretch yourself and take on those challenges although you feel like you’re not ready.

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Reza Fazeli

I write about building a daily coding habit 🛠 | learning in public 🎓 | breaking into tech 🚀 | need help? reach out! https://t.co/Iewe44D8YQ - ML @IBMWatson