up one level


On Beginning the Journey of Moving from a Lower-level to a Senior-level Software Development and Support Engineer

I realized today that as a Software Development and Support Engineer, I’m not a Senior-level Software Development and Support Engineer. What’s the bad of this? It was a temporary shot to my ego in order to get past this, and, the fact that I’m not already a Senior Software Development and Support Engineer.

The good? Now I’m able to know that I’m truly not yet a Senior-level Software Development and Support Engineer, I know exactly where I stand at this moment professionally, and therefore it’s easy to know what professional level to aim for next: Senior Software Development and Support Engineer. I’ll set specific incremental goals to get me towards this big goal.

It was hard for me realizing that I’m not already senior. Because this is not something that anyone told me directly like: “Hey you might think you are a senior-level Support Engineer, but you’re not.”

One fallacy that I had embraced up until recently was that since I’ve been doing Software Development and Support Engineer role for 6+ years at this point, was that I wrongly thought that the number of years spent in a role entitle me to a Senior title.

That’s another lesson I learned. I need to pay attention to my title and my role and realize what they both are.

Another very hard part of this is, in hindsight, remembering seeing the smirks on colleagues’ faces whenever I’ve made a junior comment or junior mistake on-the-job.

Now looking back objectively, I see that smirks in times like these should have been professional cues, to prompt me to objectively analyze the situation and figure out what my colleagues were seeing as distasteful or inexperienced of my professional behavior.

Instead, what I had been doing when colleagues have smirked at my speech or actions in a professional setting, is that I had been taking it personally and blocking it out of my mind. I had been just being hurt by it and internalizing the emotional pain, and my reaction had been to deny to myself that I was actually doing/saying anything unprofessional/junior, and falsely tell myself that ‘…if my smirking colleague had really thought that I had done something unprofessional/junior, then they would have told me directly…’

Now what?

Armed with the knowledge that now I’m a Lower-level, I’ll now aim to become a Senior Software Development and Support Engineer, I’ll set specific goals to get me there, and along the way I’ll pay attention to my progress and my performance. And I’ll pay closer to my colleagues’ intonations, take them professionally not personally, and use them as a cue to help me get there.

Edit: This post was previously published at: w̶i̶e̶l̶d̶l̶i̶n̶u̶x̶.̶c̶o̶m̶/2016-07-15-mid-to-senior-engineer.php

[2019 edit: Moved to: https://investorworker.com/2016/... .html.]