Monday, June 14, 2021

What does it take to become a Senior Software Engineer?

I think that depends on the organization. A Senior Software Engineer at one company might not be Senior in another.

At a startup (less than 25 people), generally Senior Software Engineers (Individual Contributors) are:

  • great at breadth and depth of knowledge (domain knowledge)
    • knows a lot about how the business operates and its customers
    • knows a lot about legacy parts of the product
    • knows a lot about latest frontend and backend practices
  • great at planning, executing, deploying, and maintaining software
    • authoring technical design docs
    • providing feedback on other design docs
    • providing technical feasibility analysis to product managers/project managers
    • providing estimates
    • updating kanban/agile boards to keep stakeholders in the know of how things are going
    • providing code reviews and feedback
    • rallies the team to make improvements on developer workflows (finding out better ways of shipping, better tools and technologies, gets the team excited and bought-in)
    • innovates on the developer experience (reducing build times, simplifies tooling and onboarding) which increases the output of the team
  • great at interviewing and hiring developers
    • sourcing devs through outbound on linkedin/past connections
    • sourcing devs through inbound by writing company devblogs
  • great at onboarding new developers
    • training sessions (sync), 
    • screen recordings (async)
    • updates and maintains documentation on systems and processes
  • great at gluing/coordinating with other disciplines (designers, project managers)

These are just a few responsibilities when it comes to a small tech startup, there's probably way more that in different companies though.


Originally answered on reddit/React