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On being "Senior" (galaktor.net)
11 points by galaktor on Apr 24, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 5 comments



Age-related words has been used to describe status in a hierarchy for a very long time. It's an euphemism. "The Council of Elders" sounds much better than "The Council of Rich & Powerful". This tradition is in fact much older than most of our words so it's pointless to argue about its semantics. It's very common in classic Latin.

My argument is that since "senior" has been used as "someone having a high status" for thousands of years, it actually means it.


Like sokoloff pointed out, I think you are missing my point. I'm arguing that precisely because "senior" implies age-related status, I think many people are using it wrongly. And therefor applying time-related measurements where they are actually looking for expertise.

If by "senior" you are referring to somebody who's been in the industry or on a project for a long time, I would agree.

However I do not agree that that person will automatically make a good teacher, team-lead, consultant, mentor simply because he/she has been around for a while.

Unfortunately I see exactly that happening time and again, and blogs discussing how "senior" they are based on how good they know JavaScript. Hence my post.

Sorry if I was not clear enough in the article, I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to improve it so that it makes the point better.


I agree with the rest of your post, I'm just nitpicking here. I wanted to point out that when a professional is described as senior, it has nothing to do with age or how long they've been in the industry, it reflects their status. Assuming a somewhat meritocratic environment, I think "senior" means the same as "expert".


I think galaktor agrees that one should seek/give preference to someone with (relevant) experience, and accord that person "high status". He's merely clarifying that that preference should come from actual, relevant experience/expertise, not from a time-based measure.

Confusing or conflating "senior in age" with "senior in experience" is exactly what his post is about.


I moved from Junior designer to Art Director within a year of leaving college and getting my first job (doubled my income at the same company) I was put in charge of people who were "Senior" and had been with the company for 15 years+. It's true Senior != Expert. Personality is a big part as well Expert + Introvert != Management.




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