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

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joostkiens profile image
Joost Kiens

Junior developers, by nature, are in a phase where they take up a lot of the company's resources and don't produce a lot of value.

The expectation is that they will grow to a mid-level where they can work independently, do meaning-full code reviews, mentor juniors, etc. If they never level-up, they are not worth the early investment. If an engineer is at a mid-level and stops investing it is an entirely different story: they can be very productive while maintaining a nice work/life balance.

Then there's the nature of this business: new technologies appear -for better or for worse- at a breakneck speed. Companies and devs need to keep on top of these developments. If an engineer is not intrinsically motivated to keep up, it doesn't bode well for the value they can deliver in the future. Companies can work around this by providing training, but if people aren't motivated to learn, it's not going to work.

I have worked with one guy, really nice dude, but he was stuck at the same skill-level and technologies for 8 years. Unfortunately, after years of investing in him and sending him on courses, we had to let him go.

He's still a developer but in a less demanding setting, maybe it is for the best.

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aminmansuri profile image
hidden_dude

I think many companies view the world unrealistically.. And expect that they can add people like pieces of a puzzle and all will just magically fall into place.

I prefer to see a company as an evolving organization of evolving people. The people need to grow, build new capacities, and so does the company. I think successful companies are those that know how to nurture they're people's capacity as well as that of the organization.

Regarding junior programmers, I've often found more success with then than "senior" programmers. Maybe our expectation has been too high or we haven't yet learned how to do so, but we had trouble making senior developers "level up" in many cases, while the juniors were eager to do so. Our home grown senior developers (we have very low attrition) tend to be better than the ones we try to bring in. But that may be our own idiosyncrasy.

But definitely its important that people be able to evolve hand in hand with the organization (and the organization hand in hand with the people). That is key.

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yogesnsamy profile image
yogesnsamy

Finally a clear explanation on leveling up, thanks for sharing.