Career track:

  • Competitive algorithm programming in high-school
  • Bachelor’s in Economic Informatics
  • Microsoft Internship
  • Junior Programmer job (6 months)

Following a test challenge and a 1:1 interview full of technical questions, I’ve been offered a mid-level programmer job. Take it or is it too early?

Edit: I was honest about my experience during the interview process.

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    Only you can answer this. What makes you junior? Can you even define why you are junior? Are the people offering you a "mid level" role aware of your experience level, or did you embezzle the truth? From the fact you did a challenge, they should probably already be aware of the level you are at. "junior", "mid-level", "senior"... these are all just mostly arbitrary labels with very loose meanings depending on who you are talking to. – Trotski94 Apr 19 '17 at 14:32
  • No embezzlement as I knew they'll do checks and require references. I aced the test as it was similar to the challenges encountered during competitive algorithm contests. – devadviser Apr 19 '17 at 14:48
  • We are all our own worst critics - and a side effect of this is that sometimes, other people are better judges of our capabilities and potential than we ourselves are. This is especially true if those other people are a hiring team, designed to determine how skilled a person is. If they think you can do the job, and they're a company with a good reputation, then you probably can. – TheSoundDefense Apr 19 '17 at 15:05
  • also remember titles aren't always entirely accurate or fully descriptive of both the role and the expectations of you as the new hire. If they offered the job, they seem to have a good understanding of both your skills and the requirements of the job, regardless of the title. – NKCampbell Apr 19 '17 at 15:49
  • If you interned at MS, I have to assume your are well above average. I say, go for it. If you are not truly qualified yet, it is highly unlikely that they woudl fire you; just reassign you more junior tasks. They inetrviewed you; they liked you - why hesitate? – Mawg says reinstate Monica Apr 20 '17 at 14:40

You've already completed an interview full of technical questions, and they reached out to offer you the position - that alone says a lot about your ability to perform the job. That means you did better than all the other candidates, at least some of whom are probably "more experienced" than you. Clearly, the employer thinks you can handle it.

(I assume you were honest with the employer about your lack of previous experience during the interview.)

As a wise man once told me: 'When presented with a new opportunity that you don't know how to do, always say "yes." You can figure out how to do it later, the first step is getting in the door.'

The worst that could happen is you fail and get fired. If that happens, go back to applying for junior positions and explain to future employers that you thought you were ready, but you weren't. Recognizing your limits and learning to respect them is something employers will appreciate. Having the ambition to try when opportunity knocks is also something they'd probably appreciate. I don't think that trying and failing here will hurt your chances at another job, so don't worry about that.

TLDR; Do it. Nothing worth achieving was ever completely without risk.

  • 1
    If you're like most of us, every promotion and opportunity for advancement/increased responsibility will come with the feeling that you're completely unqualified. Best to trust the expertise of those offering your the opportunity as opposed to your own self-doubt. – Chris G Apr 19 '17 at 19:20

We can't tell you whether it is a good idea or not, but can give some perspective. 6 months is not usually long enough to progress from junior to mid-level unless you are spectacular (you might be). Only you can decide whether you can handle the challenge.

For context, the differences between junior and mid-level are usually:

  • Less oversight on your work
  • Less support
  • More challenging projects to work on
  • More accountability for your mistakes

If you feel ready for that, then go for it!

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