Podcast 305: What does it mean to be a “senior” software engineer
A chat with Jocelyn Harper about the journey from office manager at a construction company to java programmer at a major tech firm.
This week we chat with Jocelyn Harper, a senior software engineer at Paypal, about the journey from office manager at a construction company to java programmer at a major tech firm.
Jocelyn hosts the Git Cute podcast, which you can find here.
She’s working on a book about seniority in the software industry, which you can pre-order here.
You can follow her on Twitter at javavvitch.
Our lifeboat badge goes to LMc for explaining how one can: Count the Letter Frequency in a String with Python?the stack overflow podcast
My first time listening – you two are really excellent hosts, I was very impressed.
I was hoping for more meat and potatoes about being a senior software engineer.
Also… “software isn’t hard.” No, please. Software is very hard. Bootcamps sell the idea that anyone can do it. But that’s not the case. Especially if you’ve suffered imposter syndrome you need to remind people – this is hard. It takes insatiable curiosity. You are never done learning. The environment is in a constant state of flux. Software is fun. Software is rewarding. And software, done well, is very very hard.
Truth has been spoken
Jocelyn mentioned tech interviewing (though of course it wasn’t her focus) and I thought of this article I wrote almost 20 years ago: http://www.joemabel.com/brain1.html
I’m largely retired from software now and resuming the “dropped thread” of being a musician. I had a rather different career path than Jocelyn — Sr. developer (or equivalent, e.g. “software architect”), manager (unlike her I liked that), then went independent; also, strictly small-company — but there is a good bit of overlap.
The talk on the topic of the podcast was very less. I think this needs to be improved. She did not talk in detail about the roles and responsibilities of Senior Software Engineer.
topic derailed into construction company and how someone felt coming from bootcamp
If you’re looking for any insights on ‘what it means to be a “senior” software engineer’, skip this podcast. There is very little of value about this topic here. Instead it seems to be more a bit of chit-chat and promotion of Jocelyn’s blog and book but nothing that is said here does a good job of that either. There is little substance about the topic of seniority in our field. Finishing off with a statement about ‘software not being that hard’ really discouraged me to consider her to have any authority on that topic, let alone clicking any related links. Sigh, that’s 30mins I’ll never get back…