Michael Kastner
1 min readJul 15, 2021


I've been programming for decades now and I honestly think that these decades I've spent in the industry do not make me a senior developer.

The term senior developer somewhat suggests that you simply need to hang around for a long enough amount of time and eventually you become someone who deserves to manage other people's jobs.

Not even "experience" makes someone a senior developer. Just because someone has "experienced" i.e. lived through certain situations, does not make her or him a better developer.

Permanently causing a car accident does not make a person a better driver. Even though the person might have gained a lot of "experience" over the years.

So it's not "experience" itself which counts, but drawing the right conclusions.

I've seen bright young developers with an open mind whom I've respected as "seniors" just because I still could learn so much from them.

And I've seen stubborn aged developers, who were stuck in their "authority by age" claim. There was simply nothing they could teach me and there was nothing I could possibly gain by being led by them. " 'Nuff said, I'm your senior dev" simply isn't a good enough explanation for a decision.

The term "senior developer" should be replaced by another one. Maybe an expression "lead developer" or "guiding developer" would help shift the focus to what's really relevant: problem solution ability and respectability by skills.