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How Senior Programmers are Different!

Illustration Evgenia Barinova

Many talented and peculiar beings, usually known as Computer Programmers or more recently as Software Engineers, are always learning new algorithms and exploiting data structures for the betterment of masses. They have a very particular set of skills which is acquired through religion like determination and devotion like a monk. With time, they only become “Senior” and gain the divine wisdom of git blame-ing. Moreover, they make no mistake in naming variables.

Ever wondered how they climbed this leader of prestige, so high? Or thought what sets them apart from nerd who has just learned the art of transforming StackOverflow answers to his very own programs? The answer is mysterious and may sound counter-intuitive but I will try to bring underpinnings of this dark world as much as possible 😂😂😂

They know what they are doing:

Unlike others, Senior Programmers know the meaning of each line of code. It doesn’t mean they write all the code by themselves — of course, they copy. Actually, they really believe in:

But despite that they are fully aware of the meaning and more important the consequences of their code. They have solid foundations of fundamentals and have a firm grip over computer science concepts. They are not deceived by Promise chains, Asyn-await, Generator functions etc.

They understand the problem:

Another very distinct feature of Senior Programmers is they put more focus on what needs to be done rather than how it needs to be done. They understand the problem first and don’t make guesses and assumptions about requirements. They never jump to a solution soon after they encounter the problem. They take proper time to establish a solid understanding of the problem, then they usually break the problem in sub-problems. This does not only give them clarity but also make the development process efficient and effective.

They know the importance of clean code:

A senior programmers know that their code is not permanent in this always changing world. It will be modified sooner or later — maybe by someone they know or by a complete stranger. So they really put great effort into making code readable and maintainable. Senior programmers actually spend more time reading the code so they know how much ugly code hurt the eyeballs.

They follow good practices and prefer simpler, cleaner and readable code over the complex code. One-liners and ternary operators are impressive but they make code less readable and hard to understand, especially for new teammates.

They are focused, not overwhelmed:

Another very interesting fact about them is that they keep themselves up-to-date with all the latest advancements and happenings in their domain. But they are not overwhelmed by all the latest libraries and frameworks — they are focused. They know all new libraries and frameworks are not worth their attention. They are selective but whatever they know, they know that very well.

Senior word doesn’t imply they know everything in the world so Senior programmers make sure they possess a particular set of skills which is polished and refined over the period of time.

They are mentors:

This might be the most overlooked aspect but one cannot be a Senior programmer unless one helps and trains his peers. Being in a senior position demands a great sense of responsibility and care, not only towards work but also towards the fellow colleagues. Senior programmers are not only the expert in their tech field but also master of soft skills like communication, negotiation, time management, team collaboration, task delegation, etc.

Senior programmers always guide and support junior team members and take pride in mentoring them. They leave a legacy behind and make sure their knowledge passes to the senior programmers of future.

I hope you found this article helpful and interesting. Please share, clap and comment. I am really looking forward to your feedback and suggestions.

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Zain Zafar

Zain Zafar

Software Enginner at Amazon Prime Video