Software Engineer Seniority: What are the levels?

May 25, 2022

Tags: IT Staff Augmentation



Much of the activities we do daily are digitized in some way. From purchases, medical consultations, and bank transactions. Even when we go to the gym, our smartwatch digitally shows us our heart rate, heart rate, and calories lost in training, which are then passed to an application to keep track of our performance. All these processes do not happen by magic: behind each functionality, there is a software engineer.


In recent years, the demand for software engineers and developers to create mobile applications, web applications, web pages and many more digital solutions for companies has grown exponentially. And with this demand, doubts have also grown about what is the best profile that a company should choose for its technological project.


It is important to know the level of software engineers before working with them


We explain: among the vast sea of software engineers, there are qualification levels that define their experience and acquired skills. Knowing the level that a software engineer has is very important because that way you will be sure that he will be able to carry out the project that you are going to delegate to him.


“Knowing developer seniority levels will help set more precise expectations for a particular engineer. In addition, this distinction will not only improve internal communication, but will also improve communication between customers and suppliers, making all interaction more effective. By distinguishing these job titles, a client will gain a better understanding of the levels of competition in the IT industry,” they argued in an Altexsoft article.


What is seniority in software developers?


So, when it comes to evaluating the "seniority" or level of expertise of software engineers and developers, it is done under the scale of Junior, Middle and Senior. It's true that many companies rate their employees' abilities based on their seniority—the older they are, the more knowledgeable they are—but that doesn't apply much to software engineers.




In the field of technology, technical knowledge does not depend on the age or seniority of the professional, which is why it is necessary to apply other types of scales such as the one mentioned above, which serve to measure the capabilities of the engineer and what can do in a project.


Seniority levels of a software engineer


Junior software engineer


They are the engineers who are at the base of the scale, those who are learning the tools and the work itself. Junior engineers have a minimum of work experience and are starting their professional career.


Junior-level developers are the type of employees who come and go, seeking more fulfilling and advanced positions as they gain more and more experience. As a result, they are often hired on a contract rather than full-time basis,” they explained in a Kingsland University article.


These are the characteristics of a junior engineer:


  • Little work experience, limits the Digis Corp portal.
  • The tasks he does must always be supervised by a higher level engineer, to verify that the result is correct.
  • The tasks he does are simple and do not have a high impact on the final product.
  • He is focused on the code.
  • Each task leads him to strengthen his skills and acquire new ones.
  • He has the basic knowledge of the technologies that he needs to handle according to his profile.


Junior profiles are the ones who have less responsibility in a project, since their work is focused on deepening their knowledge and learning much more as they progress in work or in a project. In this case, having a good tutoring is essential to grow as a professional.




Middle software engineer


“Junior developers with more than three years of experience can generally leverage their skills to become mid-level specialists. Mid-level developers, sometimes called "the workhorses of the programming world," make the most impact with routine code", detailed in a Altexsoft article.


In the case of middle or "mid" developers, as it is also known, they have already reached a higher level in terms of skills and handling of technological tools, mastering both vertical and horizontal skills.


“Mid-level developers generally have enough experience to complete projects independently, but still need to be under light supervision by senior staff to ensure minimal bugs,” Kingsland University noted.




  • It has the ability to produce quality code bases.
  • It's clever.
  • He is fit to tutor rookies and teach them according to the experience he has had.
  • He can do routine tasks without supervision.
  • "He is able to see the results of the problems that occur and learn to avoid them in the future," they explained at Digis Corp.


The important thing in the case of middle software engineers is that they should not be trusted, since they can get carried away by their ingenuity and security when making a new functionality, without going back to verify that the whole process has gone well.


Middle developers are expected to have a more advanced understanding of IDEs and a deeper understanding of APIs, as well as greater skill in creating frameworks and writing shorter lines of code. In addition, they are expected to have a more fluent understanding of programming languages, with experience also in more languages than when they were junior level.




Senior software engineers


The senior profiles are the ones with the greatest responsibility in the development of a project, since they have in-depth knowledge and experience in the industry. They have been working on software development for several years, so they become mentors to junior and mid developers and oversee all the work.


Among the responsibilities of a senior software developer are the development of high-quality software design and architecture, as well as code review and debugging, the Workable portal explained in this regard.


Other responsibilities are:


  • Development of tools and applications with clean and efficient code.
  • Prioritization and execution of tasks throughout the software development life cycle.
  • Automation of tasks through appropriate tools and scripts.
  • Validation and verification tests.
  • Systems monitoring.
  • Documentation of the development phases.
  • Verify that the software is updated with the latest technologies.


This is an essential profile, especially in the most complex projects, since senior engineers are able to foresee problems and provide solutions before they happen.


But they must not only these technical skills but also soft skills such as excellent communication skills, team leading skills and also excellent business domain, knowing that every technical decision will impact the business in some way. A senior engineer not only focuses on the specific task at hand, but is able to take a long-term view of the entire project and the tasks as a whole.




Type of seniority that exist within Rootstack


Rootstack is made up of a diverse team of software professionals and engineers capable of creating any software project you have in mind. We have mid and senior engineers who know how to perfectly interpret customer needs.


Our senior and mid software engineers are creative, innovative and experts in extensive technologies that ensure quality in every project they work on. They are bilingual, have assertive communication skills and quickly adapt to teamwork.


By hiring a mid software engineer at Rootstack, you'll have the support you need to streamline your project development. And with a senior software engineer, you'll have the necessary oversight to keep your project running smoothly.


How to calculate the seniority of Software Engineers?


This is one of the most complex stages, since seniority is not measured in years precisely, but in the skills and experiences that the software engineer has acquired and had since the beginning of his professional career.


Among the most important aspects to take into account to determine if the software engineer is Junior, Mid or Senior, is how long it takes him to develop his projects, how many people he is leading and how much autonomy and responsibility he has within the project.


From this, it will be possible to determine what level the software engineer has. In any case, we present this comparative table that illustrates the responsibilities of each level:




Nearshore Software Development: How to Choose the Best Managed Team


Choosing a managed team for your project is complex, since the success or failure of the platform or product you are going to create depends on it. It is not a decision that you should take lightly or without sufficiently analyzing the technology partner that will provide you with that service.


That is why we share several tips when choosing the best managed team for your company:


Define your project requirements and goals


Be clear about what you want to do and what you want to achieve with the project. In this way you will be able to explain it better to the technological partner, so that they can analyze if they have the right managed equipment for your company.


List with possible candidates


Do not limit yourself to just a couple of options: make a large list with several candidates who offer the service of managed teams. Analyze their experience, the review of past clients, what projects they have worked on previously. All this will help you get an idea of the profile and performance of this company.




Provider skills and tools


Whether your project is simple or technically complex, you should always make sure that the nearshore software development team has the necessary resources, profiles and technologies to carry out your project and create the product you requested.


Company business culture


It is very important that your company knows the work culture of the partner, if they share the same values. This will greatly facilitate the understanding between the external team and the local team. If necessary, propose some meetings to get to know each other better and check if the communication and the working relationship can flow easily.


Do you want to know more about our software engineers and how they can enhance your project? Contact us!


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