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How to move from mid-level developer to senior engineer in 2021

bahdcoder profile image Kati Frantz ・2 min read

I've spent a lot of time leading teams, training over 65 thousand developers via online courses and mentoring dozens. Here's a guide on how to move from mid-level developer to senior engineer in 2021:

Start mentoring someone today.

Show empathy, support and a strong desire to see this person succeed. Find someone who is just starting out, make sure they don’t make the mistakes you made. Get on a consistent schedule to have video calls, check up on their progress, pain points, and be there for them. And yes, don't doubt yourself. You have what it takes! You can do this!

The value you provide needs to go beyond code.

Get closer to the business. Schedule a call with your CEO now. Ask questions about the future of the business, the goals for the year. Get involved. Do market research about your company’s industry. Do this every week, attend marketing calls, make sure engineering is working towards the goals of the company. Love the business. Care for the business. Attend marketing calls, peaching calls, or watch past ones. Working at a large company ? Get super involved with the role of your team.

Level up technically.

Don't learn more frameworks. Master the ones you're already using. Do something more advanced. Watch technical workshops. Every day, dive into the code and find those things that are making the business lose money (Performance, poor design, Bugs). Pay incredible attention to detail when writing code. Creating an endpoint to fetch data ? Don't end at fetching data. Handle 401s, 404s, data validation, sanitisation, rate limiting, caching, query performance, clean code, documentation. Every Single Detail Matters.

Become a master of soft skills.

Your coding skills can only take you half way there. The higher you go, the more people skills you need. Communicate excessively. Every single detail matters. Have a deep empathy for the business you work for, and the people you collaborate with everyday. Put yourself in their shoes. Be open minded. Accept feedback joyfully from those you mentor, those you report to, and be willing to grow from it. The more people skills you have, the more doors you can open.

🚀 Did you find this impactful? Consider following me on twitter for more nuggets, tips and guides to grow in your career as a software engineer.

Discussion (2)

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raphael_jambalos profile image
Raphael Jambalos

Totally agree on this Kati! Knowing how to code and deliver features isnt enough to be truly successful. One has to continuously and consciously get better at their craft.

Also agree on the soft skills part. Even if coding can be done solo, its bigger picture is still an enterprise run by people. And it's hard to succeed without the soft skills.

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bahdcoder profile image
Kati Frantz Author

Awesome. Thanks for sharing !