I'm a recent graduate in what's essentially my first job as a software developer, I'd say I'm pretty damn good for someone in my position, but smart enough to know what's beyond my ability, the company is looking for a new lead developer, but is struggling to afford the market rate for one.
I started as a contractor on a fixed term contract, but within three months a full time developer has quit and I've already been 'promoted' to his job full time (which includes a pay rise since the rest of the team are effectively senior devs and HR wanted an even level). The rest of the team is made of older (50+) developers, who flat out told me they aren't interested in becoming leads themselves and my boss is already setting up regular meetings for me to write technical specs with our BA's and architects because he'd much rather offload some of his work to a 'junior' lead developer than wait to see if they can find a normally experienced lead dev for the wages they're offering (and it's been a long time waiting so far).
I've made it clear in the most professional sense I could think of that I don't think I'm adequately qualified in the technical skills needed, but he's still set on me taking up this work. It comes with benefits including a greater salary (though it's maybe 60%-75% of what a regular lead dev would earn in similar cases).
This isn't how I expect most careers go and I'm worried about what the future impact might be when I want to move on.
Is a future employer likely to look at a fast rise without any major explanation as a good thing, or think I've been involved in nepotism or something sinister.
And on a similar note:
Is it a mistake to go along with this promotion? I'm effectively going to slowly be doing the job of someone quite above my pay grade, this isn't going to convince future employers that I'll happily work for far less than market rate?