A Discussion on Software Developers - Peeking Under The Code
By Bradley Laubscher, December 08, 2021
10 minute read
Employment of software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2020 to 2030 – an exponentially higher rate than the average for most occupations.
The role of a Software Developer (or a DEV as we affectionately call them at times) can be integral towards a company’s successful function, depending on your field, product and business size, of course.
In this article, we’ll go over what a DEV Team can do for a company, what qualities you need to look out for in a decent Software Developer, and the different methodologies you can administer when working with your DEV person or team.
What does a Software Developer "do"?
In a nutshell? They design, develop and create new software as well as refine and maintain the existing software. Software developers distinguish user requirements, produce programs, test and run new software, and make steady improvements from what they find. Working closely with computer programmers, software developers can be a critical requirement in the computer systems, manufacturing, finance, digital transformations, and software publishing industries.
If we go into more depth, we can find that they engage in identifying, designing, installing as well as testing a software system they have built for a company, often from scratch. These systems can range from building internal programmes that can help their businesses become more efficient to constructing designs with the intention to be sold on an open market.
A regular day might include dealing with problems such as glitches in the system, bugs in the code, UI functionality, and various errors resulting in those delightful server crashes we all enjoy. There’s also the matter of ensuring your online security is up to date at all times as a measure of cybersecurity, a field that becomes more relevant by the day.
Our home in-house DEVs over at HANGAR49 deal with all these issues and more, as well as constantly refining and adding new features to the code we use on our software – working with notes and reports from the Customer Sales Team and the higher-ups.
What makes for a good Software Developer?
You should be looking closely for several redeeming (find different word) qualities when you’re in the process of hiring a DEV team or a single DEV. After a coffee catch-up with the HANGAR49 DEV team, we found the following soft skills is a must-have:
- The ability to handle frustration well due to codes constantly breaking, and the patience to ride that frustration out. Software has that annoying tendency to stop working for no apparent reason at all. Someone who lets this difficulty get to them will not fit in well with the day-to-day barrage of problems that systems will inevitably throw their way.
- The ideal Software Developer will be able to look at matters retrospectively. It’s best if they could easily decide, “Should I come back to this later after working on something else for a bit, or does this need to be done NOW?” in essence; time-management and compartmentalization skills.
- Passion for the job. Your standard DEV will be working long hours on a project (ranging from hours to weeks), and if they don’t love it and find excitement in the thrill of the chase to solve this puzzle, they will quickly be facing burn-out.
- Your top-of-the-range Software Developer needs to have the capacity to think for themselves and mindfully break down a situation from it’s massive structuring into the individual core assets that make up a cleanly coded program which runs optimally
- Adaptability is essential; they have to be able to learn on the fly. Because the tech industry is eternally changing its rules and requirements within any company, you could be working with Django and C++ today and suddenly Java tomorrow; significant changes can quickly come about every other day.
- The ability to research effectively any problem they can’t resolve. Problems appear all the time, and being able to find the solutions on their own time by utilizing previous Software Developer’s findings makes is a vital skill.
Which Methodology works best when managing a DEV or a DEV Team?
After another chat with our home-based DEV team, the general consensus was that the following methods were the most preferred by Software Developers when Managers and Team Heads were overseeing their work.
Method 1 – The Notebook System
Provide a structure of tasks through a reminder system that utilizes either a virtual or physical “Noticeboard.”
One of our DEVs at HANGAR49 has an array of sticky notes pasted around his screen to remind him of various tasks and has a ClickUp system in place between him and his Manager. These two systems ensure that nothing slips through the cracks, especially on days that carry a heavy workload and a myriad of tasks. He prefers this system as he finds that meetings are cumbersome and take up precious time that could be better spent working on the latest project at hand.
Method 2 – The Gatekeeper
A typical daily problem for DEVs is getting their work interrupted by other departments with issues or reports on what to improve. While these matters are important, it tends to disrupt the workflow and jolt them out of their headspace, which is problematic when you’re about to solve a massive issue you’ve been working on for hours and suddenly your “Eureka!” moment has passed.
To circumvent this, you could make use of a… “circumventer.“
A Gatekeeper or Head Manager of the DEVs could be the funnel point for all reports, complaints, and questions on when they will fix issues and complete the critical projects. They attend the meetings instead of all the other Software Developers and pass along the relevant information to the necessary people on the appropriate tasks. This method reduces the number of complaints regarding wasted time and workplace interruptions.
Method 3 – The Socialite
Several times a DEV might be confronted with a problem that they can’t solve on their own. After a round of discussions and chats, a lightbulb usually goes off, especially after some insight from their peers in their Department.
Often this doesn’t happen during strictly adhered-to meetings, but lunchtime or a coffee/tea break. It can be important to create a calm and sociable environment where ideas can bounce and flow freely between the Software Developers without fear of being stifled or exposed to rigid interactions. You might not believe that software development is a field for sociable butterflies, but inspiration and breakthroughs come from all sources.
Method 4 – The Lonely Island
The opposite of the method above, you’ll need to take into account that some DEVs are a nation unto their own. The Lonely Island DEV will want to come in, settle into their workstation, go through some tickets, answer some emails, and get on with their day.
Interruptions from various sources, forced small talk, constant meetings – these are punishments worse than death. And you’ll find a few in this department that fall into this category. In these cases, it’s best to find them their own space and ensure you have a GateKeeper in place to help prevent unnecessary distractions that break up their workflow and quality of work.
These are all methods and types of DEVs that can vary wildly. It’s vital to read which types you’ve gathered into your team and organize their workspace and interactions accordingly. We’ve seen how DEVs can be essential to a larger company’s daily running, and what they can do when it comes to crunch time. So hopefully you’re ready to take on the responsibility of having a few of your own (watering, feeding and potty training are not required – usually).
We utilise marketing technology and top-of-the-funnel approaches to connect you with everyone out there who wants what you’re offering. Whether it’s by giving you access to a refined and responsive client base or upgrading your business in the areas it needs help the most to reach its full potential, HANGAR49 promises to be your co-pilot in flying high towards a new and better horizon.