How to become a Senior Developer: 7 personal tips

How to become a Senior Developer

How to become a Senior Developer: Would you like to learn how to become a Senior frontend developer? Anyone can grow to the level of a senior programmer, you just need to try. Collected 7 tips from Senior and Team Leads on how to grow to senior developer level.

Who is a Senior Developer

This is one of the steps of the generally accepted ladder of IT-specialist levels in the world. Junior – Middle – Senior – Tim Lead.

What is the difference between Senior and Junior and Middle

Junior and Middle work only in the technical part of the project. There is a problem – they solve it. But no more.

The senior developer has not only cool Hard Skills but also a whole set of Soft Skills. This is no longer just a techie-developer, but also a manager, mentor, salesperson. We’ve discussed the skills of senior developers in more detail below, in the Key Skills section.

How much does a senior programmer earn

The exact size of the salary depends on the company and the direction in which it works. On average, as of October 2020, a senior in London receives from GBP400 to GBP500 per day.

Senior Developer Skills

Technical skills
You need to think systematically. Understand how all typical tasks are solved in your direction, write clean and simple code.

Team Skills A
senior is no longer just an ordinary specialist. This is at least a senior friend and mentor, and as a maximum – a project or team leader. Therefore, you need to be able to communicate with people, explain technical details to younger colleagues and maintain an adequate microclimate.

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Communication skills with clients
Downside of the previous point. Often a senior developer is involved in negotiations with clients if he works for an agency. Or in negotiations with top management and shareholders, if he works for a product company. Therefore, you need to be able to explain technical details to people who have never done development in their life. And be able to negotiate.

Professional development skills
Unlike Junior and Middle specialists, who only work with code, Senior Developer has several other fronts of responsibilities: negotiations, mentoring and management. With this load, you must not forget about your own development. In order not to fall out of the professional information field.

Sales and Interview Skills
Vertical growth in one company is sometimes not possible. Some projects do not have a budget for the salary of a senior specialist. Others have no interesting tasks or empty seats. Then, to increase the level, you need to change the employer. And to find a new job, you need to be able to sell, present yourself and pass interviews.

Professional community skills and personal brand A
senior developer is no longer just a specialist who writes code. This is a media person. At least in a narrow IT circle. You need to be able to maintain a personal brand, speak at conferences and / or conduct webinars.

Skills of finding reasons and independence
At the Junior and Middle levels, the following logic is enough: “Something does not work, so you need to make it work.” At the senior level, you need to be able to reason more deeply: “Something is not working. Why doesn’t it work? If it broke, what led to it? If this has not worked before, then why is it necessary then? ” You need to understand the causes of the phenomena and be able to independently bring projects to the end.

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Mentoring Skills A
senior developer helps junior developers develop and grow. He explains complex technical details to them, supports them morally.

How to become a Senior Developer: instructions

The algorithm is quite simple: develop the skills that we listed above. Here is a shortlist of books to get you started.

Technical skills
At this point, it all depends on the direction in which you are working. Technologies are different everywhere. Open HeadHunter, search in the job search. For example, “Senior Developer”. Collect the technical requirements for candidates from the first 10 vacancies into one document. Delete duplicates. Bingo! Here is an average list of requirements for a senior programmer in your direction. Highlight technologies you don’t know. Start studying them.

Team Skills

  • 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork, John Maxwell
  • The Habit to Work Together, Twyla Tharp
  • Five vices of the team, Patrick Lencioni
  • Teamwork: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy, by Amy Edmondson.
  • Help the Helper: Building a Culture of Extreme Teamwork, John Eliot, Kevin Pritchard
  • Debugging Teams: Better Productivity through Collaboration, Ben Collins-Sussman, Brian Fitzpatrick

Customer communication skills

  • Agreeing is not a problem, Chris Voss
  • Communication skills. How to Get Together with Anyone, Paul McGee
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie
  • Turning on the charm of the secret services, Jack Schafer and Marvin Karlins
  • The Science of Communication, Vanessa van Edwards

Professional development skills

  • Superlearning, Scott Young
  • Boundless Mind, Joe Bowler

Sales and interview skills

  • Flexible sales. How to Sell in an Age of Change by Jill Konrath
  • Hard Selling, Dan Kennedy
  • The Psychology of Influence, Robert Cialdini
  • 45 tattoos sold, Maxim Batyrev
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Community skills and personal brand

  • Never Eat Alone, Kate Ferrazzi
  • Build Your Own Brand, Jürgen Salenbacher.
  • Personal brand: creation and promotion, Andrey Ryabykh and Veronika Kirillova

Skills for finding reasons and independence

  • Harry Potter and the methods of rationality
  • Psychology of stupidity. Misconceptions That Prevent Us From Living, David McRaney
  • The Psychology of Critical Thinking, Diana Halpern
  • Finish what you started, John Ayckaff

Mentor skills

  • How to Talk to Anyone, Anytime, Anywhere, Larry King
  • Emotional Intelligence, HBR Guide

Become a Senior: choose a suitable project

Since you are reading this article, chances are you want to know how to grow up to the senior level. And you are already at the Middle level. Or somewhere very close to that level. This means that you understand that theory without practice is worth nothing. Therefore, even if you read all the books that we have listed, and then all the others that you find yourself. You still will not grow to the level of a senior if your company does not have tasks and perspectives that will help you progress and hone your skills in practice.

If so, then the only way to grow to the level of a senior is to change jobs.

To become a senior, you have to enjoy your work.

Think about it, are you interested in what you do? Are you sure you want and are ready to grow? The answer to both questions should be yes. In a confident tone. Or it won’t work. Work must drive, otherwise there will be no progress. In no direction of development.

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