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Senior Developers & S.O.L.I.D. Principals

The S.O.L.I.D. principals didn’t exist when I was learning to program and by the time I had heard of them I had been working at a senior level for years. Once I heard about them I had a quick look, thought they were all pretty obvious and paid no more attention.

Let me clarify that. The principals that make up S.O.L.I.D. are pretty basic stuff. Junior developers will get them wrong all the time. Mid-level developers will mostly get them right but will still make mistakes. By the time a developer starts to transition into a senior role they should always be applying these sorts of basic principals correctly and mostly automatically. A developer who has been working at the senior level for a few years should never even need to think about such things consciously.

Just like people don’t consciously think about how to walk/run, how to use punctuation when writing or how to park their car after they have been doing any of those for a few years. Experienced authors and drivers don’t think about any of the basics of doing those tasks. Which is why people can commute from home to work and not even be able to remember the drive. For this same reason the S.O.L.I.D. principals should be being applied at a subconscious level by senior developers.

Which just recently has become a pain for me. Now that S.O.L.I.D. is all the rage every interviewer seems compelled to drill developers on all of the details. Try to remember all of the low-level spelling and grammar rules you use when writing. If you’ve been out of school for at least a few years I bet you can’t remember most, if any, of them. You don’t need to anymore, just like I haven’t needed to think on such a basic level for years when programming. Those basic principals are automatic and forcing them back into the conscious level isn’t a benefit and doesn’t improve anything.

Interviews just a couple/few years ago weren’t asking such basic questions during senior level interviews. These types of basic interviewing questions are not going to land good senior developers. Someone who is book smart or spent time cramming before the interview could answer those even if they weren’t a developer. But the more in depth questions that can’t be crammed for and require real (senior level) experience not just book learning aren’t getting asked as often (or at all) during senior level interviews now.

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