The software development world is a complex place. And to be successful, businesses need the technical expertise of senior developers. But how do companies determine who is a senior software developer? This article will discuss what makes a senior programmer.
Software developers are in demand. By the end of 2020, IT jobs bounced back. In addition, the trend will continue throughout 2021, according to Janco Associates.
As companies become more aggressive in hiring the best, the recruitment of senior software developers is becoming more competitive. As a matter of fact, companies are willing to pay senior software developers a lot more.
However, companies can’t just hire someone who declares themselves a senior software developer. Organizations should screen applicants for senior software developer job positions. The recruitment managers must ensure that they hire the best-qualified candidates.
To hire the best candidates, companies must answer a lot of questions. Such as, how much experience should a candidate have? What skill sets should they be an expert of? Which soft skills should they possess? To answer these questions, first, you have to understand what a software developer is.
What is a Senior Software Developer?
A software developer is an IT professional. Software developers use programming languages to develop or create applications or computer software. Aside from creating software, they are also responsible for testing, maintaining, and debugging the software.
Depending on their company, a software developer will only be responsible for a part of the software development process. Hence, developers are categorized on three levels: junior, mid-level, and senior.
Now, let us dive into what makes a senior software developer.
Roles of a Senior Developer
What is a senior software developer? Defining them can be difficult. But most agree that they must have the following responsibilities:
- Study information needs, system flows, work processes, and data usage to develop software solutions.
- Investigate problem areas, confer with users, and ensure everything follows the software development process.
- Evaluate requirements, problems, and solutions to determine their operational feasibilities.
- Develop documentation, layouts, diagrams, flowcharts, and clear code.
- Design systems specifications, programming, and standards for installation solutions.
- Conduct systems analysis and recommend policy and procedure changes to improve operations.
- Advice, coach, and mentor junior and mid-level developers to help enhance their skills.
- Continuously study the latest industry trends and development.
With these responsibilities, a senior software developer must have at least five to eight years of experience.
Qualities of a Senior Developer
Having great coding skills is a must for a senior software developer. However, they have other responsibilities besides coding. It is very vital to look for these soft skills and qualities:
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Yes, the number of years spent working as a developer matter. Why?
A senior developer who spent over 10,000 hours on various software development projects has broader experience. What does this mean? It means that they encountered many challenges that give them a wider perspective when providing solutions.
Their experiences will also equip them with different ways on how to approach a project to be more efficient. Hence, they must have a better understanding of the bigger picture through their experiences.
They lead a software development team. This means they are responsible for many decisions when planning a project. They will make the call on which technologies are suitable for a particular project.
In addition, senior software developers will be the ones to dictate what resources should be available to finish the said project. Besides all of these, they may also be responsible for forming the right team, assigning tasks, and even helping in contract negotiations.
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Leadership and Responsibility
Senior software developers need to be great leaders. They must take responsibility for the whole software development life cycle process from the start to fulfillment. Hence, they must be open-minded to the inputs from their junior and mid-level developers.
Senior developers must also own specific tasks such as documentation, code testing and reviews, architecture, and more. Being responsible leaders, they should promote teamwork, communication, and coordination throughout the development process.
It is also their responsibility to coordinate with other managers and stakeholders closely. They will be leading the planning, developing, testing, launching, and maintenance of the software.
Being a senior developer does not always mean that they should be the best coder in the team. But they must have a more profound knowledge of the whole software development process.
Their understanding of software architecture, design patterns, testing, scalability, security, and more will make a big difference in their decision-making. They can use their knowledge to ask the right questions and see possible solutions.
Mentorship and Great Communicator
Being able to get their message across is one of the best qualities of a senior manager. With this quality, they can help their team focus on their tasks while avoiding misunderstanding.
Also, they can help build up the skills of their team members. By clearly sharing their knowledge and avoiding miscommunications, the whole team can work seamlessly together.
Plus, with great communication skills, they can provide constructive feedback. Aside from their team, they should also be able to communicate with the clients and other stakeholders properly.
Problem Solver and Risk Manager
They should be able to identify risks. Using their vast experience and technical prowess, they can define these project risks.
With their experience, they can also identify design patterns and problems. They can then communicate it to the whole team to manage the risks and develop appropriate solutions.
They should develop these soft skills through their years of working in the software development field. These skills will enable them to lead and manage a software team through the development cycle.
The Right Senior Software Developer
In summary, what makes a senior software developer is not just their technical skills, experience, or soft skills. But, the best of them have all of these qualities. Their skills and experience should enable them to manage both their team’s and client’s expectations.
However, finding the best senior software developer may be hard for you. With the very competitive recruitment field, you may not have the time and resources to hire the right one for your company. But don’t worry. This is where we come in.
We at Full Scale will help you build the best software development for you. Our senior developers and project managers will work with you to fulfill your software projects. Furthermore, our programmers, testers, QAs, and other specialists are experts in their fields.
Let us start building your software development dream team. Contact us now!