The difference in salary between a junior and senior engineer can be orders of magnitude. Many multiples at least. But what's the difference in mindset that gets you there?
I explored that question on two podcast episodes recently.
Scrimba – Advice from a Senior Silicon Valley Engineer
On The Scrimba Podcast with Alex, we talked about what companies look for in junior engineers, how to get hired and grow fast, and I mentioned the most impressive thing I ever saw from a candidate.
- Introduction (0:00)
- What employers look for in Juniors (02:32)
- What projects will impress employers? (05:01)
- The difference between front-end engineer and front-end developer (07:28)
- An introduction to JSON bureaucracy (10:57)
- How to measure your own ability and skill (14:39)
- How Google hire Juniors (20:50)
- What Swizec learned from Richard Hamming (23:11)
- Swizec's career vision (25:37)
- An introduction to the Senior Mindset (28:07)
- What Juniors can expect from seniors (29:09)
The Google topic is conjecture on my part. Based on what I've seen and heard from folks working in large enterprises. You hire a bunch of juniors, give them all the tools they need to succeed, and see who makes it. Trial by fire.
Google is better than places like McKinsey and law firms, though. Those have an explicit "up or out" policy 😬
Ruined by a Software Engineer
Best part of chatting with Perry is that we met up in person. Feels so much more eventful than yet another zoom call 😇
- Introduction (0:00)
- How Swiz got into coding (2:27)
- What made middle school coding classes so good (6:35)
- Learning how vs why (13:50)
- Dropping out of college for freelancing (21:15)
- How money comes from value, not work (29:17)
- On being a founder (34:05)
- My biggest surprise coming into Silicon Valley (41:26)
- Consulting, contracting, freelancing, and pricing (44:49)"
- Building a team (51:32)
- How your role grows on a team (58:29)
- How you know it's time to move on (1:05:00)
- Why serverless computing is cool (1:08:00)
- How to write a book (1:23:50)
Interesting insight about getting into coding – I didn't realize until well into my 20's that programming words mean things in real life. To me a sort was just some specific thing computers do.
Become a *true* Senior Engineer
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Getting that senior title is easy. Just stick around. Being a true senior takes a new way of thinking. Do you have it?
Leave your email and get the 5 Action Steps to Senior Engineer - a short email course showing you steps you can take right now to become a true senior engineer and go from writing code to being a true collaborative partner that builds products.
5 Action Steps to Senior Engineer
Get a short email series with action steps you can take right now to be true senior engineer. Go from being a pair of hands that write code to a collaborative partner that others rely on.
Here's what a reader had to say:
Hey Swiz, I really enjoyed the series. Quite useful 5-step roadmap, if everybody kept those things in mind we would be in a much better place and our industry would be a more mature and less hype-driven one. Thanks, keep up the great work!
Senior Mindset Book
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Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
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By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️