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I am a Junior developer, just landing in a job after completing my Masters. I'm not clear on what positions or roles I could possibly be in after five years?

So My Question is,

What kind of positions can an Entry level programmer like me seek in 5 years?

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that of an experienced programmer, hopefully :-) –  InSane Dec 24 '10 at 8:46
In 5 years that is in 2015? Didn't you hear the end date is 2012? ;) –  user8685 Dec 24 '10 at 8:52
@Developer Art : Superb ,i mean the Job Positions Guys. –  Naveen Kumar Dec 24 '10 at 8:54
It's depends on your courage in that field! –  Abimaran Kugathasan Dec 24 '10 at 9:07
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4 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

It depends how much effort you put into your studies after graduating.

I graduated 5.5 years ago and I have studied more since then than I did at university. I've read a lots of books on software development, process management and people management. I also follow a large number of blogs, participant in discussions on twitter, mailing lists, Stack Overflow, reddit and now here.

I would say I spent the first 2-3 years getting a solid grounding in software development as a whole. I have deliberately focused on language agnostic books, you should generally get a good enough education in your working language from working in it, your outside studies should focus on a more rounded world view. During this time I taught myself and then my colleagues test-driven development, set up continuous integration and all that good stuff. Do not forget to pass your knowledge on, it not only makes your company improve it helps you internalise what you've learnt.

After these largely technology based studies I started to take more of an interest in process and managing as I wanted to move upwards and wanted to hit the ground running.

Once you get in the habit of continuing your studies, it's quite easy. You get to chose the subject matter depending on either your interests or your aspirations so you always have a motivation to read and absorb the text.

I'm now in a position of chief engineer reporting to the technical director and overseeing the efforts of the development teams. I know many people with much more experience than me that haven't got further than being standard team member, these people have rarely studied since they graduated.


I would also recommend looking out for your career stagnating. I started off in a small company and value my time learning the ropes there. However, there was not much of a path for progression as all the required positions were filled once I'd become a senior developer. Because of this I changed to my current company where I had the scope to achieve my current position.

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thanks for the insight –  silent Dec 24 '10 at 16:51
How do you manage your time? Do you have much time to do stuff outside of work / study? –  Peter Ajtai Oct 5 '11 at 2:58
@PeterAjtai Keeping up to date and developing myself is probably my main "hobby". It's easy to find the time if you're committed to it. Even half an hour a day doing something will compound over time. I probably spend an hour a day reading articles and blog posts from various sources (whilst waking up, lunch break, before I go to sleep, etc) and I average a book a month on top of that (mostly during my commute). Add on dabbling with a new language/framework for a few hours over a weekend and you get a lot of payback for what isn't much effort. –  Garry Shutler Oct 5 '11 at 12:25
@PeterAjtai I think what I'm saying is that any effort will pay dividends and often will distinguish you from the crowd. –  Garry Shutler Oct 5 '11 at 12:27
Thanks for the thoughts. Very encouraging. –  Peter Ajtai Oct 6 '11 at 0:11
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In 5 years you can become a solid programmer with aspiration to seniority if you spend the time wise.

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It's worth noting that the job title will vary from company to company but regardless of what they call it this is what you'll be - a solid programmer with the ability to push on and become a genuine senior programmer (that is one who contributes more than just code as opposed to someone who has the title). –  Jon Hopkins Dec 24 '10 at 9:32
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It very much depends on you and what sort of company you are in.

If you stay as a developer then you should have built a solid body of experience across most areas of software development, i.e. application development, bug fixing, specification writing etc. At this point you are probably going to be a useful member of a development team who is pushing towards a senior role.

It may be though that you discover that you have a natural talent for other areas within IT and you can strike out into hardware, analysis or project management. This can be particularly true if you work for a smaller company where there is a need for people to be able to take on multiple roles or if you work for an organisations that likes to give people responsibility at an early stage of their career.

Anyway, at this early stage I'd suggest that you should probably not worry too much about whats going to happen in five years time and just remember to make sure you have fun and enjoy what you've got to do today!

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Have a fine fight with Technology... No way how much more you can grow up... But, have an enough confidence with the development... May you will be a good researcher with a specific technology OR that you will be in management... Depending on your interest !

Be Master of Something, but Be Aware of Everything !!!! Henceforth, No need to follow the Way, the way will follow You !!!!

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I would always like to set my contribution towards technology rather than management. Thanks –  Naveen Kumar Dec 24 '10 at 11:22
@Karthikeyan : Nice to know your approach. However, wherever you turn, your interest is only important ! –  user11020 Dec 24 '10 at 11:41
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