Difference Between Junior, Mid-level and Senior Developer to Keep in Mind Before Hiring a Dedicated Team
Whenever you hire a team of developers to build your product, they will have varying levels of skills and experiences. It is essential to know the strength and level of expertise of all the members of your team so that you can put them in the right position to succeed. This is why we would like to talk about the developer levels and what their profession is all about. Let’s start by taking a closer look at what a software developer is.
What is a Software Developer?
The job of a software developer involves performing some of the processes that go into the software development lifecycle (SDLC). In large enterprises, developers will only focus on one or two aspects involved in the development, whereas startups and medium-sized companies might have people who handle all of the phases. You will often hear software developers referred to as programmers or engineers.
Just like with other professions, there are various skill levels that apply to all the developers out there. Specifically, they break down into three categories: junior, mid-level, and senior developer. Let’s take a closer look at all of these levels to see the skills and expertise specialists need to have in order to climb the career ladder.
What is a Junior Level Position?
A developer who is just starting out, without any experience, will qualify for a junior-level position. When they have about two years of experience under their belt, they will qualify for a mid-level position. However, until then, they must get some commercial experience and apply everything that they learned in the real world. If you hire a junior-level programmer, it is vital that you are patient because they will be learning on the job. Having said this, a junior level developer will have the following skills:
- A rudimentary knowledge of processes and limited coding skills
- Solid knowledge of certain programming language
- Finding solutions to small issues
- Be productive in working on a specific feature of the product
If you are building an advanced product, for example, something involving virtual reality, it would not be a good idea to hire a junior level developer. If you are a virtual reality developer in a company like Skywell Software, you will need to have a lot of industry know-how, which only comes with years of experience.
What is a Mid-level Experience?
One of the main questions everybody has is how many years of experience it is mid-level? The answer is somewhere between 2-4 years of working on projects of varying difficulty. However, the difference between junior and mid-level developer includes much more than experience:
- A mid-level developer will be competent in all or some stages of the SDLC. The skills included here involve documentation, analysis, and testing
- He takes the initiative in solving problems and fixing critical errors
- Independently sets up the development environment
- Has the ability to work on several projects simultaneously
- Doesn’t require strict supervision
Now that we have compared junior vs. mid-level developers let’s take a look at senior programmers.
What is a Senior Programmer?
In order to qualify for a senior role, a developer will need to have 5-8 years of experience in finding solutions to various problems. They will also need to update and improve the code that has been written in the past. Additionally, a senior developer will be able to:
- Serve as a mentor to the junior and mid-level programmers
- Communicate with clients about the effectiveness of the implementation of specific processes
- Fix mission-critical bugs via application of design patterns
- Create and conduct complicated testing
Assembling a Team to Create Your Product
Regardless of whether you are looking to hire a developer for your internal team or hire an external team, it is important to consider the entire package of skills each developer brings to the table. A lot of people pay a lot of attention to the years of experience, which is important, but you also need to hire people on the job they are capable of doing, not what they have done in the past. Therefore, if you come across a developer who is showing a lot of promise, it might be a good idea to take him on and allow him to grow professionally inside your organization or within your remote team. This way, you will receive many years of productivity and stability, which is very important to software development in its own right.
Ultimately, a lot will depend on the specifics of your project and the team you have in place. Sometimes all you will need is a spare set of hands to augment the team you already have. In this situation, you might just find hiring a junior or mid-level programmer. However, if the job description involves creating a proof of concept, experimental solutions, and providing recommendations as to the best practices, you will need to hire a senior developer. Therefore, be sure to know your specific requirements and go after the candidates that have the necessary skills, are always willing to learn and hone their craft.