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Software Development

A Quick Guide to Software Developer Hierarchy

Clock 15 min read
Howdy Expert

By Darío Macchi

Developer Advocate

Developer Advocate @Howdy 🤠. Full Stack JS Software Engineer @Stagger. Turn scientific work into consumable artifacts for professionals. Speaker & Professor. Systematic but flexible. A bit literalist. Doomsayer.

Content

    I’m often asked by students and young developers to define software developer seniority levels. It's a tricky task.

    Unlike other fields, software engineering seniority isn't standardized. Generally, the accepted hierarchy follows a progression from junior to mid-level to senior roles.

    In this article, I'll break down the different developer hierarchy levels and explain what matters when we talk about seniority.

  1. Junior Developers (a.k.a Ticket Closers)
  2. First up, we have junior developers, the base of the developer totem pole. On a dev team, junior developers typically have the least amount of professional experience and work under the guidance of mid-level and senior developers.

    I like to call junior devs "Ticket Closers". As the nickname suggests, these are team members who spend most of their time closing tickets. Often perceived as doers rather than thinkers, Ticket Closers usually don't get much say in decision-making or strategic planning.

    Being a Ticket Closer isn’t a bad thing. Dev teams rely on them to handle standard tasks and help get things done.

  3. Mid-Level Developers (a.k.a Problem Solvers)
  4. Also known as semi-senior or intermediate developers, semi-senior developers have gained some experience and can work independently on projects and handle complex assignments.

    I like to refer to Semi-Senior Developers as "Problem Solvers". These tend to be more flexible developers who can juggle multiple tasks.

    The best Problem Solvers are communication experts, regularly collaborating with colleagues to fix issues and share discoveries. These devs step up when things get tough while acting as a support system for the rest of the team.

  5. Senior Developers: (a.k.a Problem Framers)
  6. Last but not least, we have senior developers, seasoned engineers with a deep understanding of programming concepts and tech. These professionals often lead projects, mentor junior developers, and make high-level design decisions.

    I like to call Senior Devs "Problem Framers". These are devs who can identify challenges and opportunities, guided by their years of experience and understanding of the business.

    Problem Framers are software developers at heart — meaning they have extensive knowledge of different programming languages, tech concepts, and software development methods. In addition to being whizzes at writing code, Problem Framers have a knack for designing software systems, resolving issues independently, and scheming up solutions for complex problems. Importantly, the best Problem Framers are talented leaders, adept and communicating with teammates and clients and transforming business processes into code.

  7. The bottom line
  8. Ultimately, devs of all levels play an important role in development projects. If you have a project that needs development services, Howdy can help you build a team with the right experience level to fit your business's needs. To learn more, book a demo now.

I’m often asked by students and young developers to define software developer seniority levels. It's a tricky task.

Unlike other fields, software engineering seniority isn't standardized. Generally, the accepted hierarchy follows a progression from junior to mid-level to senior roles.

In this article, I'll break down the different developer hierarchy levels and explain what matters when we talk about seniority.

Junior Developers (a.k.a Ticket Closers)

First up, we have junior developers, the base of the developer totem pole. On a dev team, junior developers typically have the least amount of professional experience and work under the guidance of mid-level and senior developers.

I like to call junior devs "Ticket Closers". As the nickname suggests, these are team members who spend most of their time closing tickets. Often perceived as doers rather than thinkers, Ticket Closers usually don't get much say in decision-making or strategic planning.

Being a Ticket Closer isn’t a bad thing. Dev teams rely on them to handle standard tasks and help get things done.

Mid-Level Developers (a.k.a Problem Solvers)

Also known as semi-senior or intermediate developers, semi-senior developers have gained some experience and can work independently on projects and handle complex assignments.

I like to refer to Semi-Senior Developers as "Problem Solvers". These tend to be more flexible developers who can juggle multiple tasks.

The best Problem Solvers are communication experts, regularly collaborating with colleagues to fix issues and share discoveries. These devs step up when things get tough while acting as a support system for the rest of the team.

Senior Developers: (a.k.a Problem Framers)

Last but not least, we have senior developers, seasoned engineers with a deep understanding of programming concepts and tech. These professionals often lead projects, mentor junior developers, and make high-level design decisions.

I like to call Senior Devs "Problem Framers". These are devs who can identify challenges and opportunities, guided by their years of experience and understanding of the business.

Problem Framers are software developers at heart — meaning they have extensive knowledge of different programming languages, tech concepts, and software development methods. In addition to being whizzes at writing code, Problem Framers have a knack for designing software systems, resolving issues independently, and scheming up solutions for complex problems. Importantly, the best Problem Framers are talented leaders, adept and communicating with teammates and clients and transforming business processes into code.

The bottom line

Ultimately, devs of all levels play an important role in development projects. If you have a project that needs development services, Howdy can help you build a team with the right experience level to fit your business's needs. To learn more, book a demo now.