Traditionally in the tech industry developers are divided into four gradations based on their qualification levels: Junior, Middle, Senior, and Team Lead. Or five, if you include coding Interns as the lowest-ranked “soldiers” of the software development industry. In the previous article, we already covered what it’s like to be a Junior developer. So let’s just start where we left off last time and go through the next stage in the programmer’s career gradation, which is Mid-Level Developer.
Who is a Mid-level Developer?Mid-level Developer is a relatively experienced programmer who has already spent at least 2-4 years in this profession. These years should have turned an inexperienced and uncertain fresh coder into a strong fully-functional programmer able to write his own code and come up with solutions without the need to ask for help from senior team members. Mid-level dev typically is a central unit in pretty much any software development “army,” as mid-level coders are the ones who do the main part of programming work on pretty much any project. Unlike less experienced Junior developers, Mid-level coders do not need much help or supervision, are able to do everything autonomously, and, having a clear understanding of the code and technologies used in the project, have more responsibilities. For example, if Junior’s main focus is on writing code that would work, plain and simple, Mid-level coder also needs to think about things like making sure the code is clearly understandable and written in line with quality standards and project requirements. Typically, the majority of the code base of pretty much any software is written by Mid-level programmers. Of course, as always when talking about professions and specializations in the tech industry, it is worth mentioning that Mid-level coders (just like Juniors or Senior devs) can have quite a different experience and responsibility depending on the company they are working in. “From the outside perspective, 3–5 years of experience makes you a mid-level. From within an organization, you are at the point of being trusted with coding but little to no client interaction and ownership of small to medium-sized projects. I have seen cases where Senior-level developers would prefer to stay at Mid-level because you’re basically coding without need to deal with project managers and clients,” says Lewis Nakao, an experienced software developer and coding career consultant.
What are the responsibilities of a Mid-level Developer?Now let’s talk in more detail about some of the most typical and common responsibilities of a Mid-level Developer.
- Writing and maintaining the code.
- Analyzing and implementing best coding practices into the project code.
- Analyzing technical requirements of the project and adapting the code in line with them.
- Identifying and developing areas for revisions in current projects.
- Executing and implementing software tests.
- Developing quality assurance procedures for software projects.
- Analyzing the needs of users, as well as designers’, QA testers’, and other software development team members’ needs.
- Developing quality assurance procedures.
- Coordinating the efforts and cooperating with other developers, designers, system and business analysts, etc.
- Documenting every part of the development process for further work and maintenance.
Requirements for a Mid-level DeveloperHere is a list of the most common and typical requirements for a Mid-level Developer that you should meet in order to get this job. Of course, the requirements would vary depending on a company hiring policies, technologies used on the project, and the programming language of the developer. Obviously, we will focus on typical requirements for mid-level Java developers.
- At least two-three years as a Java developer and experience of working on at least several different software projects.
- Full knowledge of how to design, program, implement, and maintain Java applications.
- Knowing how to program high-volume and low-latency systems meant for large scaling.
- Solid knowledge of the frameworks for building web projects (Maven, Gradle), frameworks for enterprise projects (Spring, Hibernate, Spring Boot), tools for unit testing (JUnit, Mockito), etc.
- The ability to contribute in all phases of the development lifecycle.
- The ability to write high-quality, efficient, and easily testable code.
- Being well-familiar with conducting software analysis, testing, and debugging Java code.
- Experienced in managing Java and Java EE application development.
- Able to come up with alternative approaches and implement newer technologies.
- Ability to clearly and concisely communicate with both technical and non-technical customers.
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