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Viktoriya Khomyn
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IT sphere develops at an amazing pace which means it has a lot of positions people would like to occupy. It happens, they do not understand that being a programmer doesn’t mean doing the same work all the time and in all companies. There are many qualifications in the following area. You may come across such notions as a junior, middle and senior software developer, but do you actually know who they are, and what is the main difference between them? Let’s try to put everything in the right place, and find out what is the difference between junior & senior software developers. Many popular specialists are sure that experience is the main factor, which helps to differentiate them. Working environment and available knowledge are two other points that can help to understand the difference.

What is it like to be Junior developer

Image — Junior software developer

To begin with, a junior software developer is a specialist who has no more than 2-3 years of experience at any technology. Such specialists always need good supervision, as they don’t have enough skills and practice to carry out all tasks by themselves. Moreover, they won’t be given complex things to complete. And last but not least, junior software developers aren’t able to communicate with clients and gather information about their requirements.

Here are the main features of codes that are written by junior developers:

  • it will work until the system or the user behaves in an ordinary way;
  • it will be simplistic so that everybody can read it with ease, usually, the code is script-like.

Senior developer: what are obligations

A senior developer has more than 3 years of experience. This person is responsible for the quality and timeliness of work on the development of information and software systems, based on the use of the latest software technologies.

The senior software developer has all necessary and well- structured knowledge. A specialist works within the project team, without having to contact the representatives of the customer’s management. The developer takes care of the detailed design and the creation of project specifications, fully controls and often and independently performs the design of small projects and internal sub-projects (modules), programming and basic testing of components.

As a rule, such a person can comment on programs without using a dictionary, develop documentation, knows methods and tools of analysis and design. One of the main tasks is monitoring other developers and setting tasks for them.

What senior developer knows better than the junior one

There are lots of things which a senior software developer knows better for sure. Of course, earlier there were a lot of challenges related to those tasks as well, but experience and hard work gave an opportunity not to care about it anymore. Let’s look at the most significant points.

  1. The senior developer knows own limits. It means programmers realize what they know and what they don’t. They need less time to learn something new, as the basic knowledge allows doing it.
  2. Senior developers are aware of estimations. As a rule, junior coders underestimate most complex things, as well as overcomplicate quite simple things. As a result, they get false estimations.
  3. Experienced coders know how to benefit the business. The main task of the senior developer does not just build good software, also to do in a way it can operate well in a certain business environment. Here analytical skills and knowledge are necessary. Junior programmers just work on software that should meet the business requirements and don’t think how it will behave in practical usage.
  4. Senior programmers do not think language is a religion. Of course, they know lots of programming languages but these are just tools to fulfill a particular task. In fact, devs choose the language they like the most of all and will argue to build a future startup using exactly it.
  5. Senior developers know 3 levels of writing code. Yes, they distinguish such notions as Coding, Architecture, and Design.
  6. Senior programmers know everything about a perfect code. Any experienced developer is sure that a good working code shouldn’t contain thousands of lines as it is not necessary at all.
  7. The senior developer uses intuition. They often operate according to their intuition, before choosing a necessary tool for fulfilling a task.

Junior vs Senior: is it possible to grow

It sometimes happens that many juniors have already a necessary level of knowledge and skills so that they can carry out mentioned above tasks. That’s why they need to go to the next level especially having a big passion towards own profession. The transition between levels occurs over time if the developer is committed to continuous development. While learning new languages and technologies, the technical background of the programmer is growing and this transition becomes possible. A person understands what is required, and is able to solve more complex tasks, feels that there is enough knowledge for this, other developers recognize the authority and allow growing up to the next level.

All in all, a junior programmer can learn new languages and programming approaches (read the source code of popular projects, find the pros and cons of the presented solutions), study different solutions, caching mechanisms, queues, etc.

Summing up

All in all, a senior developer is a person who started the career with a position of a junior programmer. Such specialist comes across the same difficulties but experience plays into the hands and the developer knows how to settle everything down very quickly. Long hours of working and studying turn into a magic tool, which helps to improve the general professional level.