What Do Software Developers Do? 7 Things to Know

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Are you looking at software development as a career path? The good news is that there is a lot to look forward to if you choose this path. There is a high demand for software developers, so today is the perfect time to start.

If you’re thinking of getting into software development, knowing what developers do is key to figuring out if it’s the right career path for you. Below are seven things that software developers do during their careers.

1. Product and Technology Research

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution in the software world. You aren’t going to know what tools and technology you’ll need in advance for each one of your projects. You’ll need to take your project specifications and figure out which tech stack is the best fit for the job.

Part of this research process also involves talking to stakeholders to figure out what they want. In many cases, your clients won’t have the full picture of what they want. They’ll only have a general idea.

It’s up to you as a developer to ask questions to figure this out. Once you have this information, you can make a better technology plan for your projects.

2. Solve Complex Problems

People not in the software industry commonly think that software developers spend their days writing code. While some of your days are filled with your hands on the keyboard typing, a lot of it is sitting down and thinking.

Much of the development process is coming up with solutions to problems. This means you’ll spend a lot of your time strategizing instead of coding.

It’s only after you come up with your solution that you start coding. In many cases, coding won’t take up that much time during your day.

3. Debug Existing Software

Your job in software development isn’t complete once you launch your software. Even the best developers make mistakes. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever launch software that doesn’t have bugs in it.

You’ll spend a lot of your time as a software developer debugging existing software. This process involves looking at bug reports from your customers and trying to reproduce them on your own. Once you confirm a software bug, you’ll need to walk through your code to find the problem.

Another part of the testing and debugging process is unit testing. This process defines a set of inputs and outputs for your code. These automated tests will run through your different code functions to ensure code changes don’t create bugs in other parts of your software.

4. Collaborate With Teammates

While some developers find positions where they work independently, that’s the exception rather than the rule. If you work on a large software project, there’s a good chance that you’ll work with a team.

You’ll need to learn how to work well together with others to launch successful software. The first step to this is to learn how software is broken down into pieces and how to build a collaborative code base.

Most software companies today use the Git protocol to help with collaborative coding. Git platforms act as storage for your software. You use Git commands to push and pull code to your work computer.

Git also stores version history for every code change. This ability means your team can roll back changes if one of you makes a mistake and submits a severe bug.

5. Write Documentation

There’s only so much information you can keep in your head at once. As your software grows larger, it’s going to become much harder to keep things straight. If you don’t create a process for documenting your software, it will become difficult to add to and maintain your code.

Documentation comes in two forms.

The first form of code documentation is in code. Documentation in code tells you how specific parts of your code work. Over time, you’ll develop complex algorithms and bits of code, so having documentation will help you keep things straight when you come back to those parts.

The other form of documentation you’ll create is user documentation. Software isn’t always easy to learn, so users need manuals to figure things out.

6. Continue Learning

The world of technology changes quickly today. You probably see some new tech come out every few months. The same is true in the software development world.

Being a software developer today means being a constant learner. You’ll need to stay updated with the latest tools and technologies.

You might be able to get away with taking things slow if you work with a specialized shop. However, if you want to stay on the cutting edge at new software companies, you’ll need to know how to work with the latest tech.

7. Manage Projects

Being a software developer is a lot more than sitting down and writing code. This might be what you do when you first start your developer career. However, as time goes on, software developer careers can begin taking on more managerial roles.

You can’t write a large software project without excellent planning. Software engineering project managers ensure that the developer team is organized and knows what tasks they need to accomplish.

Some software developers also become dedicated managers and will decide to become a scrum master. Scrum is a popular type of project management that you can expect to see in many workplaces you visit.

Now You Know What Software Developers Do

Becoming a software developer is an excellent option for people who want to get involved in technology and want a stable career. Now that you know what software developers do, it should be easier for you to figure out if this career path is the right one for you.

If you want to learn more about the world of technology, head back to our blog. You’ll find our latest news that’s worth paying attention to.

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