Before I start, this is my first post in the “post Wikimedia” era, thanks to Wikimedia, it’s been awesome!
Now to the topic, I’m here to convince you that hiring Juniors isn’t just smart, a good thing, but actually needed!
Let’s start with some background or at least context… Berlin, yeah, yeah, Berlin and no it’s not just a Berlin problem, but that’s the problem I see and I try to write what I see 🙂
Berlin is a huge tech hub and especially a huge startup hub… It’s also a multicultural city, a lot of people want to work here for many reasons (I’m not here to talk about why you should move to Berlin, feel free to google that if you care).
A lot of companies in Berlin hire, but the market lacks a whole lot of developers, so a lot of the hiring is happening from abroad…
In Berlin, relocations are very common, most developers I know in the city, were relocated by a job, relocating people is expensive as well, as far as a hiring process, and also assistance to people coming in, apartment finding (or company apartment)… so it feels like, if you are going to relocate people, you should relocate Seniors.. (Which I don’t disagree with).
So, what’s the problem?
The situation when you relocate people is cultural when you are used to hiring from a single pipeline, where employees are relocated, the setup is ready for it, it is cheaper than hiring Juniors and training them… This builds the next generation of developers that will not need to relocate, it is future thinking I mean.
Now, I’m not here to tell you why the problem exists, it’s not just a Berlin problem, it’s an industry problem, a lot of the times, we hire Seniors because we need results now, and that’s not a Berlin thing, but rather a tech scene thing (There’s always something important looming).
Why should we hire Juniors then?
I wrote some bullet points, I feel I don’t need to explain them, as they are self-explanatory
Let’s take this scenario is an example:
You have a team of 5 Senior Devs, 3 Backend, 1 Frontend and 1 Fullstack…
In this environment:
- you have 5 opinions, people that accumulated a lot of experience, an experience they want to share, to teach, to grow as mentors
- you have 5 people highly paid that want to work on the ïmportant things” they sometimes tend to ignore the smaller features or bugs that may happen…
- you have 5 opinionated people, they have their mindset on some paradigms (sometimes – they have their Likes and Dislikes, those are usually not bad, just different from other Seniors and their Likes and Dislikes… which means that you have 5 people with 5 opinions that may not work well together…
- you have 5 people who have seen a lot of things (which is positive for the most cases) but have their blindspots on current trends, I believe that part of creating products, we need to have different perspectives and ideas… I am happy to share stories about my friends trying to figure out Snapchat and not getting it at all!
There are many more examples to share about the all Senior environment, but I can say that from my experience having at least 1 Junior in a team, for example, can be a sponge, someone to listen to your Seniors, to learn to grow, to take smaller tasks and learn, a person to ask the Seniors on why they do what they do…
That Junior will give the other Seniors pathways to grow as mentors, to allocate smaller tasks to them, someone to listen to them (which reduces a stubborn voice sometimes)…
Why not? Why doesn’t it happen?
Hiring Juniors isn’t easy, I mean you’ll need to have a good onboarding process and dedication to grow them as employees, it has a lot of benefits for the long-term, but sometimes in our industry we look short-term, sometimes too much…
My Summary I guess, I don’t know 🙂
I know I started it with a bang, I mean you don’t have to hire Juniors, in my experience though, a mix of Seniors with Mids and Juniors have produced much better results, fostered a better team culture and clarified the Senior role even more… Seniors among Seniors are just Mid developers… If everyone is a Senior then everyone is average.