Congratulations! So is everyone else.
If you’re only hiring the senior developers, who’s growing the junior developers into senior developers?
Hint: your competition.
What if you could get a leg up on your competition?
I continue to hear from companies and startups looking for a connection to a senior developer. I also hear from junior developers looking to snag their first gig. What if those junior developers are the future senior developer you are looking for? What if?!?!
Think about some of the benefits of hiring junior developers that you could be missing out on:
A whole different perspective: Junior developers don't have that jaded viewpoint that those of us who have been slogging through the code for years have. They'll bring new ideas for solving old problems. They'll ask questions that will spark ideas within your senior staff.
Growth opportunities for your existing team: You will create opportunities for senior developers to mentor junior developers. Your team wants to know they have pathways for growth within your organization and mentoring and leadership are two very important aspects to growth.
Deliver functionality to your customer now: Hiring is hard. Hiring senior developers is harder. It's more expensive and it takes longer. Sometimes you have to slow down to go faster. Would you rather wait 6-12 months looking for the most perfect of perfect senior developers and put off building any features during that time? Or might you be better off hiring a junior developer and being able to take that same time to produce half as much? In the end, hiring a junior developer allows you to deliver some functionality to your customer sooner.
A culture of learning and collaboration: Hiring junior developers forces you to collaborate more and to share knowledge. You get to build a culture that includes learning, pairing, effective code reviews, collaboration and knowledge sharing. When you have more knowledge sharing and less silos, you also get to up your bus factor.
A team who looks at the bigger picture: When you hire junior developers, people have to collaborate more (a good thing) which means they are talking more (also a good thing) and that means they get a bigger picture of how their task fits into the whole of the system and the business (a super good thing).
A team who stays: When you give senior developers opportunities for growth through mentorship and leadership, they are more likely to stay. When you hire junior developers and you grow a junior developer into a senior developer they are more likely to stay.
A breath of fresh air to your team: Junior developers know they have work to do to catch up and to keep up. They are motivated. And their motivation and progress will inspire and motivate your existing team.
If you're looking to hire a senior developer or even a junior developer, think back to who gave you your first development opportunity. Were you once junior? Yes. Who mentored you? How did you get to where you are today?