We always think that the life of a Software Developer is very smooth. It is actually not that way. Programming, Testing and Installation is only a part. But when we talk about the challenges faced by software developers, it is a different story.
We now hear the word Software Developer in every household, across the world. Most of us are under the impression that once we get a job as a software developer, we are safe and secured. But in reality, the life of a software developer is not a treat to the eyes or song to the ears, as one looks at it. Hence, through this article, I try to put myself into the shoes of a software developer and share how it feels.
The Excitement and Challenges associated with the Life of a Software Developer
Everybody commits mistakes, and the life of a software developer is nothing different. Even experienced developers can commit mistakes. It all depends on how well you learn from your mistakes and move forward.
A Software Developer begins his life with a lot of hope and excitement, as soon as the offer letter is on hand. The hope of a bright future and benefits attached to it justifies the excitement caused. But once the initial excitement is over, the real test begins, which is not short of challenges. Here’s a look at some of them.
- Getting used to the environment and team: As a fresh Software developer, you are more than likely to face this problem in the beginning. It is a different ball game when you come out from college and have to meet new people and different people. This will take some time.
- Understanding Customers and end user: You will not be immediately exposed to the customer in the beginning, as your team lead takes care of this. But at some point of time, there might be a need for you to explain your role in the project, to your customer. This can be a little bit of a challenge as there could be a difference of opinion, between you and your team mates.
- Coding and Programming: This is where life of a software developer begins. This is where you get an opportunity, to put into practice, all what you have learned in your college. But, the way you think of writing a program, at your work place, can be different from how you learned in college. This is where the challenge lies.
- Testing and Debugging: This is one of the most important activities in the life of a software developer. Testing your own code is always an exciting opportunity. Errors will repeat while testing a code but they are a solution to fix them.
- Keeping up with technology: The life of a software developer is no different than that of a doctor. He has to keep himself updated with the latest changes in technology, as and when it happens.
- Long working hours: When it comes to working as a Software developer, long working hours are common. But, this can become difficult at times and affect the productivity of the developers. This is due to health issues which can arise because of long working hours.
- Handling Data Security Threats: One of the major challenges a software developer faces is ensuring data security. Every application developed is prone to hacking. It can get challenging when he has to deal with securing the application he has developed. This being a persisting problem, there is a lot of pressure on the developers to give a secured solution.
- Managing Delivery Schedules: Every project revolves around two main aspects which are budget and delivery schedules. Providing an estimated time of completion and meeting the deadline is always challenging. This may be due to frequent changes in the customer needs or shortage of manpower at the vendor's end.
- Using another person’s code: In a Software Developer's career, he could come across a situation, where he is likely to work on a developed code. This can be challenging for new developers, if the earlier developer, has left the company. This can lead to a conflicting situation which needs careful attention.
- Multi-Tasking: A Software Developer might also come across a situation where he might have to work on more than one project at a time or his team leader may give him another additional responsibility. Juggling of tasks can prove challenging for the developer.
These Solutions can make life easy for a Software Developer
- Communication: Communication skills are as important in a Software Developer’s life as technical skills. Your team will judge you based on how proactive you are and how you communicate with them. By mingling with your teammates, you can get accustomed to the workplace faster. You learn from other’s experiences. Hence, it is always good to be open and clear while speaking to people. While doing so, you will also come to know, about your customer, who would be using your application. This will give you an opportunity, to understand the customer and his need, in a better way. Communicate with those members of your team who have experience in handling customers.
- Practice with Simple Target: When it comes to difficulties faced, when you write your first code, there is no need to panic or feel defeated. Failures are stepping stones for success. Instead of writing full code, try breaking down the project into simple parts. Distribute your final program into small targets. Completing your first target is an achievement by itself. To get a more confident feel, test your programs, as soon as finish reaching your target. Testing will throw errors. Fixing one error will guide you to fixing the next and so on. There is no harm in requesting for help when you are not able to decide how to go about testing.
- Being Updated With New Technology: It is always a good idea to keep in touch with newer technologies as and when they arise. Customers will also appreciate your work if they get to see something new and different.
- Find Smart Way to Work: It is always good to work smart and not work long to meet your delivery schedules. Hence, it is good to assess the situation and work in a smart way, than putting in too many long hours at work. Try not to get glued down to your work place. It is good to have regulated time off from work and come back with a fresh mind and fresh ideas.
- Detain The Access: Life of a Software developer can get easier if he/she can keep their work stations secure. There is always a chance of stealing data and project code or it misusing it. Hence, it is always good to limit the access of the data to you alone and let no one access it, apart from you, as a developer.
- Involve Deeper Analysis: If there is a situation, where you have to work on a working program, as a developer, take time to understand the code. Analyze what the expected end result is and then start attempting to work on the code.
End of the Day
A Software Developer's life can get exciting, from the moment, he gets to write the first code. It is always good to share your experiences with your colleagues as well as your seniors.
There is a solution to every problem. You need to analyze it with a cool and calm mind. Many people before you would have faced a similar situation. Hence, facing a challenge and arriving at a solution is not impossible.