The Software Development industry has boomed in the past few years thanks to the emergence of new technologies. More and more people are changing their careers to find work in the fastest growing sector – but many still wonder what Software Developers actually do.
There’s a lot of misconceptions about working as a Software Developer – ranging from sitting alone staring at a computer screen to ball pits and slides around the office. So, we’ve put together a typical day in the life that you can expect in this in-demand role including;
- Being part of a team
- Daily standups
- Working in “Sprints”
- New challenges every day
- Working towards project launches (either internal or for clients)
- Plenty of coffee
- Learning new technologies
Before we dive into more details, we should add two disclaimers: Obviously, the job varies day to day and will depend on whether you’re working for a software company or for an agency. Also, every company has its own culture, quirks and ways of working.
Ways of working
In times gone by, Software Developers sat alone typing out lines of code from 9am – 5pm (often fueled by caffeine).
Nowadays, Developers are an integral part of any tech-enabled business, working in teams of 5-10 to create apps, websites, games, databases – you name it. And caffeine is still essential.
The most common way of working in this sector is ‘Agile’, adopting certain methodologies where requirements (such as the client’s needs for their new website) and solutions (like the tech stack you’ll use to build it) evolve by working as a cross-functional team to create, test and deploy the individual elements of the end product.
Generally you’ll be working in what developers call “sprints”, so rather than working on a big project in a single run, it’s broken down into two-week sprints with smaller, more digestible goals. That allows Developers to test as they go and make sure the individual ‘cogs’ of the ‘machine’ are working before it all comes together.
And because you’ll be working as a team, each of you will choose delegated tasks best suited to your own skills and abilities.
Every morning there is a shorter session to assess progress called a stand up. The clue is in the name – these will typically involve meetings of 10-15 minutes where everyone stands together to discuss what they’ve achieved, what they’re struggling or blocked with (if anything) and what they’re going to be doing that day. It’s a great way to show your peers what you’re up to, learn about other people’s roles you may not work as closely with and acknowledge each other’s work towards a shared goal.
Throughout the day you’ll stay in touch with your team members (and the wider organisation) by using communication tools like Slack, and have sight of projects with project-management tools like Trello or Atlasian.
With those details in mind, this is how your day as a Software Developer might look:
- Your day starts like this – come into the workspace, check emails and arrange short, medium and long-term to-do lists.
- Standup meeting within the team to reflect on yesterday’s work and discuss the day ahead. Then you’ll coordinate your work for the day based on what needs to be achieved in the Sprint and organise collaboration/ pair programming (if any).
- If members of your team are free you might go to a whiteboard together or sit together and then diagram and work out a solution.
- Depending on the process of the company, after you find a solution, you’d usually create a proposal summarising changes proposed, which someone else would review. This person could have ideas or solutions of their own.
- This would probably bring you to lunch time, and the afternoon is often when meetings are held and longer-term projects are discussed.
- The rest of the day might include some more discussions with your team to get through a bug or test out a solution.
- You can discuss what you’re working on, ask for help or offer advice using Slack – and Stack Overflow is a Developer’s best friend if your code breaks or you meet an unknown error whilst you’re working.
Just like any other job, how and when your working day ends will depend on your employer. Usually you’ll finish after the traditional 8 hours, but at “crunch time” for projects, you might be required to stay until you’ve finished a specific task. And on Friday’s you might finish a little earlier than usual to get your weekend started sooner.
All in all, life as a Software Developer changes everyday and working as a team is central to everything you do.
We have a diverse selection of courses that you’ll find interesting including a 1 week iOS Development course, a 3 week introduction to the fundamentals of Front-End and our famous 12 week Master bootcamp.
Our admissions team and our engagement team are always happy to advise you on your best route into tech. Get in touch today and find out more.