The truth is after some deep thought and contemplation, I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s no such thing as a senior developer.
Why? Because the idea of being a senior developer is highly subjective.
The Subjectivity of Seniority
Where you stand on the scale of seniority really depends on where you are: your company, the people, and the content you surround yourself with. Among complete beginners, you may appear like a senior dev because you simply know more than them.
If you’ve been working at a particular company for a long time, seniority might come about due to internal knowledge and not actual skill.
Some places even go by the number of years rather than one’s ability to create and think.
The idea of a senior developer is subjective because the person assessing you on the other side might not know any better. They might have the title of a senior developer, but their true depth and breadth of knowledge and ability to synthesize might be questionable.
Sometimes, it’s not their fault. They might have just grown to the size of their pond. Their scope of work might not offer them the scope they need to grow. Or their workplace just isn’t in that kind of position or environment to foster such growth.
And it happens a lot more than you’d realize. It happens so much that even we can fall prey to this issue.
So how do you prevent yourself from being stuck in such a loop?
First, you need to learn to be the little fish once again.
What You Should Be Focusing on Instead
You can read all the how to be a senior dev stories ad nauseam, but it won’t actually upgrade your skills.
You’re better off reading guides on how to improve a particular set of skills or roadmaps on how to become pro at a particular framework, library, or idea.
For example, here are few useful ones:
Bento.io also does decent learning-journey guides for free.
What you need to do is work along the paths or create your own, collecting knowledge points, revelations, and error familiarization. Most of the time, we just stop working when the code works — but what if you were to take it one step further?