20 things they don’t tell you about being a Software Developer

On social media being a dev is pegged as amazing but there are some caveats. . .

Published: October 13, 2019
4 Min Read

You see it all the time on social media: Developer earns six figures, travels the world , gets a new top spec MacBook Pro every year and seems to have endless amounts of holiday , flexible working time, dresses how they want and so on and so fourth.

For the majority of Developers that is exactly what it looks like an unlikely fantasy.

Here’s 20 things they don’t tell you about being a Software Developer. (*rather crudely assembled).

Note: This is a mix of Satire & truth :).


Most organisations REALLY enjoy buzzwords but fundamentally do not embrace what they actually mean. — Yeah we do Agile , we get fruit on Continuous Thursdays.


Some companies do offer flexible working , but it is no holiday. You still have deadlines and as with any work true flexibility is impossible you need to attend meetings and be present in discussions.


Your friends think its AMAZING that you can work from home but then also ask why you aren’t having a day off when everything shuts down due to a little snow.


Past decisions of the Devs before you will haunt you like a ghost from Christmas past. — No you can’t do it that better logical way, the entire thing was done this way. — Note that does not mean the past decisions were incorrect, they may well of been the best thing to do at the time, but you will suffer either way. — Being a Dev in a mid-long term product means sometimes you even haunt yourself.


In a lot of jobs if something breaks and then your shift ends you can go home . . . Production level software is the complete opposite you go NOWHERE until the thing is back online.


You will ALWAYS be learning — I guess they do tell you this but you never anticipate just how much you need to keep learning, if learning isn’t something you enjoy it may not be as fun a job as you would of hoped.


You WILL become the go to tech guy for every family member & close friend within the reach of an internet connection . . . — This means phone, router, tablet, PC, smartwatch, cable connections, printers YOU NAME IT they expect you to know how to fix it.


For every 9 nice devs there is 1 absolute Matrix level douche who will constantly try to tell you how what you did was not as good as what they did but when challenged will not be able to explain why what they did is better. — Side note: Good devs work together and highlight better ways to do things , they discuss, evaluate and improve which is a far better way to behave than critique, degrade, ignore. — Double side-note: These devs are extremely prevalent on Stack Overflow.


The lines of Frontend & Backend are beginning to blur. . backend devs used to laugh at front end devs but now an expectation is emerging that you have to know a little or more of both and honestly both can be extremely complex. — Specialise in one but do a little of both?


10x engineers do not exist. — Unless you’re Dan Abramov, Sorry Dan!


There are so many frameworks around that recruiters do not notice if you list a Pokemon name amongst your experience (tried and tested) — Are you proficient in NidoranJS?


Some Devs hate any language except the single one they have worked on, question them and you will be told all the good points and none of the bad. — Good devs do not do this and openly accept that different languages solve different problems.


We are going to be replaced by AI REALLY SOON — No we are not going to be replaced by AI REALLY SOON. . . Potentially in the future yes but there is so much existing software that I would not anticipate the automation of all Software Development for at the very very very least 10/15+ years.


The phrase ‘That’s a simple change’ will bite you on the ass multiple times over your career. — Simple change is it . . . Code base: Hold my beer theres a dev I MUST punish.


Gremlins are real , even in code. — Not even kidding.


The phrase ‘Well it works on my machine’ will be uttered at least once in every office , in every role you ever have.


Working for works-sake which can also be known as the ‘bums on seats’ mentality still exists even in technical roles. — In tech a simple problem can be made complicated and a complicated problem made more complicated. Do not get trapped by the people who wish to live via death by work. They will kill your productivity. This is also known as death by research. — Our field is extremely complicated and is always changing its so easy to get caught up in this one in personal projects & in a role.


There will be the odd piece of code you get attached to. — This is an odd one sometimes you spend so long building something that you feel extremely personally vested in the code, all good things come to an end and that includes the cool feature you built!


Process IS your best-friend, even though it may not seem like it. — Many devs moan about process but if understood and used correctly it can be your best friend! Example: ticket doesnt have enough detail ? FIRE IT BACK.


Recruiters will (at times) drive you insane, if you live in a tech jobs focused area. — Example: Hey name I see you do JavaScript I know of a great Machine code role that pays xxx . — This is not their fault some recruitment roles are effectively sales role they get ridden HARD, make friends with them even if they made a mistake, build a relationship with them , it will prove beneficial over a period of years if you do.


I hope you enjoyed the list, they are largely ramblings with a sprinkling of humour and some truth. Feel free to follow me here and give me a clap if you enjoyed the article. Subscribe for more on : Tech, Coding, StartUps & other random musings. For more on Point: 19 see:

Ticket Driven Development: Why Devs & Product Owners should work together to improve ticket specs

© 2021  Jordan Joe Cooper