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Discussion on: What projects should somebody have and experience to be a senior?

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Enrico

It's not the projects in and of themselves. A senior should have worked on some variety of projects and been exposed to different types of teams and codebases, however far more important is how they interact with the members of their teams. Junior and Senior are different parts of the same spectrum. A junior isn't just someone who is new, it's someone who often is still learning how to self-direct on a project, how to work with their team, and how they approach a project. Likewise, a senior should be someone who has a good sense of how to self-direct (from task management to architectural knowledge), someone who is very practiced at working with a team and handles changes in team dynamic well, and someone who thinks about about not just their role on a project but that of their team members too. You can find good seniors who have done everything there is to do. You can also find good seniors who have worked on a very limited scope of projects by virtue of their work history, but are aware of the fact that their project experience is limited and who have shown the initiative to learn about other types of projects even if they haven't worked on them.

If your project has one senior engineer who writes really good code, you've got one senior engineer. If your project has one senior engineer and you give them a lot of space to split their time between code and team building and mentoring, then in a little while you have a much more effective team and multiple senior engineers.