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What is a senior?

When do you become a senior in tech?
Martin says 6 years, the salary site WeLoveDevs says 5 years, sometimes we read 8 or 10 years.
According to my old one, it's when we have discounts again at the SNCF. We don't know, we don't know anymore.

The difference between a senior and a junior would be the experience? But what experience? - Pascal the big brother

What does a Senior know that a Junior doesn't?

Already he has seen projects in production. 70% of IT projects are still failures because they did not bring value to users, but also because they do not reach production.
So we are afraid that a junior will not be able to do the build, the deployment, and that the choices he has made will not be sustainable in production. The senior is not sighted, but he shows clairvoyance.

What skills does a senior develop?

It is mainly hard skills that are lacking? In any case, if we talk about production, it seems so. Developer is a craftsman's job, and transmission between peers is very important. This is why we quickly have more considerations for field experience than for training.

And then el senior, he will increase his skills on his technical stack. He will deepen it by testing it against specific business cases. He will solve problems and retain solutions. Perhaps he will form or be formed? SEO, WebPerf, Craftmanship, UX, … We have a whole catalog of training courses and I haven't mentioned the technologies yet.

Because of course we will learn Java, React, Angular, Kubernetes. Lots of technologies that you don't necessarily see in student life. Maybe you will pass Java certifications, Cisco!

We also develop soft-skills

In an IT project, as we said, understanding the need, the user and his job is essential. But internal communication is also important. It is important to know how to quickly report that the project is going into a pitfall. It is important to communicate in such a way that the group converges towards a solution rather than towards a conflict. And that's not easy.

If you work in a large company you will need an ability to understand how the organization decides. Navigate through the organization chart. Understand who decides. Which holds the red lines you want to cross. It’s a communication skill too!

And there is knowledge of the trade. In some companies, the architect will spend hours with you to make sure everything is perfectly named on your API. And in a way that will be clear to the whole company. This is the Driven Design Domain, but not only!

There is knowledge of regulations too, if you are in a specific field you will surely have KYC, GDPR or even PCI DSS in mind. A developer who specializes in an industry can tell very quickly if a specification is not compliant.

But if I change techno and industry, I become a junior again?

The anguish! So already you should know that in France, on a permanent contract, you cannot reduce your salary. So if you can change stacks without changing employers, that's not bad.

And then, no, you are not starting from scratch. There are quite a few skills that are reusable: algorithms, design patterns, coupling. And then your softskills are still there. You are always this clairvoyant person, good communicator.

In fact, it's even the reverse. I think that the one who is senior, is the one who is not afraid to change techno or industry. On the contrary, he seeks novelty.

But why is the senior so calm?

Martin told me: "The senior is cold-blooded". And yes he is right, there is a know-how.

Is the Senior Dev jaded with techno? I rather think that he knows he can't know everything, and that if he misses a hype, he will take the next one.

And then what he learned at school as hardskill is already no longer useful. He learned to code on punched cards or with jQuery (depending on the generation).

He has confidence in all his skills which are reusable beyond the tools. And he knows that it's his soft skills that will make the difference.

And frankly, when you win 50K, you don't have too much reason to be anxious.

The senior has overcome the impostor syndrome

When you're a junior, you're in the storm of blame culture. "The intern tested in production"
In a second step, we go from hazing to hazing. And we reproduce the same patterns.

The senior is above all that. He is cool and calm, he shows composure. He no longer tries to find his padawan to show that he can be a good mentor.

On the contrary, he is careful to make commitments he can keep. "You are only as good as your last job". He takes time to negotiate resources before changing mission.

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