Why Entry Level / Junior Developers are essential in Software Development Organisations?

Some organisations rely solely on well experienced employee to get work done. They are wrong. Here's why.

Why Entry Level / Junior Developers are essential in Software Development Organisations?

Work experience is directly related to productivity. But not for every task. And how does Entry Level Developers acquire experience?

In this article, you will read on:

  1. Experience Level
  2. Why companies prefer targeting Confirmed Devs?
  3. What happens when Senior Devs do everything?
  4. Ideal level of motivation

Experience Level

In this post we assume the following titles to represent experience level but they might vary from one company to another:

  • Entry Level (Apprentice)
  • Junior (-1 - 2)
  • Middle / Confirmed (3 - 4)
  • Senior (5+)

An example from AltexSoft:

Why companies prefer targeting Confirmed Devs?

One of the reasons I am writing this article is because I've seen many companies prefer recruiting developers with at least two years of experience. They claim Entry Level and even Junior Developers don't have enough work experience. With a moderate salary increase, they prefer targeting Confirmed or Mid Level employees.

Plenty of other companies such as Accenture and Sdworx recruit Entry Level Developers though; we cannot therefore make a sweeping generalisation.

Photo by Fernando Hernandez / Unsplash

What happens when Senior Devs do everything?

From my personal experience, to the countless discussions I've had with Senior developers and from the posts I've read during my free time, plenty of Mid and Senior Developers - usually work on implementing or debugging the core features of a system -  including the trivial tasks such as moving an icon to one pixel left.

This presents plenty of issues namely:

  1. lead to burnout as developers can instead relax in their slack time instead of having to consistently produce day in day out
  2. miss other important tasks which might be of higher priority (such as bugs from applications already in production)
  3. the new developers miss the opportunities to learn the system at their own pace and work on these small changes without being overwhelmed (therefore also gather experience) while still getting things done
  4. the biggest reason that can often decrease motivation, albeit temporarily, is how boring is the task (small task).

Ideal level of motivation

I've heard acquaintances leaving a new job within 3 to 4 months as the amount of work is too much for them. This should not be the case for any developer, let alone a new hire.

Photo by Alexandru Acea / Unsplash

On the other side, many Senior developers like myself becomes bored with work because once the biggest features are implemented and delivered in production, we are left to work on the small details that are monotonous - thereby not challenging enough.

As illustrated in the bestselling book Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck, for any person to be motivated, a challenge should be a bit more difficult than he or she already is comfortable with. On the contrary, if the task is too easy or too difficult, the latter quickly loses interest.

Where are new talents?

After working alongside recruitment personnel for the past two years or so, I can state that there is clearly a lack of Web Developer talent in Mauritius compared to ERPs, IT Support, Digital Marketing (with IT background), Java and .NET.

If companies working with Web Technologies such as JavaScript are not going to recruit Entry Level or Junior Devs, they are soon going to have to rely on other professionals converting from one of the above technologies with a higher salary or import from elsewhere as in Madagascar (which is already the case).

Furthermore, in Mauritius, I don't see people converting from one career to another by following a bootcamp - a process popular in other countries of the world. I may guess the reason behind is a lack of bootcamps available with such objective.