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Senior versus Junior Developers

I've been switching teams with a bit more frequency recently and have seen a few things that kept bouncing around in my head.

Then, I came across a tweet that went something like this, "I'm so tired of people treating me like a high school kid who just wrote her first hobby program on this platform. This affects me for the worse." There was more, but you get the idea.

The Problem

What I've seen is that there is a clear scale of assumptions that we make as developers about other developers.

Assumed Skillset Reality Assumed Skillset
Developers that assume that no one else has the skillset they do. Everyone Developers that assume that other developers are at their skill level or better.

It took a while for this to crystalize for me because I often work on teams with individuals from my own company. My assumption there is that they know what they are doing; that assumption is almost always spot on.

The History

A few months back, my team (mostly co-workers from my company with a few full time employees from the client) shifted focus to work on a new product.

In our introductions, I heard one of the Junior Developers mention that he wanted to learn more front-end development. Since this is my area and I had been working with him for several months, I saw this as my failure.

I had, quite simply, assumed he had the skillset or no interest in improving the skillset.

I quickly started training and pairing sessions.

Now, I've switched teams and and making a concerted effort not to make assumptions about what my new team members (all client full time employees) know or are interested in.

There will be training and pairing sessions for those that are interested.


Then, I came across the post I mentioned above.

I realized that I had been bouncing all around this scale as a Senior Developer (and probably have been for a while).

I pride myself on being an instructor, writer, and presenter ... now I need to work on being a better Senior and work with those I am right next to, providing what they need more effectively without all the assumptions.

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