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1. What is a day in the life of a software developer of websites and/or application like exactly? 2. What kind of benefits does your job give you? 3. What are three thing that I should know about getting into this career? 4. Do you have any side hobbies that you fund with your career?

I'm looking into becoming a software developer for applications and would love to know more about what this job entails from someone who actually does this every day and may or may not like it. I'm open to all opinions and suggestions! Thank you, in advance, for your time in answering my questions. I really appreciate it! software technology career software-development web-development

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7 answers

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Jason’s Answer

when you are a developer (software or web design) your day varies depending on where you work.

If you work for a large company, you spend most of your day turning other people's ideas into reality or your spending your time trying to figure out why existing code isn't doing what it's supposed to do. It can feel more like a factory job where you just come in and do your work. It can still be work you are proud of and enjoy doing but you tend to just focus on coding. Only you might not even work on the entire code. You might be responsible just for making the pop up box that warns a customer they filled out an order form incorrectly or you might just be responsible for making the product images scroll as the end user clicks 'next'. You'll basically just do what the company needs.

If you work in a smaller company setting, you might have more people time before you can work on code. Because you might have to be the person who listens to the client's ideas and has to determine if you can meet their needs or not. If not, you have to either be able to sell them on a different idea or risk losing the client.

If you work for yourself, you'll end up doing a little bit of everything depending on the day. One day you might have to talk to investors and explain why they should give you money to build the next great phone APP or explain why a company would want 'you' to design their new webpage sales platform instead of your rival company. Then when all the other stuff is done, you'll have to do the coding.

three things to consider:

How much do you like (and how well do you) work with others. make certain you don't feel creatively suffocated.
Do you do well following other people's ideas or do you need to be in charge. I've worked with coders who always had to do it 'their way' and it always caused problems in group projects. If that's you, consider working for yourself.
Are you bored easily? Coding can be really fun and full of unique challenges but at the end of the day, it's coding. over and over and over.

Personally I work for a company to make a stable living and use my free time to pursue my hobbies. I've designed a boardgame, a phone app card game, I volunteered to help a local non profit start up (by building their database for them), and I pretty much do whatever I like because of my job.

Thank you for the response, I really appreciate it. I hope I'm not bothering you with a couple more questions, but please take your time with answering. I'm in no rush :) 1. Would I be able to choose my position, like could I not be in the position of advertising if I wanted to? 2. What school did you go to to recieve your training? Lastly, would you recommend the one you went to or another one? lize T.
to be 100% direct, it does depend on the company your working for. The larger the company the more they will want you to just code. You'll also just be an employee working for a paycheck. smaller companies may reach out to members of the coding team to 'assist' the customer facing meetings at times but they rarely 'force' someone to participate if they don't want to. If you are you are going to make your own company/start up, you might be the only person that can meet with customers and you'll have to 'sell' yourself/company/skills. I know your second question is not one I can answer helpfully. I started out going to school as an Electrical Engineer and found I wanted to change majors a couple of times once I learned more about the job futures I would have. Jason Williams
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Johnathan’s Answer

1. Of course this can vary depending on the software team you are a part of. But generally for a web developer, you can expect to participate in application development with your team, write code, review code, meet with the clients you are developing for, and participate in team meetings to plan and assign project work. The ownership you have over what you get to work on will likely depend on the company size, whether you are developing a new app or enhancing an existing one, your team structure, the clients, and various other factors.

2. Benefits will vary from company to company. If you are talking about benefits in general and not literal company benefits like you see in your offer letter, then benefits of a software job include:
- increased availability of working from home
- competitive salaries
- creatively and intellectually fulfilling career
- lots of career opportunities
- lots of different fields to specialize in: machine learning, web, mobile, data analytics, product management, etc.

3. Things you should know:
- When applying for jobs, don't just work on your programming skills, but work on your interviewing skills. In particular, behavioral questions where you would can give examples of how you acted in common scenarios (dealing with a difficult coworker, a time you stepped up to a challenge, other common questions, etc.)

- Another answer brought up thinking about how well you work with others. There are lots of software jobs where you work more with others and are outside of application development, such as product owner, scrum master, tech consultant, sales engineer, etc.

4. Side hobbies: occasionally I do work on coding projects of my own choice outside of my work. PC building is one expensive but rewarding hobby that I was able to fund with my career.

