I've met developers considering themselves as "lead" after an experience in a 2-developer team (or even less).

I've met developers considering themselves as "senior" after only few months working on a technology.

I've met developers considering themselves as "fullstack" while knowing little to nothing about some layers they are supposed to master (e.g. DBMS).

I believe these guys are polluting the resume databases. Probably not intentionally though, but rather because they're are not aware of the whole power of each layer.

I humbly consider myself as a "fullstack web developer": I've worked quite in deep with several DBMS, backend and frontend frameworks, and I failed a lot with all them already (which are failures I'm now aware of, waiting for the next ones).

I think I'm a "lead developer" as well: I'm usually one of the guys that are asked the technical questions, and I've been involved in essential technical choices in 5- to 40+ developer teams.

I don't think I'm a "senior developer" (yet?), in the sense that I still have stuff to learn for sure, and I'm still quite "young" (30-, not sure the age has anything to do with it though).

Don't get me wrong, I'll never pretend to know everything about everything. I simply noticed that the more I learn, the less I know, in the sense that each time I think I'm finally mastering a technology, I'm discovering a whole new angle one can legitimately choose to work with it.

So the question is: if I put these words on my resume, is it making it better or worse?

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    But aren't titles company-specific? – Bluebird Oct 26 '17 at 17:49
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    Where do you want to put the words on your resume? As the job title from a previous employer? You always list your exact job title, whether you are officially called "Web Developer Level III" or "Code Monkey", and use the description to explain what you really do (See "Job Title / Job Description Mismatch" and "How to label inaccurate job titles on resume" – David K Oct 26 '17 at 17:57
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    Possible duplicate of Do recruiters care about seniority titles? – gnat Oct 26 '17 at 18:29
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    I think this happens in every field. I’ve met people who have no qualms about calling themselves data scientists even though they know very little about the theory behind the algorithms they use. It’s part ignorance and part self-aggrandizement. – AffableAmbler Oct 26 '17 at 18:32
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    The resume databases are not good anymore. It's not the resumes that are the problem. It's the technical recruiters that still don't know the difference between San Francisco and Houston, or between iOS and Android. I posted my resume on dice three years ago. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. I still receive completely irrelevant spam and phone calls to this day because of it. No, I do not want to work remotely. No, I do not need a visa to work. No, I do not want to move. What's up guys, can't you even read? – Stephan Branczyk Oct 27 '17 at 6:54

The terms that you mention are defined in terms of the company. There are people who are truly lead developers within their company and colleagues but are nowhere near in terms of another company's standards. But many people don't know this especially if they haven't worked in many demanding companies.
If they are polluting resumes or doing something bad I would say not at all for 2 reasons.
1) It is their current title and they at least earned the right to post that
2) Companies have different interview standards per role. So someone being called for an interview for a lead position but is not up to the new company standards will either be easily weed out or may get an offer for just developer position. So no harm done either way

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    That's true, although I'm quite convinced some guys have not "earned that right" (if there is such a thing), but just use these buzzwords to aggrandise themselves (which leads to pollution IMHO). I agree with the fact that different companies probably have different meanings of these words though, as you said. – sp00m Oct 27 '17 at 8:53
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    @sp00m: No they do actually have earned that right. If the company they work for gives them the title because they consider them very talented and their hard work the fact that they could not compare with an average developer in Google is not relevant. – smith Oct 27 '17 at 19:46
  • Being junior/senior/lead isn't so much about your technical level or meeting an arbitrary standard as about the role you're able to play within your team. The technical abilities required for that differ between organisations - but it's not, of course, just about pure technical ability. – Alex Hayward Jun 19 '19 at 7:30

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