What is the difference between Junior, Mid and Senior developers?

April 8, 2016
by John Websell

Since starting my career in the World of Technology I have been intrigued to know exactly what the difference is between junior, mid and senior developers. Does it mean the developer has a specific amount of certifications or job expertise? Does a junior position mean that the developer is fresh out of school with no actual work experience?

What makes a programmer “junior”, “middle”, or “senior”? I have asked the specialist recruiters here at ABRS & this is what they said.

  • A Junior Developer will need guidance. They probably won’t have had any previous “work” experience or could be new to the dynamics of a working development team; they may also struggle with some elements of the language. Without guidance they could struggle which, if not kept on top of, will exhort the wider team.
  • A Mid-range Developer will have had experience, probably 2+ years in up to 3 or 4 different companies. They will be independently proactive and will be able to tackle most tasks on their own, but understand when they need help or a second opinion.
  • A Senior Developer will have a significant/considerable amount of experience usually in excess of 5+ years. They will be confident in their daily work and be able to design solutions as well as easily completing tasks. They will almost certainly have leadership skills and be able to mentor the junior developers. Having said this, all companies are different and one particular client of ABRS only accepts Senior Developers with a minimum of 10 years’ experience.

Bradley Stott, Sales Manager, Permanent Software said:

“I don’t think that the number of years of experience necessarily reflects competence, there are many elements that affect a Developers ability, including previous company/sector, previous projects, work environment, etc. There is a solution. To have people of multiple skill levels assess an individual. At each level, you’ll identify that the person is either right for your level or not.”


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