Here's some background: I'm currently a junior developer at my company. I started as an intern and was promoted during a time in which the company lost two senior developers unexpectedly.

When I was negotiating the position title and salary with my manager, I was offered 10,000 dollars less than I originally asked for, but that didn't bother me. I asked for a lot considering the fact that I had not received my bachelors degree yet (Computer Science). I also asked to be titled as just developer, but they tacked on "Junior" on in light of the aforementioned fact. However, I can objectively say that I am the most skilled developer at this company. I trained the only other developer (who is titled Senior) and I interview the candidates for the other open position.

I am graduating this week, and it was initially laid out (informally) that I would have a performance review when I graduated and would receive a promotion.

However, a new, more exciting role has opened up at this company that I would like to pursue. The manager of the new department stated to my manager (who was aware of my desire to move positions and was in support) that he wanted me to come on board. The issue is that my current department can't afford to loose me until we've brought someone else on staff and I've properly trained them.

This brings us to some time earlier this week. (I honestly don't even remember what day. They all blend together because I've been getting little sleep due to exams). I walked in to work and before I'd had my morning coffee my manager pulled me into her office. She stated that the manager of the new department wanted me. She stated that they would offer me the salary I asked for initially (for my current role), but that I couldn't switch positions until November because they needed me here.

I made a mistake and just blindly agreed. That was the end of the conversation. It was an informal agreement that she needed my confirmation on so she could bring the proposal to her boss.

Here are my gripes:

  • I feel that I deserve the title "Senior Developer" and the original salary I asked for as compensation for the work I currently do. I am underpaid for the value I provide. I feel that I should not have to wait 6-7 months for this.

  • I feel that a salary for the new position shouldn't be decided upon until the work is more clearly defined. It's all a bit vague right now.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I should approach my manager about this. I need to do this as soon as possible, both for their sake and mine. It's really eating me inside to allow myself to be undervalued.

I'm really just basically planning on meeting with her and stating the two bullet points above, but I'm afraid that It will seem like I'm going back on my word (I suppose I am)

  • 2
    Being a Senior Developer is more than just being a skilled programmer, it's also very much about understanding the specific needs of the specific company, mentoring and guiding others, etc. In some cases (especially at smaller companies) it almost becomes a middle management position. Is the position you are moving to a Senior Developer position? May 6, 2016 at 22:25
  • @AndrewWhatever That hasn't even been worked out yet, which is why I don't feel comfortable accepting a number. Also, I do understand the responsibilities of being a senior developer. I am doing the job of a senior developer already. (I know this probably sounds pretentious, but it is true)
    – Luke
    May 6, 2016 at 22:27
  • 6
    Senior Developer and you only just graduated. That's a stretch. May 7, 2016 at 1:12
  • 2
    @LukeP: Does not matter. Senior means you have real work experience of situations. It is not a rank to show that you have been there the longest. There are exceptions but I would not give an engineer a senior title without 5 years experience (10,000 hours professional experience). May 7, 2016 at 2:01
  • @LokiAstari I accidentally deleted my comment. For future visitors: it used to read "I should clarify that this is not a development company. This is a Credit Union. The work is not difficult."
    – Luke
    May 7, 2016 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


My suggestion is sort of an in-between solution. Right now, it seems like your current manager is asking for a favor, but offering no incentive. I would ask her to split the difference on the original salary you requested, and give you a $5000 raise for the rest of the time you'll spend on her team. You can justify this raise with the fact that you'll be training a lot of the new developers coming on board, which will increase your workload substantially. It may seem like you're going back on your word, but you didn't really have much time to think about it. It sort of seems like she trapped you into answering the way she wanted you to. I'd just approach her with something along the lines of:

"Hey, I've been thinking about our discussion from earlier, and I feel like staying on to train the new developers is going to increase my workload substantially. I was hoping we could discuss a slight raise for the remainder of my time on this team"

Edit: Oh, and you are most likely not a senior developer yet. You may be the best developer at your job, but 'senior' is usually a matter of experience.

  • +1 for "but 'senior' is usually a matter of experience." - This is a distinction that many people will take as someone with deep knowledge about multiple aspects of a given role. In the software industry, "senior" many times means skilled in multiple areas with 10+ years of experience. Calling yourself "senior" after having recently received your degree can come off as arrogant and leave a bad taste. Let the skills come first, and leave the titles behind for now.
    – user17163
    May 11, 2016 at 9:03
  • @Thebluefish how can someone he trained be Senior developer when he himself is not? May 11, 2016 at 11:42
  • That's a point someone else made in the main comments: if OP has just graduated, they have little to gain in working somewhere in which they will not be learning.
    – MK2000
    May 11, 2016 at 13:25
  • 1
    @RaoulMensink it's possible to have the experience to be a Senior Developer without having the role-specific knowledge and skill set needed to be effective.
    – user17163
    May 11, 2016 at 14:45

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