Who Makes A Good Senior Developer, And How Do We Know If We’ve Reached The Level Of Expertise To List Ourselves As A Senior Developer On Our Resumes?
In this article, we will provide answers to these questions. This article introduced nine essential skills that show whether you are a senior developer.
This practical guide will help you identify and fix the skills you feel you lack.
When looking for a career as a software developer, you’ll see the term senior developer a lot. Your mindset may be that seniority is just another definition of experience, but the reality is that seniority refers to something beyond experience.
There are specific skill sets and characteristics that define a senior developer. To be more precise, every senior developer must have particular skills to manage the team under their supervision properly and do their best work.
If you want to be a senior developer, you need to think about gaining experience in the necessary skills that will make you successful at doing things. This introduction will introduce the top 9 skills that a senior developer should have. These skills will help you strengthen your brand as a senior developer and perform the assigned projects in the best possible way.
1- Knows how to write maintainable codes
It is not true that every good developer should know how to produce quality code. When programmers are still in the beginning, their focus is only on completing the principles and achieving the desired result in any way possible. They don’t yet have the experience to develop and optimize their code in a structured way. However, as they progress through their careers, they learn how to write maintainable code.
A developer’s first step is to write code to perform the expected task. Next, you should consider simplifying the code so that others can read it and understand its function of the code. Most developers feel that overly complex code is good code. But this is only a myth. Any code must evolve over its lifetime to meet business requirements aligned with organizational goals.
As a result, if the team members cannot understand the function of the codes in a short time, that code will become a big nightmare for the team. According to our explanations, a senior developer should learn how to produce structured code understandable to others and that there is no problem in maintaining and developing it.
2- Knows how to predict bugs
There are bugs and predictable problems in every software product. Many parameters hurt a program, and no matter how careful the programmer is about the codes he writes, there is still a possibility that some bugs will not be observed. Therefore, software development teams should focus on anticipating problems and thinking beforehand about what to do if any errors occur.
The senior developer, while working on the task assigned to him, should focus on the reaction of the system to different states. Senior programmers must learn to identify application hotspots and define protection mechanisms for these hotspots so that users have a good user experience.
In addition, they must simultaneously be prepared to handle situations where systems fail. The skill of anticipating failure can only be learned through collaboration in the product development cycle in the real world. For this purpose, software testing and beta testing should not be neglected.
3- The senior programmer knows how to prioritize his work
A senior developer must know how to prioritize the assigned tasks to perform at their best. Not everything can be done with the same amount of time and effort. For this reason, senior developers’ essential skill is prioritizing and working on tasks that require more energy. At the same time, senior developers must learn to say no. They should not avoid charges that do not add experience; if a senior developer can do it, they should delegate it to a younger developer.
Effective delegation helps novice programmers gain experience while allowing senior programmers to focus on tasks that require their expertise. In most cases, young developers are afraid to say no, assuming they will be viewed negatively. However, accepting any job assigned to them has the opposite effect and affects their performance negatively.
Consequently, as programmers gain experience in their careers and want to be recognized as senior developers, they need to know that quality, not quantity, is the key to their growth.
4- They know how to deal with escalation
Similar to bugs and system problems that cause software failures, escalation is a common problem for programmers. Escalation is okay only when there is a good reason for it, and it doesn’t interfere with the programmers’ work performance. This helps programmers to prioritize tasks and shows what needs to be done first. However, many software engineers consider escalation as a disorder.
In contrast, senior developers are well aware of the nature of escalation and know how to manage it. Instead of panicking in a crisis, senior programmers stay calm and focus on problem-solving.
5- He knows how to negotiate
You might wonder why a software developer needs to know the basics of negotiation. What can a senior developer negotiate? A junior developer is focused on coding and completing the tasks assigned. But as you progress in your career, you’ll need to interact with different customers and teams daily and be able to use friendly solutions to identify and solve problems.
You should pay attention to the important fact that customers always have different opinions about their needs and program capabilities. There may be significant differences between your plans and the plans your customers are considering. As a senior developer, you must find a reasonable compromise to get things done. This is your responsibility as a developer.
6- He knows when and how to help others
An important principle is that developers should ask for help and help others as much as possible to grow in their careers. However, when and how should a senior developer help others? If team members do not communicate with each other, the team will fail. Of course, this does not mean that you should do all the tasks assigned to a group by yourself. There should always be a balance between helping others, letting them do their job, and learning from their mistakes.
7- Knows how to interact with users
In most cases, we see that developers are focused on the technical side of product delivery. Instead of creating a product that works for users, they expect users to work according to their mindset. In addition, they sometimes ask users to change the way they use the product based on the design they have in mind.
An application is only good if it meets the needs of the users. It doesn’t matter how well the code is written if the app can’t help users solve their problems correctly, the program and its principles lose their value.
A senior developer must have the skills to put himself in the end user’s shoes and work with the application from his perspective. They must understand that the user is looking to use their software to solve a problem.
8- He knows how to make accurate estimates
Estimating is a critical process in software development that covers all aspects of a project. Estimating and estimating requires theoretical knowledge and practical experience so that the estimates are as close to reality as possible.
One thing you should pay attention to as a senior developer is that software estimates change under the influence of different scenarios, such as diversity in team ability, environmental constraints, etc. Identifying and understanding these factors will help you make a more accurate estimate that is vital in delivering the product on time.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for the perfect measurement, and you only have to make a good guess based on experience and expertise.
For this reason, a senior developer must be involved in all phases of software development and learn how various factors affect the project delivery timeline. This approach helps him learn from his past mistakes and use these learnings to increase the accuracy of his future estimates.
9- He knows how to adapt to the environment and teams
- Adaptability is one of the hallmarks of senior developers. For a senior developer, building trust is crucial. The team must have confidence in the senior developer’s abilities. Consistency plays a vital role in maintaining team stability and performance. In summary, senior developers should continuously focus on all the skills described in this article and consider addressing them if they feel they are lacking.
This article introduced the essential skills that will help you become a senior developer. Of course, the above list is incomplete, and some things were not mentioned, but if you can think about improving the skills mentioned in this article and work on them continuously, you will surely improve your work.