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What is difference between Senior and Junior Software Engineer?

Question asked by Karshil Sheth in #General Knowledge #Career Help on Jan 9, 2020
Karshil Sheth
Karshil Sheth · Jan 9, 2020
Rank C2 - EXPERT

I wanted to know what are the things that a senior developer has more compared to junior developer. Is it just in experience or more. Do they have to write more code than junior one's. Are they very well skilled. Can A fresher like me get the knowledge of what a senior developer has, if so the what are the things and lists I need to study and learn?

Posted in: #General Knowledge #Career Help
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare · Jan 9, 2020
Rank A1 - PRO

In most of the corporate offices, the junior and senior developer post or rank is determined by the years of experience. However, there could be cases that you have ~3-4 years of experience and still have the post of a junior developer. Not many companies prefer it that way though. 

The irony is that as you progress through corporate hierarchy, especially in the Software IT industry, you'll be required to write lesser code! That may or may not apply to "junior" and "senior" software engineer; because it all depends upon the project they are working on.

For example, a junior engineer with 0-1 years of experience may not be given a project where the code they write goes directly into production. They might be assigned sub-tasks where the senior developers outsource their work to the juniors. 

This is required because this is the way juniors are made familiar with the project and its processes. 

The senior developers typically will be responsible for writing the production code. Of course, this has got nothing to do with the overall knowledge you possess. There is no way to measure it. 

You could be an expert in Java and may write better code than an experienced professional. But when you are working on a project for client, you need to do lot more than just write code. 

Most of the senior coders will directly interact with the clients. I've seen junior engineers fumble and make silly mistakes when talking to clients. This is why senior engineers are given more responsibilities than junior engineers. 

I hope this addresses your question to some extent. If you have follow up questions, post them here. Let's A2A fellow CEans, including Manish Goyal can answer this way better. 

Abhishek Rawal
Abhishek Rawal · Jan 9, 2020
Rank A2 - PRO

In some companies, there is an additional layer between two as well; called as just Software Engineer.
I haven't seen any major difference in the role, except the fact that they have more relevant experience in that domain/language.

In my work place, I haven't seen a single developer (even an Architect) communicating with client. That's the role of sales and delivery team, they need to extract out proper requirements of client and convert it to use-cases for developers. Product manager then create required stories, and assigning of task is done to developers.

Anoop Mathew
Anoop Mathew · Jan 9, 2020
Rank A3 - PRO

In BFSI sector, I have seen many cases where there're Consultants/ Business Analysts who act as the layer between the Developers and the IT/Infrastructure/Network Team of the Company and the Client during a Software Deployment. I (in the capacity of Mid Level Management/ Consultant) personally have had to interact with the senior developers to sort of get certain issues fixed because the Consultant/ Business Analyst/ Manager at the other end wasn't available for a call. In the end, production timelines need to be met and the Project Team needs to handle the situations as they arise - be it liasoning with the senior developer directly or not. Never had to directly speak to a junior developer/engineer for any projects yet (be it within India or Abroad)

Karshil Sheth
Karshil Sheth · Jan 9, 2020
Rank C2 - EXPERT

@Kaustubh Katdare  I got the main idea between two post. I still want to know that what are the technologies [frontend as well as backend] senior developer knows better than junior one. And is there any post after senior developer or not?

Anoop Mathew
Anoop Mathew · Jan 9, 2020
Rank A3 - PRO

@Karshil - Senior Developers usually take  positions in the organisation such as a shown below:-

Junior Software Developer < Software Developer < Senior Software Developer < Lead Developer/ Technical Architect < Team Lead - Development < Manager - Development < Senior Manager - Development < Associate Vice President - Development < Director - Development < Chief Technology Officer (CTO). 

Have seen most of these roles in organization (plus/minus) some of these.

While these are typical options in Technology/Development, the Developer can also opt for Higher Education or Courses or a career shift to more of business side of things by growing from the Developer role to a Consultant role.

Usually trend is as Developer/Engineer < Post MBA < Business Analyst/Associate Consultant < Consultant < Lead Consultant/Senior Consultant < Principal Consultant/Manager < Senior Manager < Asst. Director < Director < Head of Department / Partner

With seniority and higher positioning in the team/department, it is expected that the person gains knowledge of overall product lifecycle/ product development and implementation idea. Here, the person may not work individually with eeach technology, but should have holistic knowledge of the tech involved.

Have seen CTO work on multiple projects with multiple Technical Architect/ Senior Developers acting as his pawns. CTO is often involved with bug fixes and sanity tests of the code and gets really involved only of the other guy isn't able to solve the issue. The Senior's time is always valued and distributed across multiple projects and often involved with finalization and sign off of the logic and complex scenarios, while a junior might work on just one project.

Karshil Sheth
Karshil Sheth · Jan 9, 2020
Rank C2 - EXPERT

@Anoop Mathew  Thank you for the answer. I really understood what path I have to choose ahead .

Anoop Mathew
Anoop Mathew · Jan 9, 2020
Rank A3 - PRO

As for the Technology that each senior knows, suggest you start religiously stalking people on LinkedIn and also checking out Job Descriptions posted by your favourite Tech Companies for their expectations. You get a good idea from that channel!

Noothan Kumar
Noothan Kumar · Jan 22, 2020
Rank C1 - EXPERT

junior engineer is the most junior in any organisation. Generally they relatives with direct work.

in any organisation system is as follow.

1.junior engineer(junior most) for this role diploma candidates are eligible. where we will be working on small organisation.

2. Assistant engineer(assistant most) for this role Be graduates are eligible or having 3-8 years experience is eligible for this role. here we will be working on Moderate organisation.


Swarup Pan
Swarup Pan · Jan 22, 2020
Rank C2 - EXPERT

It defines many things.

The seniority of experience, experience about the work, experience in the bugs and errors, salary package all these things are the main difference points between a senior and junior software engineer.

This also means there is always a scope of making mistake for a junior SE but if a senior SE makes a mistake it costs many ways.

There is ample opportunity of reacting accordingly to the good and bad experiences in the industry for a JSE but there is no such privilege for an SSE.

bill yorke
bill yorke · Jan 22, 2020
Rank C2 - EXPERT

a senior software engineer deals with more complex problems than a junior software engineer. In practice, a senior developer with less power can solve virtually whatever sort of issue. They will understand the risks, ask the right follow-up inquiries, decide the correct methodology, identify the potential inefficiencies and provide a reliable (typically well defined and tested) solution.

A junior developer can address a small set of issues with a smaller proportion of alternative approaches. The junior developer is likely familiar with one programming language, a system or a framework. They will examine the strategic goals and the technical difficulties.

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