With the recent leave at firm I work for, I'm not sure if I'm a junior developer anymore. Let me explain.

The team is composed of two software developer, two powersystem engineers and the product owner. One of the software developer is working on a specific part of the project, as he is the only one to develop it, maintain it and such. He works here for about two and a half years. The second one was the Scrum master. He handles everything else in the project. He worked here for about more that three years. Worked because he left mid-August.

I joined the company at the end of Febuary, two month after graduating from college. Another developer joined about a month after me. He's much older, but he also graduated not long before joining us. He's working on a complementary project for our main project, but rarely touched the whole codebase. He became the Scrum master when the previous left.

I am technically in charge of the whole codebase, as I'm always charged to fix bugs, enhance, and help the two other guys in case they need any help. I also always help the two powersystem engineers with git and the test framework.

So am I still a junior developer even though I have six months experience in the professional world and in the company?

  • Would our opinions as to whether or not you're still a junior help you in any way? If you're looking for a promotion or a different job, our opinions would be entirely insignificant compared to the opinion of whomever is promoting or hiring. – Bernhard Barker Sep 12 '17 at 0:42
  • I just want an external opinion on the situation, there's been no talk with the coworkers at work – bl4ckb0ne Sep 12 '17 at 0:45
  • You are what your boss/employer says you are - you might be able to persuade them with an upgrade in title, but you'd have to make your case - there are questions and answers on how to do this on this website. They might not want to pay you non-junior rates - if you think that's unfair, stick it out another 12 months and look elsewhere after you've gotten more experience. – HorusKol Sep 12 '17 at 1:10
  • Possible duplicate of What differentiates a junior role from a senior role? – Herb Sep 12 '17 at 4:23

In my opinion, yes you are still a junior developer.

There are 2 ways of looking at it. One is in terms of purely technical approach. Typically you will find people in development who have been coding for 20-40 years. In terms of overall experience, the range of projects executed, seeing full life-cycle, working on diverse technologies, you are still a junior developer and will remain so for quite a few years.

Second is with respect to your current role. So in smaller organizations, the situation you are in might happen quite regularly. What you have is the role, it may be temporary. What is the org recruits someone will 10 years of coding experience in your team? You go back to being junior dev?

Don't confuse role with your skill set. In my opinion, no offense intended, you are a junior dev who is playing a senior role due to circumstances in your project. There is still time before you should consider yourself a senior. If you get carried away by this, the result may not be good. You may stop learning thinking you are a senior dev, you may start throwing your weight around, without having the insight into the whole thing as your over all experience is less. People will eventually figure it out. Life is funny that ways, just when you think everything is going great, something will crash and you will be held accountable. Being a senior is not all the fun :).

  • Thanks for the answer, it sums up the situation perfectly. – bl4ckb0ne Sep 12 '17 at 13:12

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