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What it’s like being a software developer

Gathering dust in the ‘draft posts’ section of my blog for far too long, here’s some observations about who we are and what we do:

  1. Very few people that we don’t already work with understand what it is we do.
  2. We can be a ‘rock star’, an unsung hero or a complete failure from one day to the next. It all depends on how our code performs at crucial moments in time, and who notices.
  3. We quickly learn to be paranoid and plan for when things go wrong.
  4. Amongst us are people that build things that can be: productive, useful, fun, boring, vital, harmful and everything in between.
  5. We wander between two worlds; the virtual where everything could be possible, and the real, where the laws of physics and socio-economics apply.
  6. People expect code to be infallible and humans to be fallible, however it is often forgotten that, presently at least, humans write code. A developer can try to circumvent human error by treating all applications they deal with as crucial, but this is not foolproof. A manager can circumvent this human error by remembering this is the case.
  7. We work in a profession with a perceived level of complexity that makes it very easy to bullshit people… and it’s scary to think it does go on, though I’ve been fortunate enough not to encounter this.
Most importantly though:
8.  We work in a profession where we get to work with great people and interesting new technologies with many challenges awaiting us. We can use our creativity and our skill to produce fantastic pieces of software, which help many people do things; easier, faster, better or that they simply could not do before… and generally, that’s why we do it.


[I hope to be back blogging some proper dev stuff again soon!]

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