In software engineering, it’s common to believe that the key to success is to stack your team with seasoned veterans. There has been multiple time where I have joined a business to find that the teams were incredibly unbalanced with a lot of more senior engineers and little to no junior engineers.
After all, the saying goes that experience is invaluable and can drive a project to new heights. However, this perspective risks underestimating the potential value of junior engineers. A balanced team, featuring a mix of both junior and senior engineers, can create a dynamic environment that fosters growth, innovation, and long-term success.
In this post I want to bring to the forefront the hidden power junior software engineers can bring to your team and highlight some of the benefits of building balanced teams.
Fresh Perspectives and Innovation
The first benefit that junior engineers can bring to your team is that they can bring a fresh perspective to a project.
For example, if you have hired junior engineers straight out of college or university they often enter the field with recent education, having been exposed to the latest theories, technologies, and best practices. This makes them a valuable source of new ideas and approaches that can help a team stay current and avoid becoming stagnant.
Alternatively if you hired them directly out of a coding bootcamp, they will bring with them experience from previous jobs, giving them a unique perspective on how to approach problems. Coding bootcamps also prioritise teaching their students common technologies so as long as you are using industry standard tech they might already be familiar with the tools you use.
Finally, junior engineers often come with a natural curiosity and eagerness to learn and apply their knowledge. This enthusiasm can stimulate innovation, encourage problem-solving, and foster a vibrant and energized team culture.
Knowledge Sharing and Continual Learning
Having junior engineers in your teams can also be of benefit to your more experienced engineers.