Hi, thank you so much for the response! I hope I'm not troubling you with a couple more questions, but please take your time with answering. :) I am in no rush. First, what school did you go to to receive your training? Lastly, would you recommend the one you went to or another one? lize T.
Of course! I went to The University of Texas at Austin, which has a great CS program from what I remember (I did my major in Mechanical Engineering, but if I could go back I would have chosen CS). I would definitely recommend this school, but if you're out of state you would of course have to pay out of state tuition which is significantly higher. For finding a school that would prep you for a career in software dev, I would just try to find one that has a decent CS program (CS is the most common major for the software engineer, but you can also do MIS, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, etc...) Johnathan Tran
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Charly’s Answer

1. Like other have said before the day in the life of a software developer is a lot of coding (surprise). For me personally, I am working with a pre-established code base where I need to read and understand code that was written by other people months if not years before I started working. I personally enjoy this aspect as it feels a little like an advanced puzzle, but I can see where it would not appeal to everyone.

2. My job allows me to work from home and it has standard benefits of health insurance, retirement contributions, family leave etc. The highlight that I haven't experienced before is unlimited time off. Having talked to friends in different fields it seems like software engineering has a pretty good set of benefits comparatively speaking.

3. I think the most important thing to know about tech and software development/engineering is that communication is key. Society had this idea that a programmer was some loner who sat in a basement and created code that only they knew how to maintain or work it and that idea is so wrong. To be successful you need to be able to write and speak clearly about the technology you work with. That can mean writing comprehensive read-me's for your documents or explaining a program change to a coworker or literally so many other things. But, this is so vital! And also don't forget you need to be able to absorb complex information about technology from people who use different styles of communication from you (which can be way trickier than you expect). Also I wish I knew that college and the industry are very different experiences. I personally hated college and the culture in my degree, but when I started working in industry all the problems I had with college disappeared.

4. I haven't really explored the world of hobbies yet, as I am just at the beginning of my transition from college to career. However, I have two bunnies that hav become very spoiled with my new income :)
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Dave’s Answer

1. What is a day in the life of a software developer of websites and/or application like exactly?
My week generally starts with a planning session where the team decides what tasks we'll commit to completing this week. From there we chose which tasks we'll work. Sometimes I'll work directly with someone pairing on the code we write. Other times I'll complete the task on my own. I generally have flexibility to take breaks and eat lunch whenever I want.

I'll have 2-3 meetings a day over video conference.

At the end of the period we'll have a demo to show off our work!

2. What kind of benefits does your job give you?
I have paid time off, full medical and dental. Many places will offer bonuses, stock grants, or option grants.

3. What are three thing that I should know about getting into this career?
Really just be a good teammate. Be someone people want to work with and the rest will fall into place. You should be excited to learn new things as this field changes constantly!

4. Do you have any side hobbies that you fund with your career?
I started playing ice hockey a few years ago. It's been a lot of fun!
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john’s Answer

1: It's about 10% meetings with my team and other teams to go over projects and coordinate tasks. 10-50% working with other teammates to build different features and such. The rest of the time is spent solo working on building features.
It's a lot of time thinking and looking for examples of similarly solved problems and applying those ideas to the current problem you're solving.

2: It varies from job to job, but usually pretty good amount of paid vacation time, health insurance, retirement benefits. Often companies will have other perks like mental health services, legal services, etc, all the way down to even meals and such being provided.

3: You'll always be learning, both out of opportunity and out of necessity. It's always a new challenge, but it never gets boring. People skills matter too. The best developers are usually a mix of being good at writing software and at working with other teams and people.

4: I literally chose this career partly due to the ease of funding hobbies. It pays well and is very employable. Personally I love video games, photography, woodworking, and motorcycles.
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David’s Answer

Not sure if your mention of benefits was in reference to things like health insurance and compensation, or if it was more about what are the things are great about a software development job, but I'm going to assume the latter.

I think one of the coolest things about software development is the potential impact of the work you're doing. You could fix a bug that saves the company tens of thousands of dollars. You could add a new feature that improves the experience of millions of users. You could have an idea that literally changes the lives of people that use your software. And if you're lucky enough to talk to your customers it can be an extremely rewarding experience.
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Prabhu’s Answer

Three things you should know about this 'Software Developer' career.
1) It's a more open-ended career than many other careers. So, in terms of researching your career paths, feel free to be as creative as you can!
2) This is an industry where constant learning is not only necessary but is also highly encouraged. Once you join a company, please look out for online universities, online courses and other offline opportunities to learn.
3) New Relic , the company I work for, has great work culture. People truly work here as a team, collaborate with each other to problem-solve and in general have fun while solving those interesting problems. Do look out for companies with great culture!