Philip Miglinci, co-founder of Glasskube and experienced software developer, explains what makes a senior developer and how to become one.
The key criteria of a senior developer is the experience that person brings to the table. You don't necessarily have to learn programming in high school but an early affinity for technology and solving technical problems helps. I myself went to a high school and got excited about the IT world in my spare time. I also attended my first courses such as network technology and computer science, where we learned the basics. Along the way, I started programming the first websites for our school and ran a forum on a school server where we exchanged information about homework and schoolwork as a class.
Since I always had respect for "real programming", I decided to study business informatics at the Vienna University of Technology. In addition to my bachelor's degree, I also gained my first experience as a product manager. Here I was the interface between customers - often represented by sales - and development. Even then, the backlog grew faster than we could work through it, so I decided to support my colleagues and take on smaller programming tasks. In doing so, I was able to learn a lot from experienced developers, whether in the form of code reviews or brainstorming solutions on the whiteboard.
The hands-on programming experience also helped me better understand the very theoretical computer science curriculum. In the last 10 years of my career, I have taken on the role of a team leader and senior developer.
The world of software development is a rapidly changing one. Therefore, as a developer, it is important to constantly expand your knowledge and skills by learning new technologies and programming languages. Throughout my career, I have been confronted with increasingly complex and challenging tasks. As a senior developer, my job is therefore to solve deep architectural problems and optimize the performance and scalability of applications. This includes anticipating and solving problems in the development of software products. It is also important to take responsibility for your own code and ensure that it solves the original customer problem.
In addition to the hard skills, it is also important for the role as a senior developer that you have a number of soft skills. As a senior developer, you don't necessarily have to take on the disciplinary management of employees, but you should support younger colleagues in word and deed with technical questions and share your experience and knowledge.
You can reach a position as a developer in different ways. Either like I did with an academic background in computer science or a related field. Another way is to start in a software development job by means of training in programming. Thanks to programming schools, anyone can become a full stack developer in 10 months with no prior experience and dive into the exciting world of programming.
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