The last thing you want after graduating is being unable to find work, but this won’t be of much concern if you want to work in the software development space. According to the BLS, jobs in this category will increase by 21 percent between 2018 and 2028. However, becoming a senior developer requires more training and time, right?
How many years it takes to become a senior developer depends on many variables. In general, it can take 10 years to become a senior developer. You also don’t need to know how to code in every programming language to become one. Apart from coding skills, they share some qualities, including leadership, experience, technical ability, and mentorship.
In this article, I will discuss other topics related to this question in detail, including how long it takes to become a senior developer and skills every senior developer needs.
How Long Before You Can Be a Senior Developer
Becoming a senior developer is not easy. It takes time and commitment. Although the time it takes to reach the senior software developer position depends on many variables, it takes an average of 10 years. However, this will also depend on your employer.
For some enterprises, a senior software developer is a person who has all the characteristics of a senior developer and has been working for a long time in the industry.
For others, a senior developer is the person who they’ll call upon to spearhead software development projects, fix bugs, handle discussions with vendors and other developers, and generally, complete difficult software development tasks without asking too many questions.
Signs That a Software Development Career Is Good for You
Today, several states have adopted policies that allow students to pursue computer science courses. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially due to the high demand for tech-savvy professionals. Most businesses rely on computer applications, programs, and other systems in one way or another.
Now that you know that there are several employment opportunities out there, do you have what it takes to become a software developer? Here are five signs that you should consider becoming a software developer.
You’re a team player
Although software developers spend some of their time working alone, they spend most of their time collaborating with other developers, communicating their strategies, and collaborating with others to solve a problem. As a software developer, you’ll also be communicating with clients and other stakeholders to ensure that you meet their goals and keep them updated on the project’s progress.
You’re a Pro in Solving Problems
Most people choose to tolerate problems without identifying proactive ways to solve them. If you’re one of the few people who have a knack for solving challenging problems, then this is a good sign that you can make a great software developer. Additionally, if you go the extra mile to identify realistic constraints such as budgets and timeframes, this could further help your career.
Making New Things Gives You a Thrill
Building something virtual will give you the same thrill as making something physical. Fortunately, the digital world isn’t constrained by some practicalities like space and materials, which means your imagination is your only limit. If you’re curious about how things work, and how you can enhance them to work better, then this is a good indication that you will make a great software developer.
You Like All Things to Be Orderly
Do you feel satisfied when everything is clean and tidy? Do you find yourself always arranging dishes in your cupboard? The good news is that software development is all about keeping everything in order and ensuring that apps and programs take various steps in orderly and logical steps.
According to Bryan Hoyt, “the ability to keep everything organized is a step to spotting ways that you can improve your code.” Even if your organizational skills are not top-notch, you can learn this in class. Start by developing routines that will help you get more organized.
You Love Technology
While this may be obvious, if you want to become a software developer, you need to love technology and appreciate the numerous possibilities it can bring to this world. If finding out how technology works excites you, then you’re on the right track for success in your software development career.
How to Become a Senior Developer
The journey to becoming a senior developer has several stages. You start as a junior developer, move to a mid-level developer, and finally, you become a senior developer. As mentioned earlier, becoming a senior developer will depend on some factors. However, you have to start somewhere.
Get an Education
Most of the people get a bachelor’s degree to become a software developer. However, you can still get a job without going to this route. You can take online courses or even boot camps. In your studies, you will learn about programming languages, computer fundamentals, computer architecture, and software engineering.
Apply for Internships
Internships are a great way to gather experience and also land your first job. Several companies offer internships, and this real-world experience will go into your portfolio, and you can show it to potential employers.
Become a Junior Developer
After landing your first job, you will start off as a junior developer. Here, you will write code, and you may make some mistakes in the process. The good thing is that you will learn from these mistakes. But to become a better developer, you will have to ask questions, observe, learn, and suck in everything. This will help you learn how to write clean code and familiarize you with development processes.
As a junior developer, it’s important that you join a mentorship program. In these programs, you will be paired with a more experienced developer. If your company doesn’t have a mentorship program, you should try and find your own mentor, preferably from your team.
Become a Mid-Level Developer
After working for two years as a junior developer, you can now call yourself a developer. As a mid-level developer, your work won’t just involve writing code. Instead, you will work as a team, which means that you will have to understand program development processes, design patterns, and how to keep everything simple.
Additionally, you will be able to write good code without supervision and tackle complex tasks by yourself.
Become a Senior Developer
Like mid-level developers, senior developers don’t spend most of their time writing code or building applications. As a senior developer, your main responsibility will be to see the bigger picture and constantly ask yourself questions like why should we use this particular programming language? Architecture? Framework?
The most important attribute of a senior developer is strong social skills. According to Forbes, most projects fail because of poor communication. Therefore, it will be your responsibility to supervise less experienced developers and also mentor them. Additionally, you will need to be able to talk to stakeholders in a language they can understand.
Skills Every Senior Developer Needs
Everyone wants to be better in their jobs. However, becoming a professional often depends on the person. The results from a recent survey showed that:
- No one wants to go through life and be viewed as incompetent
- People want to be respected by their coworkers
- People want to be appreciated
- People want to feel smart and accomplished
To achieve the above and become a senior developer, you want to focus your attention on learning and always growing. With more and more people joining the software development field, you need to always keep your skills sharp and set yourself apart by being efficient and smart.
In order for you to become a senior developer, you need to have diverse and transferable skills.
This is the first skill that every senior developer needs. As a senior developer, you will spend most of your time trying to understand the WHY of technology. Why do we use this framework? Why does this problem exist?
Senior developers need to be smart enough to identify the right tools and ideas that can have the biggest positive impact on a project. This means that you won’t just focus on new release features of a framework when finding a solution for a problem.
To become a senior developer, you will also need to know how different things are connected. For instance, you can use your mind as a mapping tool, and this will help push you to learn more. The ability to use your mind as a mapping tool will help you make connections between different ideas and technologies.
Client and User Skills
To become a senior developer, you need to clearly see the needs of both the client and the user. This will help you to understand what problems both clients and users are facing. Therefore, you have to be a good listener when talking to a client or user and then offer the most suitable solution.
You can develop this skill by watching how instructors break down complex programming topics.
As a senior developer, you will need to be able to communicate and sell yourself. You can do this by seeing the needs of a client and convince them that you’re the most suitable candidate to solve their problem. Additionally, you will always have to ask questions and take on complex projects that challenge you.
Like the road in life, the road to becoming a senior developer has many turns and twists. Therefore, the speed at which you become a senior developer is up to you. Generally, becoming a senior developer will depend on your experience and skills.