There is ambiguity in defining software developer levels. Specific factors affect the rankings of software developers, but they are not always obvious. Differentiating between the software developer levels can be difficult because there isn’t a set list of requirements for each position.
In addition, Many companies set their own categories to classify their developers.Even though the distinctions vary across companies, there are overarching characteristics that distinguish between junior, intermediate, and senior software developers.
The most obvious way to differentiate between developers is their level of experience. If the developer just recently graduated from school and has been in the field less than two years, he is entry level. Beyond that, it is more complicated to determine how experienced a developer is. Time does not always indicate expertise. If you want to hire someone who labels themselves as a senior developer, you should make sure their knowledge justifies their title.
Also be aware that some companies define their developers based on the time they’ve been with the business, not necessarily because of skill level.
Attitude is a great indication of experience and maturity in software developers. Those who are able to take charge of new projects, and lead other developers should be considered intermediate, to senior level. The ability to serve as a leader is incredibly valuable within the world of software development.
An intermediate, or senior level developer will also be able to recognize when a project is lacking in direction. They won’t hesitate to take over and steer other employees in the right direction. Less experienced developers will be resistant to leadership because they won’t be as confident in their abilities.
Independence is something that comes hand in hand with experience. Once you have worked as a developer for enough time, you’ll be able to operate without much guidance. Entry level developers require constant attention and feedback from superiors. Newer developers also won’t be able to problem solve to the same ability as an intermediate or senior developer. They won’t have as much reference, and will often have to get a second opinion on their work.
Along with all of the above characteristics comes an increased amount of responsibility. Higher level developers will have more work on their plates, and will be working on more difficult projects. But expert level developers are able to handle the work in an efficient manner, while lower level developers will struggle to keep up.
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