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Discussion on: Have you ever worked with an engineer who never leveled up?

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aminmansuri profile image
hidden_dude

That's not what I understand as "leveling up". What I understand is:

  1. When you start you can't do anything without asking a lot of questions (you best ask questions or you won't last very long)
  2. Eventually you start being able to do things on your own, you don't need so much guidance and mentoring, you can get the job done
  3. Over time, you begin to be able to understand bigger picture features, and develop beyond what you're told. For example, you don't need to be told to validate your form inputs, or write unit tests because you know you have to do that
  4. Later you're now able to give meaningful input in design decisions. While previously you just listened now you give valuable advice
  5. You are able to push back on more senior developer's bad ideas. You notice the mistakes they make and help in the debates to make things better
  6. etc..

Other aspects also include the ability to estimate code and actually meet your estimates, organize your time well, ask the right questions before jumping into coding, etc..

The problem is when someone starts in #1 and can never make it to #2. Or gets to a certain level in this list and years later is still stuck in the same level. If you're going to work for me for 5-10 years, and you get at least annual raises, the expectation is that over time you're contribution will be more. If your contribution level stalls, then you're stagnant and we may consider either freezing or limiting your raises or even firing you.

Your reference about "employer exploitation" doesn't seem fair. Most place I've worked in, if you do your job, you get some nice raises, you get stock options, you get profit sharing or other benefits. If you've never seen that then you either: live in the wrong place, work for the wrong sorts of companies, or are limited by your own attitude. After college I was quickly making a lot more than my non-tech peers. I never felt exploited. Rather I felt guilty that a lot more hard working folks with a lot more experience (like teachers with over a decade experience ) where making about the third of the salary I was making.