While working as a Java programmer is rewarding, you want to take things to another level. Eventually, you hope to be promoted to a senior software engineer. To make this leap, you need to give your full effort in improving your programming chops as well as honing a few relevant soft skills.
So let’s take a closer look at what you need to move from an entry-level programmer to a valued senior developer. Persistence is the key in achieving your professional dreams. Use this information as a guide on your path to success.
Experience, Experience, and More Experience
At the risk of sounding pedantic, you need experience to move into a senior developer role. Depending on your skill level – including both programming chops and soft skills – most companies want their senior-level devs to boast at least five years of programming experience. Showing some initiative outside of the office by working on open source projects also helps hone your developer skill set.
An Understanding of Full-Stack Programming
Don’t limit yourself to writing Java code. Most senior developers boast an understanding of full-stack programming. This includes the ability to model a database, craft a user interface, and even architect and code a network layer. Being able to build apps for the desktop, web browser, and mobile device is also important.
An Interest in Programming Outside of Work
Being involved in developer user groups and communities – both online and in-person – puts you on the path to becoming a senior software engineer. You get to learn new technologies as well as best practices and patterns for efficient programming. The opportunity to add colleagues to your professional network also helps, especially if they know of an opening for a senior-level position.
Soft Skills to Help You Become a Well-Rounded Developer
As mentioned earlier, senior-level programmers also need soft skills that go beyond their coding ability. You need to show leadership by mentoring junior-level programmers; inspiring them to do their best. Strong communication ability is a must, including written skills for writing specs and verbal for interfacing with business stakeholders and co-workers.
Strong problem-solving skills are also important, especially when trying to fix a critical bug. Finally, business acumen ensures you see the big picture beyond the codebase.
When you need advice on growing your software development career, talk to the insightful recruiters at Venteon. As one of the top technical staffing agencies in Michigan, we know the companies looking for programming talent. Find new IT jobs online.