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Then a better way to approach the situation is "I'm new, what do you think of ..." instead of "I'm X-teen, isn't what I did awesome!"



It's different, though in both cases their being new matters to the feedback you can give.

A 50-year-old just starting out as a developer has already established to themselves that they can survive in the world as an adult; they have a history of successes (and failures, put into perspective over time...) that provide a base to their ego when they're criticized.

A teenager has no context, yet -- no way to assess their own value; a minor success may make them feel like they've conquered the world, but it's fragile. If you tell them it's shit, and they haven't actually done anything worthwhile, they'll may well also accept that completely and be devastated.

I run across teenagers who are surprisingly grounded now & again, but I know I certainly didn't feel like I had solid footing (and could navigate unkind criticism without being seriously hurt) until after I was out of college... and learned I could actually cut it in the real world.


That may be true, but humility is not one of the virtues typically associated with adolescence. When they tell you they're a teenager, they're asking you to go easy on them, and there's nothing wrong with that. That doesn't mean they can't also be proud of what they did.




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