What do you need to become a Senior Programmer?

I’ve been a programmer for several years, and I’ve pondered this question ever since I learned about the possibility of becoming a senior. Over the years, I’ve developed some thoughts that I’d like to share.

Senior Programmer

Let’s Answer This Quickly

What do you lack to be a senior?
— Experience

Let’s Complicate it

Interestingly, what takes you to the “next level” isn’t learning more languages, architectures, or design patterns. While these tools and best practices are important, constantly being in projects —especially those going into production— will give you perspective.

Theory makes good apprentices, but practice makes masters.

Human Team

Day-to-day work with people can be full of learning. If you’re starting out and only have a lot of content learned, you might clash with the idea that sometimes decisions are made not based on performance or best practices, but on the ease of the individuals who will develop the project.

Tools

Over time and having been on a considerable number of teams, you’ll realize that there are countless tools used in developing a project. And I’m not just talking about software, but also about agile project management tools, like SCRUM and its adaptations.

Deployment to Production

Although we are at a time where there are many tools for testing and having the utmost confidence in the world to deploy to production, sometimes things just happen. Knowing how to solve them or at least make sense of them is very important.

Seeing the Future

Believe me, I’ve met professionals who know what’s going to happen and even when. The experience of having been in so many projects allows you to identify patterns that are not obvious to others. I’m not saying that you become infallible, that’s impossible in this career, but you’ll know where not to step.

To Conclude

To conclude, I want to emphasize that these reflections are just my personal perspective, based on my experience. I’m not trying to set rules or proclaim absolute truths.

This topic is crucial, especially for those who are starting their journey in programming. I understand that achieving the “senior” label often translates into significant salary benefits.

Therefore, the most sincere advice I can give is to seek to accumulate as much experience as possible. And of course, patience and good humor.

Cheers.

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