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    Devshed Newbie (0 - 499 posts)

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    What does it mean to be a junior developer?


    Almost a year ago I was moved out of our tech support department into the development department. Because I had no experience with ColdFusion they started me in a junior developer role. Because I knew the position would be valuable as a way to learn a lot, I didn't mind this and I was going to make more money than I had been.

    During this period of about 10 months I've been asked to administer linux servers, windows servers, help migrate new customers out of quickbooks from a company we absorbed into a SQL server database, monitor websites that provision daily, monitor the internal and customer facing applications we have and from time to time answer phone calls that happen after hours when something goes down. I fix bugs in CF, answer questions for the tech support department and try to ensure our department is communicating changes effectively.

    It occurs to me that this is not what a junior developer is normally expected to do. I don't mind doing the job, but I don't get paid enough to do it and I don't like being a "junior" anything when I'm doing what a regular developer would do here. Actually in some cases I think I know more than the other developers do who have been here for years. To top it off, I mentioned before that I didn't know any ColdFusion before starting, but now, about 11 months later I could create some basic applications and not so basic sites with it pretty easily.

    This is becoming more of a rant, but now that I'm in the job market again and have seen the reaction to my duty description from the people I've interviewed with, I wanted to get some more feedback here. Has my job been accurate to the "junior" level? At this point I've also hit a wall learning what I can from here. We're about to go to a new system that is much different and will be in PHP instead. I'd much rather be in a company that has a clearer direction it's moving in and continue learning there. Most of what I train on, I'm doing after hours, so even if I said "I'll take less money because I'm learning" it's no longer true.

    Anyways, if anyone has any thoughts about this, I'd love to hear them. Maybe it'll help me steer clear of bad jobs in the future like this one. Or put me in my place if I'm whining.
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    Job titles seem to vary a lot from one company to the next. I've had several titles that didn't fit my actual job duties over the past 25 years. I was once a "Research and Reconciliation Specialist" and I was also a "Database Analyst" that did a lot more than analyzing databases. I finally got a much more accurate and impressive title. Your duties sound like what we'd call a "Applications Support Analyst" or possibly a "Business Systems Consultant" one duty that seems to be pretty much missing from your "Developer" role is ... well, development.

    It does become important of course when updating your resume. The trick is to convince your manager to work with you toward a better job title without seeming like you're rushing out the door looking for another job.

    Good luck.
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    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    If I were you, I would just drop the "Junior" part from my resume. Just write "Software Developer" or something along those lines. In the unlikely event that a company you're interviewing with asks you about it, just explain what you did in your post. Either they'll accept that and it will probably boost their impression of you, or they won't and you probably wouldn't want to work for someone who doesn't accept your just justification anyway, so no loss on your part.

    My job title has relatively little to do with what I actually do too, and I suspect that most IT people would be able to say that. On the flip side, most employers will see that you're a "software developer" and except you to be able to do everything involving computers anyway...
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    I have updated my resume to have no "junior" in front of it and I've made sure I'm clear about all the things I work with under the position so that it's easy to look it over and get an idea of what I do.

    @Oreo - it's true, the only development I've done at this job was at the beginning when they were rolling out a new provisioning software and needed some extra methods put into their classes. Other than that it's whatever little projects I do on my lunch breaks to pass the time. While I don't expect businesses to run on honesty and truth all the time, it's frustrating to be almost lied to, which it seems like they've done with this role and I wish they had known that had they told me all I'd be doing from the start I still would have taken the job because I hate tech support and I really really wanted (and still do) to help my coworkers because a lot of the applications affect them directly.

    At any rate, I'm chalking this up to a lesson learned about working for bigger companies. I'm certainly looking forward to moving on and finding a place that will give me challenging work in a good way, or at least difficult work that I can tackle and master and move upwards with.

    Thanks for the replies!

    Comments on this post

    • aitken325i agrees
    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

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