Michael Jude Larocca

Darin Doria: What senior front-end engineer's look for in junior developers and interns

Published on August 02, 2021

Interviewing for your first web developer position? In this week's article, Darin Doria gives us the "inside scoop" on what senior front-end engineers are looking for in junior developers and interns!

Darin Doria


In this Scrimba Podcast, host Alex Booker brings in a senior developer to chat about what companies look for in prospective interns and junior developers.

This episode provides us with an "inside perspective," which will give us a competitive advantage when applying for jobs!

About Darin Doria

Darin Doria started his career as an intern and is now a senior front-end engineer based in Orlando that is currently writing code at Wistia.

He earned a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science at the University of Central Florida and is also a part-time YouTuber.

What's expected from an intern

When an employer is hiring an intern, there is an expectation that there's more mentorship involved.


  • Have less knowledge
  • Have less experience
  • Will know core principles

Darin tells us that interns need a lot of support and resources from one or multiple team members to help "bring them up to speed."

What's expected from a junior developer

When an employer is hiring a junior developer, there is an expectation that they will be capable of contributing to projects earlier on.

Junior developers

  • More pair programming
  • Receive distant coaching
  • Require less help

There is still an expectation that team members will have to mentor junior developers, but it will be to a "much less of a degree" than mentoring interns.

What position is right for you?

For students, an internship provides a flexible schedule and an opportunity to see what awaits them in joining the workforce.

Darin informs us that internships are not just for students.

Taking a job as an intern can provide a great learning experience for you. In addition, you can add the intern work experience to your resume.

For Bootcamp graduates and self-taught developers, a junior developer position may be better suited for them.

Darin tells us that Bootcamp graduates and self-taught developers will most likely be looking for full-time work, as they may be career changers and have financial responsibilities.

Darin got his start in tech as an intern, and he created this YouTube video sharing his experience.

What will give you a competitive advantage

Sought after qualities

  • Eagerness to learn
  • Ability to learn quickly
  • Ability to focus

Darin explains that displaying characteristics that are none tech-related such as showing up to work on time, being focused, knowing when to ask for help, and being good at communication, will separate you from the average developer and help you stand out.

The importance of communication skills

Having excellent communication skills is what really makes a developer stand out.

Communication skill qualities

  • Break down and explain complex topics
  • Patients to help and work with other teammates
  • Knowing when to ask for help

Darin tells us that anyone can pick up technical skills by watching tutorials and reading books.

Communication skills, on the other hand, take effort and time to develop.

Having excellent communication skills will help you to take your career to the next level.

Learn to learn

Darin explains that you will reach a point where you have learned everything you need to complete your daily tech job duties.

In the fast-changing and evolving environment of tech, we must learn how to learn so we can quickly get up to speed with what's current.

Having the skill of being able to learn is a trait of a senior developer.

Transferable experience

How do you attain communication skills?

Any experience that you have in the workforce is transferable into the tech industry.

Communication skill experience

  • Working with other colleagues
  • Learning to be humble and patient
  • Providing service and support to customers

Darin tells us, "In combination with communication skills when you pick up technical skills, you will be unstoppable!"

To learn more about communication skills, check out my article covering Dylan Israel's Scrimba Podcast episode: Communication skill advice from a six-figure Amazon developer 📝

Be sure to listen to the Podcast!

How important is a Computer Science degree?

Darin tells us that the short answer is we do not need a computer science degree to get a job.

He then says that having a computer science degree does not prove that you know more about development than any other software developer.

Darin always leaned toward academics and told us pursuing a computer science degree was a natural course of action for him.

Darin finally reassures us that when we are in the workforce, the developers are not interested in who has a degree and who does not.

Transitioning from junior to senior

At what point does a junior developer turn into a senior developer?

Darin explains that once you pass the two-year mark, you are no longer a junior developer.

Depending on the environment, Darin tells us, some developers will gain experience more quickly. Developers working in a start-up will most likely "wear many hats" and gain experience exponentially as they fulfill the jobs of different posts. Whereas developers that work in a large corporation will be assigned to one task, resulting in a slower growth experience.

In either the start-up or large corporate environment, two years of work experience is a good benchmark to judge when junior developers transition into senior developers.

When it comes to companies listing required years of experience to apply for jobs, Darin also explains that it's not always accurate and that when we meet the skill requirements, we should go ahead and apply.

Senior developers know that interns and juniors will require a lot of attention as they progressively adapt to the job's requirements; this is why having excellent communication skills are such a sought-after trait.

Once the developers are up to speed and can keep up with the team, the ones with excellent communication skills will stand out and ultimately prevail.

My other related "recruitment" articles
📝 Shawn Wang (Swyx): Actionable tactics that will help you to become hireable
📝 LinkedIn Review with Danny Thompson
📝 Create CVs and Resumes that get noticed by tech recruiters
📝 Create a portfolio website that gets noticed by tech recruiters
📝 Interview Tips from a Tech Recruiter
📝 Job Search and Interview Tips with Dylan Israel
📝 Create a LinkedIn profile that gets noticed by tech recruiters

Scrimba Podcast

The Scrimba Podcast

Hosted by: Alex Booker

Be sure to check out other episodes of the Scrimba Podcast!

Hear from inspiring developers about how they found meaningful and fulfilling work that also pays them well. On the #StoriesByScrimba Podcast, you'll hear motivational advice and job-hunting strategies from developers who've been exactly where you are now. We talk to developers about their challenges, learnings, and switching industries in the hopes of inspiring YOU. This Podcast provides the inspiration, tools, and roadmaps to move from where you are to work that matters to you and uniquely fits your strengths and talents.

Darin Doria Links


Having the sought-after qualities of an eagerness to learn, the ability to learn quickly, and the ability to focus, along with having excellent communication skills, is what senior developers look for in candidates.

These skills will separate you from the average developer, help you stand out, and ultimately help you level up your career!

Do you feel more confident now that you have an inside perspective of an experienced senior developer? Please share the article and comment!

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