Mid Level

How to get to mid level as a software engineer

Mid level is the typical first step in career progression for software engineers working in a tech company. Getting to mid level signifying transition from a fresh graduate to a real software engineer with real working experience.

Why Mid Level

Why do we have a mid level, instead of directly going from junior to senior? Promotion to senior software engineer typically requires 5 years of experience, or more. That’s a long time. The mid level serves as a “buffer level” to fill that gap in the early career progression.

In smaller companies, you might be able to jump directly from junior to senior role. However, it is likely that you will be down-levelled back to junior or mid level when you apply to bigger tech companies.

Mid Level Expectations

As a mid level software engineer, you should be productive in your work and comfortable in writing code for new features and bugfixes. Here are some common expectations for a mid level software engineer:

Area Expectations
Impact - Produce high-quality production-level code
- Complete development tasks on time
Ownership - Ability to deliver small features end-to-end
Influence - Work independently with minimum supervision or guidance
Ad hoc duties - Troubleshoot bugs found during development and testing
- Assist in investigating production issues

Delivering a feature end-to-end means you need to capable of:

  • Translating business requirements into system design
  • Writing code to develop the feature
  • Fixing bugs discovered during testing
  • Deploying the feature to production

Mid Level Promotion

Mid level promotion usually requires 1 to 2 years of working experience.

Different companies have different approaches for mid level promotions. Some companies might not have a process in place. So it is entirely up to the manager’s decision to promote someone. Other companies might have a more formal structure, with some criteria that you need to fulfill. You might also need to do a presentation.

Regardless of the approach, mid level promotion is usually not difficult to pass. You are are expected to get it after 1 or 2 years as long as you can meet the mid level expectations.


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Next: Senior Software Engineer

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