Thoughts on Junior Dev jobs

Thoughts on Junior Dev jobs

CoryRunn

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So I recently just started learning and taking online courses for front end development, but I’m always researching future steps. My question to you all is, do you think the Junior Dev title is something I should be looking for (after I have acquired the basic knowledge one needs) or is the Junior Dev title a excuse for companies to under pay? Appreciate any thoughts and comments on the subject.

 

Adam

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Co-ords in profile put you just outside Chicago, USA? 😄 Helpful to know rough location on career questions.

From my limited European experience I don’t think Junior Developer is an excuse to underpay but instead a response to the urgent need for many companies to employ developers who they are willing to train (due to a shortage of experienced ones). Often requirements are low and opportunities a plenty so it is a great foot-up for many.

Having said that, no doubt there are companies out there with ridiculous expectations looking for some value labour.

I would expect to start at junior if I didn’t have any ‘real-world’ experience regardless of qualification or perceived knowledge.

Fortunately it is a relatively high (over?) paid industry as it is so even at ‘junior’ you can command a fairly good salary from the right company.

With quality skills I would expect to drop the junior within a year or two.

Take with a grain of salt though, hopefully someone with a more US-centric experience can chime in with their experiences! 😄

 

Mike Rees

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It really depends on the company. My first year after uni I was working as a junior developer for £16,000 a year, which was... well it was enough to enjoy life on at the time but you can't make any serious savings with. But I learned a hell of a lot more than the previous 4 years at uni (excluding the year I spent with that particular company as part of my degree 😅) so I kinda just accepted it as an extra year or two of education that didn't cost me anything. From what I hear these days the market is oversaturated with applications for junior developers - as opposed to people skilled enough to fill those roles, which are still desperately lacking; so if you struggle to find work long enough it might be worth taking a low salary to get a year's experience, or just the fact that you're currently working on your CV, so you can look for better paying work elsewhere. It is really easy to bump up your salary quickly as a dev, even if it means hopping companies, so it can be worthwhile to be "exploited" just for the experience. At which point, I guess the question of whether you're underpaid depends on how much you value said experience.

At the end of the day though that really depends on what you consider low pay to be. Looking at US salaries from the UK, their base salary seems to be higher even than my current salary.

 

Adam

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At the end of the day though that really depends on what you consider low pay to be. Looking at US salaries from the UK, their base salary seems to be higher even than my current salary.
There was a trend on tech Twitter recently with people (mostly US) sharing their salaries. A common sentiment among Brits/Europeans was... what?! 😅

It really is impossible to compare on that front. Expectations, cost of living, taxes etc just vary so wildly. Juniors with no experience, nor in major cities, were starting on salaries that a senior or manager wouldn’t get here.

It is clear why there is such a demand for bootcamps etc. but it makes sense that you say junior is going to be super competitive. It is the step-up that is in shortage.

I think real side projects and a quality personal site are going to be the best way to stand out. It is definitely 100% achievable even as you work your other job! 👍🏻

 

CoryRunn

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I live in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin area. My hope is to someday work remotely from home. So not sure it makes it any easier to pinpoint salaries. I personally wouldn't have a problem with the Junior title, I really want to learn as much as possible, but I also have a family to help provide for. This whole career change at the age of 40 is a bit scary when it comes to finances.

 

LividJay

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I wouldn't necessarily focus on the "junior" piece, but also wouldn't exclude it, either. Depending on the type of development you're doing you could simply look for titles like, .NET Developer, php Developer, Java Developer, etc. Then look at the requirements for the position and how experienced of a person they're looking for.

Developers are in high demand and recruiters are scrambling to find them. More and more companies are allowing remote work, too, so they tend to retain their talent while also driving up salaries. My staff and I work remotely 50%. Most of us live around the Washington DC area. One of my staff told me in order for him to leave the team, someone would have to come up with at least 20% more of his salary. That's how much remote work is worth to him.

 

Gummibeer

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I would agree with @LividJay - don't lock out yourself because of any title. Even if they search for a senior you can send them your CV. Most companies need devs this hard that they take everyone they can get.
And the worst that can happen is that they reject you or tell you to come back in 3years.

 
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Honestly, junior dev positions seem to be quite saturated these days.

If aim for applying for jobs in the "mid" tier, because you're going to learn most of what you need on the job.

 
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