The Junior Developer With 7 Years Experience

Brian Jenney
4 min readJul 30, 2023

I met a junior developer with 7 years experience. His resume actually looked pretty good. When we started the interview though… oof.

He had been writing JS for nearly a decade but could not use ES6.

He struggled with a simple problem that required iterating over an array and merging some objects.

How was this possible?

My guess is that he had spent all the time at his current company basically doing the same tasks over and over and over. I’m sure he was excellent at THAT particular company.

We could not move forward with him.

What I wish I had done: Pull him to the side after the interview and explain what he needs to learn in order to do better at his next interview.

What I did: “Thanks for your time today.”

I think about this story a lot. You don’t want to fall into the same trap. You want you to get to Senior Developer at some point.

Let’s clear up some of the dumb advice you’ve read on LinkedIn:

  • Titles don’t matter
  • Seniors need at least [x] years of experience
  • Seniors are the best coders on the team
  • Get experience and the titles will come

They’re all right. And they’re all terribly, terribly wrong.

The Senior Developer title can be wildly different at each company. You still need to chase it.

There’s a bit of an unhealthy obsession developers (me included) have with getting to Senior but there is a good reason.

On one end of the developer spectrum is junior.

They are expendable for the most part. Cheap and plentiful and need lots of guidance. They are an important investment and also a bit of a gamble.

On the other end of the spectrum is the senior.

They can make or break your team through their influence on the codebase, team and processes. They squish the really tough bugs. They make sure the team doesn’t over commit or refactor unnecessarily. They’ve made costly mistakes and understand how to avoid…

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Brian Jenney

full-stackish developer, late bloomer coder and power google user and owner of Parsity.io