But what if they think I’m stupid? Guess what — They don’t expect much from you right now anyway.
I’ve seen this happen to newer developers that start their first job. The human ego gets in the way of learning. You’re afraid to ask questions.
You’re hurting yourself because your learning will stall.
If you’re just entering the industry — you’re a greenhorn. Your job is to soak in knowledge and techniques to make you less dependent and, with time, help you become an autonomous developer.
If it’s your first job — the developers at the company already know you’re new. They expect you to be new.
Don’t sacrifice your learning progress for the appearance of looking smart.
The company didn’t hire you for your reputation of looking smart. They hired you for your potential to grow, to build out their product, and to ultimately bring in more revenue than they spend on you each month.
To do all that — you have to ask newb questions and learn quickly from experienced developers around you. You have to risk asking stupid questions to grow quickly.
But what if they think less of me? Realize that developers have lives and problems outside of work. I don’t think about work 24/7. I have hurts, commitments, ups and downs in my life. Other developers do too! They aren’t thinking about you as much as your ego wants to think they are.
You’ve probably heard this proverb: “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt”. Disregard it if you want to learn quickly.
This industry changes like the weather and even experienced software developers have to keep up and learn new things. They are not gods you make them out to be.
This is your first job. It’s your stepping stone. Even if someone thinks badly of you — you won’t see them again when you jump ship in a few years.
Looking smart is a false virtue. Some of the best developers I’ve worked with were vulnerable about their knowledge gaps and still got things done. It was the get things done part that mattered much more than looking smart. The smartness will shine indirectly through your work as you become known as the guy or gal that gets shit done.