What makes a senior developer a senior developer? Is it tenure? The ability to code inhumanly fast? Is it being able to explain the philosophy of particular design patterns and architectures? What particular tech stacks are they good at? Are they good at sniffing tech trends?

I am called the Head of Android Development in my company (a Fortune 500 company) yet whenever I look at pull requests of my juniors they surprise me from time to time with their talent in the most unexpected of ways.

Titles mean nothing to me at this point now.

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    Time you sit in the same place, thats it, and more money(usually)
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    It hopefully means they get paid more
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    In any field you have people that are good and bad.
    Good senior developers are up to speed faster. They understand better how things work in a company (politics, project management, etc). They make better problem analysis and design decisions based on experience (usually, they are human)
    You and them are not all knowing so yes you should be surprised from time to time. It means you learn more. A good anything always learns more.

    Sometimes senior means old fart stuck in the past and it's ways. Avoid them at all cost! You can get better Juniors
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    It's not how fast senior devs can churn out detail implementations. It's that they know WHAT should be done in the first place, in which order, how long that will take, and that they can direct a team of juniors to do that.

    One special talent is noticing when a junior goes in the wrong direction and get him back on track before he notices it himself, for which he could waste quite some time. Lao-tse says, the solve big problems while they are small - so the wise does nothing, and all gets done.

    Also, talking with junior devs about what they are doing, sort of an interactive rubber duck, which forces them to not just hack away, but actually think it through to the point where they can verbalise it.
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    Senior means "been there, done that, and I can stay calm when shit hits the fan"
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