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Titles / what's in a name?

Svend Rost
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 23, 2002
Posts: 904
In another post, someone asks if (s)he can become a "lead" after having 5 years experience within his/her field of work (J2EE for instance).

I assume, that Senior comes before Lead and Junior before Lead. Are we superior developers with 5 years of experience? I think not..

Another example: A friend of mine was hired as a "Senior Programmer" when he graduated as M.Sc (CS) from university. Giving a title like that to an unexpirienced employee devaluates the idea of titles.. in other domains than the software industy your still considered a "junior" when you have 2 years of expirience.

What do you think?

/Svend Rost
Arjun Shastry
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 1893
I agree but if somebody becomes Chief Information Officer by 40 then why not Senior programmer or lead arhictect by 30? I think these titles in IT industry are misleading and do not give exactly picture.Senior building architect can not less than age 40 anywhere in the world I believe.Thats not the case in IT industry.

Mark Herschberg

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I think titles are pretty meaningless, which is why I focus more on accomplishments and responsibilities when hiring someone.

On Wall St you become a VP after approximately 5 years, at media companies VP's tend to have 10-20 years of experience, at a large Fortune 500 I know of a VP tends to have 20+ years. That's an extreme example, but I've seen architects and CTO's with similar wide ranges in experience, and other ranges for "senior" technical roles.

Pat Farrell

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4659

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
I think titles are pretty meaningless, which is why I focus more on accomplishments and responsibilities when hiring someone.

On Wall St you become a VP after approximately 5 years,

At banks, anyone who is above a teller is a VP.

Titles are meaningless (in general). But they are cheap, so use them instead of paying more.

The old AT&T had eight different levels of VP, all strictly controlled. There was a big difference between an "Assistant VP" and a "Area VP" that was crystal clear to all AT&T folks, and completely opaque to everyone else in the planet.
Kalyan Anand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2007
Posts: 194
As the whole discussion started based on my earlier post I thought of jumping in. Atleast in Indian software sector the titles are not so much abused. There is a clear demarcation of responsibilities based on the titles in most of the companies. Only consultant is one title whose responsibilities change from company to company. I asked the details about Tech Lead and the responsibility of tech lead is more or less the same in many companies
arulk pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3359
It is possible to become a senior developer in 3 years and a lead in 4-5 years. All depends on your passion, being pro-active (learning things from books, experience, reading articles etc and constantly & pro-actively applying them), nature of your experience (e.g. variety of tasks, whether real 3 year experience or 1 year repeated 3 times) etc. It is not easy but depends on the individual.

Mark you are on the mark. 4 year vs one year repeated 4 times
[ October 23, 2007: Message edited by: arulk pillai ]

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subject: Titles / what's in a name?
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