What defines a senior software engineer? What are their responsibilities? I get this question a lot from friends, family, colleagues, and even from myself.
There is no one clear definition; every company, website, and person have their definition.
As a team leader in the past and a senior software engineer today, this is my definition:
- Holistic view - understanding the bigger picture, where the product is going, and how to engineer it.
- Communicating with all the involved parties - Being able to bridge between PO, PM, UX, SRE, and engineering, so everyone is up to speed.
- Involved in the full software development life cycle - contributing to every step of the development cycle.
- Being a mentor and a guide - teach your knowledge to others, identify weak and strong points, help grow, and empower others.
- Improving your team - Senior will help develop and empower the people around them.
- Spot pitfalls and solve them ahead of time - recognize patterns and have the "future sight" to understand possible pitfalls and their solutions.
- Not a function of years of experience, but knowledge - as put by Darknight at softwareengineering: "Some achieve the above in 2 years or less, others take 10 years".
So, what is your definition?