The power of the junior on the team

I know some senior developers that don’t like PairProgram with juniors as they slow them down. First of all, the speed of the team (and thus the velocity of the team) is determent by the slowest on the team, not by the fastest.
First reaction could be: let’s throw out these juniors.
At first sight it might be good to only hire smart, seniors developers. We can advance much quicker. Well not exactly true. A lot of senior people have a hard time asking for help. I prefer to bring the juniors up to speed.

A lot of juniors feel overwhelmed by their senior colleagues. I think a junior has an incredible advantage over most seniors people. They have the advantage of being excused not to know. I blogged before about the TMN acronym.  The questions a junior asks go way beyond this.

And a lot of times some senior’s are happy that someone dares to ask that question.

Unfortunately by the time a junior does not feel overwhelmed anymore,  they might have lost that advantage, and now they might feel that they can no longer ask that question. When I have a junior joining a team I’m coaching, I make sure I explain them that it is OK to ask questions even (or should I say especially) stupid ones. I ‘m saying that I expect it, and that it is part of their job as a junior to ask questions.

I love diversity in my teams. Having a junior that dares to ask stupid questions brings the whole team to a higher level.

The better the juniors on my team do this, the more the seniors start doing this as well and the easier my job as a coach gets. And the faster I can leave this team.