Muddling Through The Middle Bits: what comes after Junior and before Senior

Exploring advice (both getting and giving) for mid-career developers



There’s a ton of advice out there for junior developers: how to grow your skills, how to contribute effectively without a lot of experience, how to ask good questions. Likewise, there’s a lot of good advice for senior developers on how lead and mentor effectively and how to leverage their knowledge and experience. Left out are the people in between those two extremes: the developers who aren’t junior anymore, but haven’t risen to truly “senior developer” status.How do you get from junior to senior? Perhaps it's just a matter of time: Junior Dev + 5 years = Senior Dev? Is it some combination of depth and breadth of knowledge? Are team skills or technical ones the most important in this transition? How do you know you've crossed into senior territory? For that matter, how do you know you're no longer a junior? Let’s explore this squishy middle area, its landmarks and signposts, and try to find a personalized map of the mid-career.

Audience background

The target audience will be developers with a mix of experience levels, as well as those who work closely enough with devs to have insight into their career progression (project managers, for example).

Benefits of participating

Gain and offer insight into the developer career path, some bad jokes.


I'm still brainstorming this, but what I'd like to accomplish is more of a conversation. Possibly outlying some of my own thoughts/insights and asking the audience to offer their own. I have a few specific questions in mind to get a conversation going.


  1. Anne Cahalan
    Detroit Labs