Java Developer Career Path: More than just Coding

No matter who we are today, we all want to see ourselves in a better position tomorrow. Be it financially or professionally. To reach the caliber to apply for senior Java developer jobs, you need to grow your skills as a developer. Like clearing levels in a game at the amateur level, the growth from a junior developer to a mid-level developer is far less challenging as compared to evolving from a mid-level to a fully-fledged senior Java developer.

It is a matter of going through the development cycle, making a few mistakes as an inexperienced developer, and falling into traps that help to learn how to avoid them the next time. It is easier said than done, and junior developers have a knowledge gap to fill as well. The junior developer’s instincts are to show their skills with fancy and complex codes. There’s nothing wrong with it! Is there? Of course, you won’t find anything wrong until you come across a senior developer with a few years of experience.

Coding isn’t just about communicating with a computer; it’s about communicating with humans and instructing computers.

Not knowing this basic concept, junior developers tend to focus on the computer side of the code at the expense of the human side and as a result, write complex coding that cannot be comprehended by another developer.

The concept for juniors to follow is “KISS” which means keep it simple, stupid. By keeping the coding simple, it will be easy to read and maintainable for another developer to follow up on, otherwise, Martin Fowler’s saying” Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand” will judge you.

When it comes to comparing a mid-level developer with a senior-level developer, there’s a thin invisible line that exists between them. Having said that, by no means do I mean that they both have the same level of skills, but getting to get to that Senior position requires a great deal of hard work. Seniors are generally able to handle complex scenarios.

The gradient from mid-level to senior is steeper than that compared to the junior and mid-level. One, because there’s nothing tangible that could be done to get to that hot seat, and two, it takes time to reach that level.

Many developers who wish to work within their comfort zone stay a mid-level developer throughout their whole career. Unless you are willing to go the extra mile, becoming a senior developer will be just a mirage.

Senior developers have an uncanny ability to cut corners with their years of experience. Sometimes looking at a Senior’s code you might wonder if the rest of the code disappeared when comparing it to that of a junior. Senior developers stick to writing simple, straightforward, and maybe even dumb code since they are great believers of the KISS principle. They approach tasks with a different mindset that involves long-term thinking by keeping it simple and readable to the people who would have to work in the future.

It’s not just the code that they excel at but they too know how to resolve complex or unusual problems. Unlike the junior and mid-level developers, seniors know what questions to ask and how to follow up on those questions when it comes to functionality. If you wish to become a senior developer, there’s more than just coding as a routine. You need to be able to write concise, simple code that can be maintained by or grasped quickly by different developers. This on top of problem-solving and the ability to grasp business requirements related to functionality quickly and implement them using Java.

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