I started to learn how to code in August 2014 at General Assembly. After finishing the 3 month Web Development Immersive course there I was able to claim the title “Junior Full Stack Developer”. I landed my first job as a Junior Full Stack Developer at Skyline Technology Solutions in February 2015.
A couple of weeks ago I started asking my self “Am I still a Junior Developer?”, because It’s been 2.5 years now that I’ve been coding and 2 years of coding professionally. How do I know when I leveled up? Am I going to be a Junior Developer forever???
Before I answer the question in the title of this post, I’ll list out some bullet points on what I think determines the difference between a Junior & Mid-Level Developer.
- Understands basic programming concepts
- Will produce code without keeping performance or maintainability in mind sometimes
- Can use libraries & frameworks but will not always understand what the tools are actually doing for them and/or how’s it doing them.
- Might copy & paste code from the web (such as Stack Overflow) without understand it, if it just works
- Will need occasional mentorship
- Sometimes won’t ask for help when stuck because of fear thinking you’re not good enough (You are good! It’s ok to ask for help 😊)
- Understands one or more languages more deeply
- Will produce code with thinking about performance & maintainability
- Understands what the tools are doing for them, digs into the source code often to understand how it works & also finds undocumented usage of tools.
- Will understand code found on the Web before even thinking about copying & pasting code.
- Will ask for help when they know they’re stuck (because asking for help is ok!)
The above bullet points are just high level bullet points I gathered with the help of the internet & talking to my co-workers. So I am proud & confident to say that I am now a Mid-Level Developer 🤓!
WAIT! Can I seriously just answer this question myself and change my title on my own? You actually can because there is no piece of paper you need to claim any title in this field. In my opinion what you should do before changing your title is discuss this question with the people you work with or even the people you interact with in the tech community.
I’ll definitely write a blog post when I feel I’ve reached Senior Level! :-)
This article originally published on my Medium publication