Junior full stack developer: future roles, skills and career path

14/11/2022

5 min read

Aiming to start a new career as a junior full stack developer? Then stick with us because we’re giving you an all-encompassing guide through a developer’s career path.

junior full stack developer sitting at table

The world of IT is full of potential, and a career in software development is both lucrative and future-proof. First, you’ll start as a junior software developer, then meet a wide array of opportunities. But how far can you get from a junior developer position, and what responsibilities await at the top? 

Even on a stereotypical career path, you could take on different roles and responsibilities. Find out what the different software developer roles mean, what skills are most important to which role, and what a typical career path looks like.

Let’s jump right in!

Content

The software developer's work in a nutshell

Starting with the basics, developers are the ones who create the computer programs, applications, and operating systems that we all use in our daily lives.

Mainly, we can differentiate between two types of software developers:

  • Application software developers are responsible for creating products directly for consumers. Their main tasks include understanding consumer needs, developing software solutions, monitoring performance, and modifying programs. They usually develop applications and specialize in one specific programming language.

 

  • System software developers, on the other hand, develop and implement more complex apps and programs for backend processing systems that businesses use. They’re typically employed by financial institutes, telecommunications, or technology companies. They are more involved in medical, industrial, military, aerospace, or other scientific areas.

Software developer responsibilities

The software development process mainly consists of writing the code itself, and developers design and contribute to it.

They usually analyze the customers’ needs first, and then design, create, test, and develop the solution together with their team. Sometimes they build diagrams and models for programmers to understand how to write the code. At other times they write the code themselves.

Their responsibilities also include:

  • testing the software,
  • mapping the software to account for future upgrades and enhancements,
  • and collaborating with other IT specialists to ensure that the product works seamlessly.

A software developer or software engineer?

The difference is quite significant though often used synonymously.

Software engineers apply more engineering principles as they work. They make the connection between customer needs and available technological solutions.

Software developers, on the other hand, are responsible for the entire development process. They are the “creative force” behind the program. They work a lot with customers to create a conceptual design and then work with programmers to find out what the software code should look like.

So a software engineer is often involved in the software development process, but very few software developers are engineers.

The software developer's ultimate skillset

A software developer must be equipped with a solid set of technical knowledge.

Then, they have to have excellent soft skills because they collaborate a lot with others.

Full-stack developers know multiple coding languages and technologies. As a junior software developer, this all-encompassing view of the software development process could open a lot of career opportunities for you.

Key soft skills for software developers

The difference between a good programmer and an excellent one often lies in soft skills. This is also true for junior full stack  developers at the start of their careers (HR and hiring managers are obsessed with soft skills nowadays!)

These are the most important soft skills to focus on if you want to start a career as a developer:

  • Growth mindset

By adopting a growth mindset you start to look at initial mistakes as valuable learning opportunities instead of failures. And this mindset can improve your personal life as well.

  • Time management

Developers have to juggle between projects and tasks all the time, so the ability to multitask, prioritize and effectively manage work time is essential.

  • Assertive communication

It’s vital for a developer to be approachable, open to discussion, and capable to communicate clearly and effectively. There are constant talks about wireframes, budgets, and timelines, and there’s regular reporting. These all require skills like active listening, conflict resolution, and empathy.

  • Feedback (giving and receiving)

Developers have to juggle between projects and tasks all the time, so the ability to multitask, prioritize and effectively manage work time is essential.

  • Presentation skills

There’s no getting around presenting work when you’re a developer. You might just as well present your ideas and solutions to your team or to business customers on a daily basis, and having the skills to get over your ideas clearly and effectively can make or break a career.

The software developer's career path

1. Junior software developer

This is the first position you can snatch after you finish your programming studies. Basic requirements at this point include the ability to write relatively simple code, to understand the development cycle of an application, and to understand how databases and application services work. Juniors aren’t expected to work just on their own, but they need to know when to ask for help from seniors.

2. Software developer

The next step after a junior software developer position is to start working as a full-fledged (medior) software developer. At this point, you should have extensive domain knowledge and could already have gathered some years of experience. You’re able to write complex programs and should have some routine in application and software creation.

3. Senior developer

If you love programming and are not that interested in becoming a manager, you could stay a software developer for a longer period of time, stepping up the ladder and taking a senior position. Seniors normally advise and supervise juniors in teams, make professional decisions about development, and communicate more with stakeholders.

4. Lead Developer, Technical Architect

The position of a lead developer or technical architect is perfect for people who want more responsibility and more challenges but are not interested in managing a team. These are specialized senior developer roles who can coordinate and implement decisions, while still writing code. Lead developers are usually the most senior developers, leading the development process the team is working on. Architects are more concerned with designing and developing complex systems that will be implemented by other developers.

5. Development Team Lead, Software Development Manager

These mid-level management roles are responsible for maintaining workflow and productivity and are directly subordinated to a senior leader or manager. They coordinate the needs of the application or project with those of the development team with good communication and conflict mediation skills.

6. Director, Chief Technology Officer

Senior managers supervise the work of other managers and can be involved in developing and overseeing the implementation of the IT strategy. They have long-term goals and are responsible for the work of entire departments.

Wanna become a software developer?

All you have to do is make the first step toward your new career.

Our Full-Stack Development course might just be the best option. You don’t need any previous experience or knowledge to start. And we’ll help you learn all the skills that you need to succeed.

Our method guarantees you up-to-date, in-demand knowledge, personal guidance from pro mentors, key soft skills, and real experience with agile software development.

Got questions? Reach out via mail or chat! Can’t wait to get to know you.

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