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Discussion on: What Defines a "Junior" Developer? 🤷🏻‍♀️

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Alain Van Hout

'Junior' and 'senior' tend to mean different things to different people, so when I do use these terms, I make sure that it's understood what I mean with them (as with all things, good/effective communication is key).

What I mean with these terms focuses mostly on what 'senior' means: when you present a senior developer with something that needs to be done, you can be sure that you no longer have to worry about it: they will get either get it done (with them taking care of what's necessary), or you'll get concrete feedback on why it's not possible. And they'll do this in a way that doesn't harm potential time tables. Note that this says nothing about the number of years of experience or even the breadth of their skill set. It's all about reliability.

In case of an 'intermediate' developer, you'll need to give some initial guidance, and ideally check up on them every so often. In case of a 'junior' developer, you need to provide closer supervision, to ensure that they're correctly interpreting the requirements (which isn't self-evident), that they're generally using the right tools and approaches (which comes with experience), and that they don't bury themselves in yak stacks (which can just as well happen to solitary senior devs).