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To be "a software developer," generally speaking? No, I don't think it's at all possible. Software development is a ginormous field and there's always more to learn. In my opinion, to be "over-qualified" is to have little, if anything, left to learn in a context, resulting in boredom and disengagement.

That said, one can be over-qualified for a specific dev role.

For example, as someone who's developed PHP applications for over a decade, I'd be way overqualified for a Junior PHP developer role. Also, while I could argue that I've got transferrable skills to warrant a higher title, I would arguably not be overqualified for a Junior Go developer role, since I don't really know Go, and I would really not be overqualified for Junior Machine Learning role, even if it used Python (a language that I do know).

 

I think we can agree that the characterization of "over qualified" is popularly misused and sometimes simply misunderstood. Many times it's a convenient catch-all description thrown out instead of saying "I don't think they are a good fit for this job." The fit issue might be salary expectation.

Software development is a huge universe of complex puzzle solving opportunities. No one is over qualified. Most people are under qualified and still do a great job.

 

I think "under qualified" falls into the same traps you mention about "over qualified." I think it's even more of a catch-all name than over qualified (even if it's not as commonly used), because of the expansive nature of software development. And the thing with "under qualified" is that it's far more of a temporary state than "over qualified" in relation to any given role.

What makes a person "under qualified"? Generally, it's a lack of skill or experience in a given technology, language, etc., right? But those skills are easily learned and within a few weeks, the "under qualified" person now fits well into "qualified," and after a year or so, they're very much proficient. All that's really required of software developers that can't really be taught is the willingness to learn quickly and on the fly (and not be a complete asshole to work with). Everything else is trainable. "Under qualified," though, is essentially what people are told when the company doesn't want to invest in training the person filling the role to fill in any skills gaps (and then they wonder why they can't get anyone with the skills they want for what they want to pay...).

 

My thoughts exactly. I think it's simply not possible to be overqualified as a software developer. The knowledge in software development inflates too quickly. Even if you are overqualified, just wait a year and do nothing, then you become underqualified because tech moves so fast

 

I think over-qualification is mostly about attitude. If we hired Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, to write code for our app, he'd probably be pretty over-qualified for the job. But if he genuinely wanted to contribute and do that job, it's not a problem.

When we're hiring for software development positions, we don't want anyone who feels overqualified such that they should just be managing, and not in there writing the code. If we are looking for a developer we're looking for a willingness to write some code.

 

I think a bigger problem might be that at some point you could be bored of what you do. If you develop 10 cruds backends, frankly since everyone has pretty much the same needs, it gets less exciting with time.

You might also get bored by working on the same single app. Or you might get obsessed to make it better and learn new tricks thus fighting boredom, and at some point be super qualified to work on the app.

Probably depends on your profile, motivation, and what you work on

 

You walk into the building for an interview and suddenly all active projects get completed by your meer presence. That's overqualified, otherwise it's just ego. There is always something to learn even revisiting skills.

 

Yes. Be in your 50's in the USA as an American citizen with 30 years of experience. Watch as you get replaced by people on H1B visas