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19g6yl31puqsjΒ inΒ Β 
Software EngineerΒ 15 days ago

What level am I?

Recently was let go (along with over half the engineering team) after 6+ years working at a startup that never achieved fruition. Aside from being frustrated at the business leaders for never finding the right footing in the market and breaking up a really solid engineering team, I'm frustrated because I successfully transitioned from being hired in a less technical role, moving and succeeding in a Quality Assurance role, and then into a full-stack software engineering role for 2 years, going from very junior dev to prototyping and developing larger features, all for a suite of complex interconnected healthcare products, and because of this path, I'm having some trouble understanding where I fit in other organizations as a software engineer.


I have applied for a few senior dev roles through recruiters and have received two rejections from engineering teams, one stating that the other candidates have more experience on their resume (very fair) and the other saying that my ".NET MVC experience does not lend itself to .NET Webforms" which I am taking with a grain of salt. Some of the other devs at my previous company gave me tips that I skip junior dev positions and look for senior dev positions. Others say senior dev is different depending on the size of the firm, and I should look for mid-level positions, but I don't want to be pigeon-holed into something too junior (are junior and mid-level synonymous?) The other thing is all recruiters I've interacted with have offered only senior dev positions, and I'm not sure if that's due to the market or what they see in my 6+ years of SDLC experience.


I know my path is not traditional, but I'm sure I'm not alone in not knowing how to judge my skills and abilities. Is there a way to judge what level you are at based on certain metrics? What type of product(s), industry, organization size, engineering team size/breakdown, code for hire vs. client-side, etc etc.? Or is this too subjective to boil down. Looking for advice or resources that will help me narrow down the pool of opportunities.

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bringeeRecruiterΒ 15 days ago
It is all pretty subjective to breakdown because different companies value different skillsets and some senior skills at company A might not be as important at company B, where they consider it mid-level. A few points that may help: - Junior and Mid-Level aren't really synonymous. The typical layering is 3 levels: Junior, Mid-Level, and Senior. So Amazon L4, L5, L6 would be that equivalent. - As a real general rule of thumb (emphasis on general): 0-2 Years of Experience is what most recruiters would expect for a 'Junior level.' 2-8 YOE would be mid-level, and 8+ would be senior. - You may hear that some larger companies with a lot of roles open may opt to down-level you in the case you don't fit into the upper category. This is a lot less common nowadays because companies don't have as many roles open, so a lot of them might only have Senior roles open and they can't down-level you to a mid-level role even if they wanted to. - IMO, I would likely expect your experience level (based on the limited details) to land right around mid-level for larger companies. You might be able to swing Senior level for smaller companies, but I think that might be a stretch. In any case, if you're worried about being pigeon-holed into something too junior, I would definitely take a close look at the job description and talk to recruiters/hiring managers about the scope/breadth of the role. If it's too small, you'll know it's too junior for you
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19g6yl31puqsjSoftware EngineerΒ 13 days ago
Thank you! This is very helpful. It looks like I'm getting more interviews looking at more mid-level positions now, so I think I've hit my groove in what to look for.

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