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

An Alarming Trend in The Software Industry

David Goudet
5 min readJul 25, 2023

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:



David Goudet

Senior Software Engineer from Venezuela living in Madrid. Top Writer in AI and Technology. Singularity University/US Dept of State alumni.