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How Senior is Senior?

Matt Allen
Jun 24
 - In 

At Lookahead, we have a pretty special view of the software industry. Not only do we see the difference in salary bands across some of the best companies in Australia, we also have a real understanding of the all the attributes needed to get you into the different levels at each company, including code quality.

Some guidance that we give daily is around the definition of titles; Tech lead, senior developer, developer, junior developer.

There’s no hard and fast rules for when an individual might move “up a rank”, it’s certainly not only related to the time in the industry. Maybe the best way I could describe it is with a picture:

As you can see here, Company 1 and Company 2 are fairly close together. A senior developer at Company 2 could be a senior developer at Company 1, but if they were to move to Company 3, they’d most likely be a straight up developer.

How do you make sure that if you’re a senior in one place that it translates into a senior as you change roles? Focus on the universal truths, the things that everybody expects a senior to know: Things like your leadership skills, your ability to articulate a problem and handle stakeholders with decorum and grace. An awareness of how your experience with different sized teams and codebases fits into the market will also be useful.

If you’re thinking of moving across roles, and maybe up a rung, we’d love to help you see the industry from our view, drop us a line.

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