👶 Hiring a Junior Dev

A highly motivated developer having less than 3 years of professional experience.


Short Term Costs

Low  but  Not Mastered  However it would allow you to test your hypothesis for cheap. And then rebound with a more experienced profile.

Proof of Concept

Medium  It would cost less but you might not be able to experiment the way you want. Chances are that your developer would not dare to tell you “No”. Leading to a Feature Creep. Furthermore you might end up with your developer saying your project is not feasible. Whereas a more experienced profile would have found a suitable way to implement your idea.

Long term costs

High  and  Not Mastered Technical Debt shall not be underestimated. The lack of experience might lead you to take a longer / riskier / more expensive path. Some projects don’t survive it.


High  The reality no one dares to say is : Any intern developer can code a simple/medium application. Really ! However few developers can deliver a solution that is solving more problems than it creates at the end of the month. And even less developers can create a product that you won’t have to rewrite from scratch 2 years later.

Future proof

Weak  Chances are that it won’t scale if you have a lot of users. Very few senior developers will accept to take the responsibility on a project built by a junior. You might be forced to rewrite the application from scratch to continue your adventure.

Ability to pivot

Weak Technical Debt and customer’s pressure might prevent you to rewrite some features. Chances are that your developer would not even write Anti-Regression. Hence you would not be allowing your team to experiment in a less risky way.

Reassuring for investors

Weak  Too risky for them. They usually bet on the team more than on your project’s MRR.

Ease To Find


Key Advantages

ℹ️ If your project is estimated less than $20 000 by a North American or West European agency

A highly motivated junior might do the job. You might not have the need for an experimented CTO. You can still ask for advice punctually to an experimented Fractional CTO if you want to be reassured.

ℹ️ Some juniors if they were lucky were trained using the cutting edge technologies.

ℹ️ Junior developers provided you manage to build a high quality environment (and avoid toxic management) tend to have a better retention rate.

They should be seen as an investment.


⚠️ Having a developer full-time for a small project might lead them to over-engineer things.

Some don’t like boring technologies. Juniors will tend to use buzzword technologies without trying to understand if these technologies would be relevant or too risky for your project’s sustainability. Buzzword technologies require some experience to take full advantage of them. Otherwise you might end up with an unmaintainable product. Some projects die too early because of this.

⚠️ You might prefer to not give them the CTO title (and neither the Lead title).

Since if all is going the right way you will then have to hire a real CTO. You don’t want to kill their motivation and have them leaving your boat before the experimented CTO really took on the lead on the project.

⚠️ Hiring a junior might be risky for your business.

You don’t want to be in a position where you found your Product/Market Fit and got traction. But you are unable to scale. Leading your competitors (who have a good foundation) to be able to steal your market shares surfing on your own marketing expenses.

⚠️ If your junior developer is negotiating a very low working hours schedule.

Chances are that they are already building their own project and they just needs some extra money to expand their own runway.

Red Flags

🚩 Red flag if your junior developer is over-confident on their abilities.

This would clearly mean that they didn’t fail YET. Meaning they lack of experience. Every CTO failed at least one time in their career. Therefore they know there are a lot of uncertainties.

🚩 Red flag if your junior developer is negotiating their salary.

Chances are that they are already connected to head hunters and they will leave your ship at the 1st opportunity.