What is a senior developer?

There was a very interesting discussion in the office today about what a senior developer is (we were talking about JavaScript developers, but I guess it could be applied to any programming language).

I was saying that there is no possible way that a developer can be senior after only 2 years of experience. There is simply not enough time to meet the unexpected. And that is what, in my opinion, makes a senior: the unexpected. The ability to not be surprised and blocked. That is when a developer becomes senior.

There were of course voices that said that 2 years is more than enough. And it only depends on how passionate you are (how can passion be a factor in establishing seniority?). Then there was a slip from someone who said: if you convince your current employer to make you a senior, than you can put it in your CV and the next job recruiter would have to take you into account for a senior role. That made me think: hm.. sneaky one. So you you put it in your CV just for to market yourself? So the seniority became just a keyword? Who is to blame for this? Can we fix it?

About 3 years ago someone estimated that the number of programmers doubles every 5 years. I suppose then, there is this need of making oneself appear “seniorer” than the rest. But is it fair? and I mean it. There are senior developers with less than 2 years of experience and less than 25 years of life who participate in technical reviews during interviews (and I mean it because I have seen it) and they evaluate people that have more years of experience then they have of life, only to conclude that the respective developer is not good enough. I guess I am a bit afraid that I will one day be evaluated by one of these. And maybe I am more afraid of my reaction to it. I am afraid that I will try to impress this kid into hiring me. Is this ok? Is there something wrong with me? Are there any others like me?

 

What is a senior developer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *