This is Why I Didn’t Accept You as a Senior Software Engineer

An Alarming Trend in The Software Industry

David Goudet


Interviews for engineering positions are incredibly complicated and stressful, and I must applaud and appreciate all those who dare to be interviewed to fulfill their career dreams.

I’ve been interviewing engineers for different companies for the last few years, but lately, I’ve been turning down candidates like never before. I’m still using the same questions, nothing changed, the problem is that people have no idea about what it means to be a senior engineer, and these professionals are scarcer than ever.

Programming for 10 years doesn’t make you a senior engineer. It’s not about time.

Here’s my effort to summarize what it means to be a senior in the software development industry.

Popular meme found on the Internet.

What is a Senior Engineer?

I asked ChatGPT for a generic description of what a Senior Software Engineer is and it nailed it:

Senior Engineers have a deep understanding of programming languages, software design principles, and development methodologies.

— ChatGPT before taking away our jobs.

That’s exactly the structure of a classic senior interview:

Development Methodologies

Development methodologies are organizational methods that are meant to make teams effective. These could be boring for us, but it’s expected of you to have expertise in them.

During my years of work I have developed a rejection of non-agile development methodologies, and more than that, I think that Scrum is not agile enough, its exhaustive use ends up helping the ego of the project managers more than the programmers.

Meme found on the Internet.

When I do an interview, I look for that capacity of criticism in developers, knowing Scrum is not enough, but you also have to know its disadvantages and propose solutions to them.

I also want to see if the developer knows other methodologies other than Scrum and Kanban, like…



David Goudet

Senior Software Engineer from Venezuela living in Madrid. I write about science, technology, AI, and lifestyle. Singularity University/US Dept of State alumni.