Melissa McEwen asks Who Killed the Junior Developer? over on Medium. Or as I like to call it, “Why are industries so bad at thinking about the future?” If you don’t want an industry (whether you’re talking about software or automotive or energy or…) to fall afoul of being starved of senior expertise, then you have to think about cultivating new hires, so they can build that expertise. And that means spending time training and mentoring. Will that sometimes be abused by people taking that training and then leaving? Yeah, sometimes. But so what? Where do you think your new mid-range (or senior!) developer learned their trade?
Melissa actually mentions the job hopping, and makes a good point:
I’m not sure what the industry-wide solution is. I’m not sure whether companies that lack junior devs are unbalanced or smart. The reality is that most software developers don’t stay one place very long, so maybe it doesn’t make sense to invest a lot in training someone? Or maybe the industry should ask itself why people keep hopping jobs? Maybe it’s because a lot of them suck, or for a lot of us it’s the only way to advance our salary. I can either wait for a stupid, meaningless yearly “performance review” to bump me up 1% or take my resume and interview elsewhere and get 10% or more.
It’s not just a sign that an individual company is broken, it’s a sign the entire industry is broken.
Yep. If you weren’t on a track for your entire life (going to the “right” schools, then getting the “right” internship), even getting a foot in the door in the software industry feels more like a lottery than a job hunt.