One year ago I got an employment as a junior developer. Since then I’ve learned quite much, especially things about working as a junior developer.

Things that might be useful:

  • If you have someone more experienced on the office who could review your code before launch, insist on that they do it. She or he can tell you how they would have done stuff (and things you have missed), you’ll learn tons from it. If you’re lucky you might even get a mentor you’ll be able to ask questions, and who’ll be glad to review your code.
  • Just because you just got hired doesn’t mean that you should stop reading. Continue to read, write and evaluate your methods. This is a way to keep the work funny and interesting as well. Never stop learning.
  • Take initiatives, ask around. Take the chances you get to get to know your team mates better.
  • Ask your team mates what they are doing, and why they are doing it that way. Question everything.
  • Write down the stuff that you learn and share with others who are, or will be in the same position.

And then we have a few optional things that I personally do:

  • I keep my desk clutter free. At my workplace, it’s not a requirement or anything, but I just like to be able to focus on the screen and the tasks ahead of me.
  • Always show up early, or at least in time. This is not a solid requirement at my work place either, but I like to show up early, and then leave early. I tend to do the heavy tasks in the morning, and more light weight tasks in the afternoon.
  • Be polite and generous with compliments, remember peoples names and details about their personal life. But don’t pretend to be interested if you’re not. Falsehood always shines through.
  • Do your work. You might find this point very obvious, but I’ve seen enough people showing up at work to just spend the time procrastinating.

Most of these things are common sense, but you’ll be surprised of how many who wouldn’t agree with them. The important point is that you deliver what you promised, and that you do it on time. When you work in teams of more experienced people and you get to work with different projects (both fresh and uh-oh-so-old-and-completely-idiotic) you learn the most important things. The small things that no one ever seem to cover in those books that you read, or that tutorial that you walked. You learn things that could only be learned through hard earned experience.

During my morning, I got hooked by this airplane painted cross on an otherwise clear sky.

Today I’ve been going through Django’s tutorials, and I’ve set up my local environment.
To me, it is a pretty steep learning curve just to fully understand all of the stuff that I’m learning through the tutorials.

After the tutorials I installed support for OpenID, using django_openidconsumer. Problem was, that it didn’t work as expected. After I searched a while, I recognized that it used maxlength instead of max_lenght. Then I read the discussions on django_openidconsumer, and of course, someone had already posted a patch to fix it. Sweet ๐Ÿ™‚

Tomorrow I’m heading towards Gotland together with Sanna. I’m looking forward to it, but I probably won’t be able to work upon TLW until next Wednesday.

Today is the day I started developing what right now is called TLW, which stands for the Lagom model.

Loosely based upon the Swedish model, and “Lagom”, which means “Enough is as good as a feast”, this is an attempt to make it easier to show your gratitude towards the musicians (and later movie makers and game creators) who we all love. It’s all about contributing in order to support further creations.

Today means that I will work from home every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during a limited time.
Technically speaking, I will build TLW using the Django framework (for order), together with a sprinkle of jQuery (for magic matters, that is). As my web hosts, I’ve chosen to work with Webfaction which offer good and reliable support for Django.

In order to setup a temporary office, I’ve bought a keyboard and a mouse.
This is how it looked yesterday:


And this is how it looks today:

After 2


Todays workload consisted mostly of setting up a proper development environment, such as installing django, postgresql and django_openidconsumer and writing a proper business plan. Tomorrow I will focus more on pure development.

And for all of you who cares: as my OS I use Ubuntu 8.10, Geany as my editor and I run Ubuntu with compiz on normal, just to make up for my now, slow machine (1st gen Dell XPS M1330).

Two years ago I decided that I wanted to work as a web something. I didn’t really know if design, code, client care or entrepreneurship was my cup of tea. I really had no idea.

The reason for my interest came from the fact that I was unemployed and had just moved to Stockholm. Most of my day went to working on my CV, and handling those out to different stores where I wanted to work. I didn’t get any. “Come back around Christmas time” they said. And so I did.

But somewhere in between I went to a party, where I overheard some guy asking another guy if he had any space in his very busy schedule. The other guy worked as a freelance web developer. “No” he replied. I took a shot. Accidentally, one of the only things that I had liked about school was when I had been working with HTML and found out about those web standards. I was attracted to the fact that they were striving towards an accessible web. “I’ve got some experience with web development” I said to the guy. He answered: “Perfect! Give me your hand.” I reached for him, and then he wrote a telephone number in my palm.

After that, and now with a client who wanted me to do work for him, I began to understand that this would require me to start my own company. My new life in Stockholm was forming, just a few month after graduation in Klintehamn and I had just turned myself as unemployed into a freelance web developer (or at that time, HTML markup-er, heh) together with tech wizz kid Petter.

The next week, I started listening to podcasts about entrepreneurship, web development and I … took lessons in spanish (Pimsleur). I read up on A list apart,,,,,, Veerle’s blog, Information Architects, and of course A big thank you to all of those who openly shares their discoveries, techniques, thoughts and philosophies!

I bought “CSS Mastery”, written by Andy Budd. It was great. I finally grasped floats, and how to make different menus. Wonderful ๐Ÿ™‚ ! Now I could take on my first client. I charged him 4000 SEK (around 410 รขโ€šยฌ) for a complete website and a full index of pictures, taken by my partner Petter. It took me two weeks to complete that website, and in the end we didn’t even get paid as the client didn’t like the design. We quit working with that particular client, and learned after a while to handle pricing, pitching, support and office hours better. That was the hardest part of the work, no doubt about it.

After a few more clients, and a few more cases, I saw an advertisement over at, which is a web niched job and gig board in swedish. I sent them an e-mail showing off my/our work and asked them to get back to me. They did, and after a really bumpy start, it all settled to be really good. I learned a lot during those first weeks, and still do. The reason as to why I wanted to get employed was that I didn’t know that much about managing, pitching, sales, money or even back end work. Now I had an opportunity to learn all that. Now, after a year at my current employment I still think that it was a good choice, I’ve learned so much from all of the brilliant people that I’ve had the opportunity to work with, almost only that makes it worth in itself.

Now, in order to stay alert and fresh I read a lot of articles, try out new methods and techniques and do my best to document the results. Most of the time, it’s a blast!

The following month (November) I will work less over at my current workplace in order to get time to work on one of my own projects, which is loosely called The Lagom Model. I’ll document the process either here, or on a separate blog which will be announced later.

I love my career at the moment and the craft. I love the internet, and the possibilities that the medium possess.