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When to apply for senior Developer position?

shubham2270 profile image Shubham Kumar ・1 min read

Hello friends,
It's been 1 year I'm working as FrontEnd Developer in a startup, have a good working experience on working tools/framework like React, Redux, saga, styled components, ramda etc.

Now when I see job posting regarding a Senior frontend developer role, most of requirements they want I have experience with.

So can I apply for Senior Developer position?

Is there a rule of thumb that I can know I'm ready to apply for senior Developer position?

Discussion

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

A lot of the time, Senior is less about technical skills, and more about soft skills. Consider where you are with subjects such as:

  • Communicating with coworkers,
  • Time management,
  • Planning new features,
  • Debugging (especially difficult bugs),
  • Testing,
  • Code review,
  • Writing documentation,
  • Handling bug reports,
  • Shipping code,
  • Project management,
  • VCS and CI/CD pipeline.

Which ones are relevant depends heavily on your specialty, field, and tech stack, but it's good to be comfortable with however the above manifests for your wheelhouse.

You should also be comfortable with the idiomatic patterns for the technologies you use.

Beyond this, a senior should be comfortable with the fundamental, underlying principles relevant to their specialty. For example, some senior positions would expect you to understand the impact that a linked-list-based data structure would have on performance in a particular situation, versus an array-based data structure. Others might need you to understand the pros/cons of TCP and UDP, or what the pitfalls are for CRUD APIs.

In short, senior developers understand the whys of practices and patterns, and can use that knowledge to independently devise solutions to sticky problems. A senior will be solving "high-friction problems", where there is little-to-no precedence or documentation to directly inform them.

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rubenwap profile image
Ruben Sanchez

Do you have other senior devs in your company? If so, you can observe what kind of issues they resolve, what kind of tasks they are assigned to, and generally what are their duties. That way you can get a clearer picture of what it means to be a senior developer.

The issue comes when you realize that every company has a different definition of this. So a person that would be ok to be a senior in one place, might not be qualified enough to be senior in a different place. Some companies care about soft skills, some others don't care that much and are just focused in the fact that you should have very strong tech skills.

Because of the uncertainty to get a magical recipe of what is the definition of senior, try to apply to some positions, so when you are doing the interview you can get a clearer feeling of what is required. It has happened to me in the past, I signed up for interviews where I was a bit unqualified, but the interviews were helpful to understand what kind of things they wanted and what sorts of problems they would want to be resolved.

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alexandreamadocastro profile image
Alexandre Amado de Castro

You should apply to roles in companies where you think you will fit end enjoy. Do the interview, let the company decide if you are a senior for their standards or not. Don't hesitate to apply to a role solely by the title or required years of experience.

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eruizdechavez profile image
Erick Ruiz de Chavez

Now when I see job posting regarding a Senior frontend developer role, most of requirements they want I have experience with.

So can I apply for Senior Developer position?

Is there a rule of thumb that I can know I'm ready to apply for senior Developer position?

Just go for it. If you feel like you cover the requirements apply for it.

Worst thing that could happen: Not getting the job.
Best thing that could happen: You getting the job.

Side note. If you are currently employed be careful of using your company resources to apply for a new job. Also, be careful of not applying for a direct competitor as that could get you in trouble.