This week, the agency won the Big Commerce Partner of the Year award. This is an important award for us not only due to the difficult times we are in but the work that has gone into getting us there. For years, we have been a pure Magento agency but now we can say that we have arrived in the Big Commerce world, an eCommerce solution that is gaining traction right across the globe.

As I like to do often, I sat back and reflected on the year gone by but also at looked at how the team has shaped up, grown and improved and something that stands out to me is the part played by younger members of the team.

I have seen loads of posts by junior developers and designers over the past few months about how hard it is to get a job when companies want the finished article, someone with plenty of experience or have little desire to train up and personally speaking, I think they are missing out greatly.

I was probably of the same opinion at one point. A junior coming in means hours of explaining the same thing over and over again, maybe working late to fix the broken bits and generally being a babysitter but over the past few years, I’ve come to realise that they bring fresh ideas and probably know more than me when I did at that age.

Back in the day, web design was something you learnt in your spare time, now you can go to Uni and learn a great foundation of knowledge and judging by the some of the candidates coming through, they can easily hold their own when it comes to coding.

But it’s not just about writing code though is it

Youth mess about, don’t really care and a job is probably a means for making money for going out at the weekend.

Which of course is nonsense, well some of it. Most that I know still go out and get hammered. The point is, these kids are ambitious and driven and seem to have a better idea of what they want to do.

I can only really speak from my experiences when working with the “yoof of today”. I’ve been fortunate to work with a few now and honestly, I trust them more than some of the senior devs I have met in my life. I was lucky enough to train a lad up, I’m not giving him the satisfaction of naming him as I need to keep him grounded but his role in our award win is massive in my opinion. The way he owned building up the knowledge, sharing and doing the actual work has been invaluable and without his efforts it would have been a lot harder.

At Space we have a graduate scheme and this year has been a massive success just like the year before. Seeing these fresh from uni types learning and then moved into projects is amazing. Seeing them then take a lead on parts of the project is even better. I don’t see them as grads now, they are key members.

The key was trust and the safety of failure. We believe that we learn from our mistakes and we will do all we can to ensure you learn and improve and be better for it. So the freedom they have to work under has yielded much better results. Knowing the team has your also helps breed confidence.

So for me, I don’t get the pushback on hiring juniors. It can be good for the company to inject some life. I have learnt so much from them including the slang my kids use although their taste of music leaves a lot to be desired.

Junior isn’t an age thing

It’s easy to think of junior as a young person’s term but plenty of people are retraining these days, again something that is brilliant. There are so many ways to improve your skill sets these days it’s unreal.

Skills are important, of course they are but attitude is key and a lot of these individuals have come from professional working backgrounds.

So in a nutshell, don’t be put off by experience or lack of it. There are some very talented people out there that just need a chance, some guidance. We’re benefiting from this massively and I hope that continues.

If you are someone starting out in the web young or old and need some advice or feedback, just get in touch.