Going from Junior to Senior Developer

Ben Orenstein of thoughtbot

Ben Orenstein of Upcase tells us how to go from a junior to a senior developer. He reveals a number of things senior developers do that junior developers don't.

  • Here's what to listen for:
  • 02:34 Would a degree in computer science benefit somebody who is interested in starting programming?
  • 03:23 How do you convince people that getting a computer science degree isn’t necessary?
  • 08:41 What is the path from zero to junior developer?
  • 14:16 How do you define what a junior developer is?
  • 15:35 What goals are junior developers making?
  • 17:24 How was Upcase started? What was the focus/goal?
  • 19:43 What might an intermediate developer be doing that a junior developer isn’t?
  • 21:50 What is the difference between TDD (test-driven development) and writing tests after you write your code?
  • 26:15 Where do you look for your first job? How do you go about getting hired?
  • 30:01 How do deal with impostor syndrome when applying for a job?
  • 32:46 What kind of qualities that you look for when making a hiring decision for junior developers?
  • 33:55 How can you create a work environment for junior developers that helps them get better?
  • 35:33 What did Ben mean by, “To become a better programmer, one should practice like a musician.”?

"A lot of successful programmers in this industry don’t have a computer science degree."

"Computer science is kind of like the car engine physics."

"Try to make a couple friends that do what you want to do."

"How do professional developers, the people that do this a lot, approach problems?"

"Just having a five minute code review with someone can be really enlightening."

"Bootcamps do an awesome job of teaching you the early stuff."

"We have this knowledge from building literally thousands of Rails applications."

"The intermediate writes methods that are 1 or 2 lines while the junior crams 20 in there."

"I consider testing a watershed moment in your development career."

"It turns out that code that is easy to test is often better than code that is not."

"When you’re new you should have hard and fast rules even though those rules aren’t perfect."

"When you’re trying to get a job, the currency is a code sample."

"Jobs tend to flow through personal relationships."

"If you’re seriously in the market for a job you should be writing a blog post every day."