Are you senior developer ready?

Practical tips to becoming a senior developer.

The developer community consists of numerous articles on steps to becoming a senior developer. However, many of them tend to focus on the big picture concepts. In this article, I aim to provide a comprehensive list of practical tips you can follow. I personally followed this list to become a senior developer without meeting the years of experience requirement.

First, a leap from a junior developer to a senior developer makes up a long list of technical skills to differentiate yourself.

  • Spend time learning security vulnerabilities and how to prevent them.

  • Write readable, maintainable, and scalable code.

  • Become a fire fighter. When urgent bugs are reported, remediate them efficiently.

  • Deeply review code and provide useful feedback.

  • Become proficient in researching new technologies and developing POCs (proof of concept).

  • Come up with creative and clever solutions that can be used company wide.

  • Create or refine coding standards and style guides.

  • Understand different types of testing methods.

  • Place testing rules and group testing meetings to production bugs.

  • Learn how to run mob sessions and pair programming meetings effectively and efficiently.

  • Have a strong understanding of the software architecture and the release process used by your team.

  • Always know the pros and cons of the method/technology that your project is using. Never say, “That’s how it’s always been.”

  • Contribute to the company wiki pages and write new documentations as needed.

  • Be up to date on the latest technology news and trends. Subscribing to newsletters is a great way to achieve this.

  • Mentor junior developers to provide them with resources and opportunities to improve. Learn to delegate your coding tasks.

  • Communicate with stakeholders (keep in mind the technical limitations). Learn to estimate and avoid over-promising.

On top of these technical skills, you should also improve your personal skills.

  • Become reliable, reachable, and consistent. Stay true to your word. Respond to messages in a timely manner.

  • Be precise in your speech. Avoid misunderstanding between your teammates.

  • Learn how to lead a meeting. Make sure that all opinions are heard.

  • Learn how to share your opinion. Be open to receiving feedback.

  • Learn to work in a fast-pace environment without distractions.

  • Encourage others to do their best and provide support when they are struggling.

  • Be optimistic and positive in meetings and try to add a smile.

Lastly, create a brag document to provide a comprehensive list of your contributions to show your manager when asking for a promotion. Best of luck!