What Does Exactly a Software Engineers Do?
On youtube, we can see many videos titled, a day in the life of a Software Engineer. Most show a person eating, meeting, typing, and sleeping. So It may be caused several misunderstands about who is a Software Engineer and what are the responsibilities in their mind. You should be aware of what happens. I don’t know why they eat that much. Here I will express some of my experience as a Software Engineer. Even a computer science student’s life is equal to a Software Engineer’s. Not only describing a day, here I am trying to give some broad knowledge about who is a Software Engineer and what that person exactly does.
When I was my undergraduate in IT, There had a subject called ‘Software Engineering.’ There were many theories, such as Software development lifecycles and much more. But here, I will tell you more about my experience than those theories. This discussion will build as a story rather than theories related. Software Engineering is not only just sitting in front of a computer for eight hours. Moreover, they need to dedicate themselves to their personal life, relations, and friends and think about the future of their career paths.
First, you need to realize that most of the experiences you see from software engineers on youtube who share the life of their day are not the whole truth. They’re entertainers. They want you to watch the entire video. So don’t look at these videos and don’t conclude that’s precisely how it is. Because In those videos, you can’t see the mind of those SEs’. They are not just typing without a purpose or not doing any regular task most of the time. They’re deep in thought, trying to figure out the solution to the task at hand and then researching and implementing that solution in code.
The meetings are more important. But it’s not funny at all because of many reasons. That may be where they’re being told that the entire week’s worth of work before is entirely worthless because the client decided to go another route. They don’t want that feature implemented anymore. Also not bad at all times; maybe it is a meeting to evaluate the co-workers or discuss the plans. Here I’m not trying to discourage individuals from becoming software engineers in the future. I’m trying to show you what it’s like to be a software engineer — the good and bad things.
What is your success as a Software Engineer?
“Measuring programming progress by lines of code is like measuring aircraft building progress by weight.” — Bill Gates.
One of the other main points is the purpose of a software engineer working. That may be just taking to the reality of others’ ideas. This is in most cases. When working as an employee of a company, we are working on the employer’s ideas. Somehow this may be a bit boring. You may love that idea, and you may love working on that app. But you can never see that product’s overall growth and where that app will be in five years. Also, I can see the lack of freedom of creativity because the client or employer directs you on what you want to do and how to do it. I am personally not satisfied with that because I prefer to achieve new goals and challenges. Maybe the task for that day is a new challenge. But that would do for money without any personal achievement. The famous quotation is that money is not everything you have to achieve for our life to be satisfactory.
Nevertheless, if we can make our ideas into reality, it will encourage our software engineering life. That’s the potential to be successful in this field rather than just working for a company and getting a little subscription. I will discuss the topic of entrepreneurship more in my next article.
What is an actual day in the life of a software engineer?
You have a stand-up meeting every day, and this is where you get together with your team to talk about what you did on the last day, any roadblocks you’ve faced, and your plan to do next. The schedule will vary from company to company, team to team, and person to person. But the overall structure is typically the same.
It helps to gain confidence when telling everyone what you did last day and you love it. However, there’s a flip side to this coin. If you spent the entire previous day working on a two-hour task and still maybe haven’t even figured it out well. Then you feel bad or maybe get a little bit anxious. You’re stressed out and feel incompetent because you’re the developer being paid to do that particular job and complete that specific task. And you estimated it to be completed in two hours, but you spent six hours doing it the day before. You tried, but you couldn’t complete the task. It is an incredibly stressful feeling. Honestly, I hate when that would happen to me every second. The bad thing is after this kind of situation, you feel you are not a good programmer. That’s the feeling you must avoid because every developer faces this stressful feeling most of the time. So you have to experience that situation and learn from the mistakes. That’s all!!!
Coding is not the priority.
“First, solve the problem. Then, write the code.” — John Johnson.
Typically your team managers do not expect full-time coding from you. It’s enough to do coding around 6 hours out of 8. You have to eat, go to the bathroom for the other two hours, and do other stuff. But actually, the whole 6 hours also not done the coding. Before coding, we have to think of logic to solve the problem or task that we are going to solve. It’s quite a bit more complex, and more brain power is needed to figure out the logic. Then the primary purpose of coding is to convert our sense into machine language. You have to research how to use the technologies in your technological context. You need to be mindful (presence at the moment) and focus on the task and the logic. Here physically do not need to do anything. Mainly it needs the energy of the brain. So mental stability is essential. If someone says this is a straightforward job because of not having to be physically tried, It is not correct 100%.
All the tasks in a day are also not equally challenging. If all is hard, then coding for 6 hours is very difficult. Also, there can have functions that are a little bit easy, and the day is relaxed and nothing too mentally draining. On that kind of days, you can work on your projects or can do freelancing. Or any other side hustle.
The purpose of this discussion is not to bring anyone away from being a software engineer. But instead to show you some of the realities that others are hiding from you. Others can’t see what goes on in the meetings, never see what goes on in their heads when they’re doing this work and how the difficulty of it. Working as a professional Software engineer is more complicated than others’ perspectives. This is my view; it may be the opposite of others. So I would like to hear where you agree or disagree here.
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