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207

You can call yourself a Senior when: You can handle the entire software development life cycle, end to end You lead others, or others look to you for guidance. You can self manage your projects Software development is a curious creature unlike other fields. Sometimes, a fresh punk out of college can run circles around veterans who have 20+ years of ...


177

This will vary but this is how I see it at a place large enough to have distinctions between types of programmers. I would say entry level and Junior are the same thing. They are just out of school and have less than two years of work experience. They are assigned the least complex tasks and should be supervised fairly closely. Generally they know about 10% ...


80

It's up to the company really, as I don't think there's a legal framework to enforce a denomination or another, or at least not that I am aware of and this might vary from country to country (for instance, the use of the term "engineer" is actually fairly regulated in France, but there are variants that are allowed for the "abusive" cases). That being said ...


75

"When should you call yourself a senior developer?" - When I started to mentor junior developers.


67

When I hear “Senior Developer” I think of someone who has mastered programming. I think of a person who can design, code and test a system. They can talk to system architecture or component design. They understand and use design patterns. This person can anticipate the performance bottlenecks, but knows not to pre-optimize. This person will leverage ...


56

When hiring, we look for a distinction between someone who is going to be able to help us architect our system, define processes, create technical specifications, implement advanced refactoring, etc. and someone who is going to help us complete programming tasks off a checklist. I believe you could call the former a Software Engineer and the latter a ...


54

This is wrong in so many ways I'm struggling to express it: First: Architect is a role of it's own, it's not just a programmer with more experience. Don't confuse the two. Second as a manager I can't think of anything worse than sorting this out: What do these titles actually mean? What does a principal developer do that a senior developer doesn't? ...


53

They are not supposed to be employer specific. Actually they come from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, which maintains a database of occupational descriptions. This database has a list of standardized job titles with fairly precise definitions for each one. In many professions, including computer programming, they have several bands based on ...


52

Yes it is a bad idea. If you attract somebody who is strong in that skill set, presumably they have other options, they will more than likely leave. If you attract somebody who is not strong, presumably they don't have other options and misled you as well, they will stay but not be the candidate you were hoping for. Either way you are worse off than you ...


48

While the terms can be and often are interchangeable, I view a developer as someone who's involved in the whole process from requirements gathering, through specification and coding to testing and, yes, support. They might not be fully involved in all stages all of the time. A programmer is someone who just concentrates on the coding and has little ...


47

"So all things being equal" They're not. These titles are not equivalent. I would rank them like this, highest to lowest: Principal Engineer Senior Staff Engineer Staff Engineer Senior Engineer / Senior Research Engineer In general, "senior" implies depth of experience and maturity to work independently with less direct guidance in day to day ...


33

The best way to answer this is to look at what the difference between a Developer and a Senior Developer. Assuming that it's not just a time served thing, generally I'd expect both Developers and Senior Developers to be able to: Write code competently in the languages required by the role Diagnose and fix bugs Write unit tests Follow standards and ...


33

Wikipedia gives a good overview of corporate titles and under the hierarchy for Information Technology companies you have the following: Chief Executive Officer Vice President Senior Project Manager / Senior Product Manager / Senior Software Architect Project Manager / Product Manager / Software Architect Project Lead / Senior Team Lead / Senior ...


31

Entry Level - must give them explicit instructions, check everything they do, little or no design responsibility, no analysis responsibility Junior - less explicit instructions, less checking, some minor design and analysis responsibility; helps the entry-level people find the compiler and use the repository Senior - major design and analysis ...


29

It's pretty much as you say - an attempt to imply coolness and eliteness (frequently among those who are neither) by making highly tenuous comparisons. Personally I hate the phrase (along with "Rockstar Programmer" which makes we want to batter people to death - you can be a rockstar programmer when you've got a drug habit an alcohol problem and have ...


29

The Short Version: There is no industry standard for these things, they're specific to each company and in some cases won't even be consistent within a single company. The skills and abilities that make someone a developer in one company might mean that they're a senior developer in another company, and a technical architect somewhere else. The Longer ...


28

Speaking as a former developer who is now a Development Manager: The first thing I'd say is that most developers don't understand how most managers spend their time. When I left my last role (Development Manager) one of my senior developers took the position and commented to me a couple of months after taking over that he really had no idea how much stuff ...


28

Never attribute to malice what can explained through incompetence I've seen this a few times, but I'm a bit more sympathetic: I blame incompetence rather than malice here. It's not even usually an individual within the organization, but the organization itself and the natural pressures and incentives at work. What happens is that an organization, ...


27

The only way to know for sure is to get a job description (list of responsibilities, expected skills) for each position. The qualifiers on these titles seem arbitrary and will vary from company to company.


26

In my book, they're one and the same. Coder being a colloquial term. What you want to be called is a software developer or software engineer. That said, coder is a pejorative term used to imply that one is not passionate about their work and is merely a "day coder." I.e. they do not spend much of their own time outside of work programming, learning about ...


26

That BLS definition sounds like it came from 1973. Around Silicon Valley, the terms "programmer", "software developer", and "software engineer" are used pretty interchangeably. I don't think I've run into a systems analyst since 1985 or so, but there may be a few of that dying species cautiously snuffling around the waterholes at mainframe shops. However, ...


26

Being deliberately deceptive is certainly a nasty way to operate and will result in high-turnover. However, even if everyone is totally "honest", how often does a job description truly reflect reality? Most jobs change over time. At best, the job description is a snapshot of what employer "thinks" the job means at the time of hiring. Perhaps in some cases ...


23

To my mind there are a few parallels between a Ninja and a good programmer: Hidden weapons/unorthodox style - If you ever saw the G.I. Joe cartoon from the 1980s you may remember the character of Storm Shadow. He had a sword and some throwing stars but with just the right sequences of punches and kicks managed to take apart a tank in an episode. In a ...


23

They are employer specific defintions. But generally they are a way to grade developers (for the purpose of salary and seniority). Each company is different but it will generally look like this: SD Requires no Experience. SD I Requires X years in the industry or Degree SD II Requires Y years in the industry SD III ...


23

Code Monkey means doing coding so simple a monkey could do it It's often used to refer to the lowest-level programming jobs, but can also be used to refer to someone who does nothing but coding. No UI designing, no architectural input, no development decisions, etc There's nothing wrong with being a code monkey (I call myself one sometimes), but chances ...


22

It depends who I'm taking to I guess. If I'm talking to average Joe, I just say I'm a programmer because they generally have a clearer picture than "developer".


22

I worked as an SDET at Microsoft for 6 years in DevDiv. Is career development in any way hurt by this position? No, however, like career development anywhere: you are in charge of your own success. The problem many people in the SDET role face is that it's too easy to just do manual testing. This slowly atrophies your technical skills and poisons your ...


22

There is no standard hierarchy of software job titles. Titles are peculiar to each company. If you have a question about a job title there's no point in asking anybody except that company.



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