Hacker Career Advice

What’s in a Title?

That which we call a rose Sr. Developer

By any other word would smell code as sweet 10x

At ad agencies, Art Directors aren’t actually “director” level employees. In banking, practically everyone is a VP, SVP, EVP, or GVP. Sometimes Business Development is a sales job and sometimes it’s about partnerships. And of course, anyone can call themselves a founder.

Objectively speaking, titles aren’t a good indicator of capability or responsibility.

But employers aren’t objective and they will use your past titles to determine if you’ve got enough experience for a job & how much to pay you.

Bottom line → make your title work for you:

1. Ask or negotiate for an accurate title that signals to future employers what you do. “Chief Hacker” sounds cute, but it’s a lot harder to explain in a cover letter than “Lead Software Developer.”

2. As your responsibilities change and you gain experience, you’ll expect and ask for a raise. Expect and ask for an updated title too. In many organizations, compensation is tied to a title. Going from a Level 2 to Level 3 Engineer could open up a whole new salary range for you.

3. Don’t be a slave to your title. Even if you’re Level 4 Software Engineer today at company X, you might be a Level 3 at company Y. Every company sets titles & responsibilities differently.