DEV Community

Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

Posted on

What are some common falsehoods about working as a software developer?

Discussion (65)

Collapse
aritdeveloper profile image
Arit Amana • Edited

That the increased salary is worth anything you give up or endure ... in my short time as a dev, I've realized that balance and mental health are every bit as important as the paycheck.

Collapse
jpramirez profile image
Juan Pablo Ramirez

Once you have the paycheck :)

Collapse
jrohatiner profile image
Judith

girrrrllll you are spot on!

Collapse
luisgmoreno profile image
Luigui Moreno

You know how to install printers

Collapse
oxleycris profile image
Ox

That you ALWAYS have to be ahead of the curve in terms of latest languages, frameworks, processes, methodologies etc.

Personally I think the blog posting masses, with their "You absolutely must adopt this latest, greatest framework today!"-esque articles that seem to appear through the various technology/software development related channels all the time can add a huge burden to people in an environment where things like mental health and impostor syndrome are often talked about at length already.

It's almost like, at times, we are our worst enemies?

Collapse
pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

"20 Frameworks you need to try in 2020"!!!!!!

Month later

"12 Frameworks you will love"

...

"Best 10 frameworks to jumpstart your career"

I stopped even reading those titles till the end, complete waste of time and content is usually so bad, you could literally read only names, open their websites and get better information within less time than read the post itself. But hey, people click those clickbaity things, they get engagement for years, so this has to be what people want, right?

"Incredible javascript tricks - backend developers hate him" - book by me, coming this year for only $99.97.

Collapse
deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan

I hate such titles as well, even more the actual content which just lists some stuff. Still, gave in and wrote one myself to see how it would perform, it actually performed quite good in views and likes, which was disappointing personally since such posts didn't take much time or effort to write, whereas there are many other posts which I spent quite a lot of time and effort and still didn't do as well as the click baity ones. I guess its still ok to make titles catchy as long as the content inside has quality. Unfortunately we don't live in a fair world.

Collapse
samwatts98 profile image
Sam Watts

I couldn’t agree with this more! I think it’s important for all developers, junior to senior, to not get lost in the sauce of the industries flavour of the week. Have faith in your own skill, and adopt different technologies that have a positive impact in the context of your work, not just because an article online told you to!

Collapse
alexdhaenens profile image
Alex Dhaenens

I do agree to, I think that it is not about what you know, but about what you can learn. Languages and frameworks sprout everyday faster than you can read, but the ability that you can learn a given language or framework in a short period is, as I think, more imporant

Thread Thread
samwatts98 profile image
Sam Watts

Exactly, and having the knowledge to understand and reason why one technology is better suited to the task than another :)

Collapse
practicingdev profile image
Practicing Developer

The most obvious one but still worth mentioning: That the job is to develop software, rather than to help humans solve a meaningful problem in the world.

(Both the business side and the engineering side of a company can be biased towards thinking this way, to everyone's detriment.)

Collapse
cat profile image
Cat

I remember overhearing a joke between interns,

"Just do what the product designer says and no one gets hurt."

lmao

Collapse
jrohatiner profile image
Judith

good joke - the product designers should be "asking" not telling programmers what to do!

Thread Thread
jpramirez profile image
Juan Pablo Ramirez

Since when we programmers know what to do for the customers?
It's a reality we fall in rabbit holes all the time and we forget that at the end it's all about the user and the usage.

Thread Thread
pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

Reality is, 90% of people have no idea what to do for customers, including customers, programmers, founders, project managers.

Only experience can teach that, and very often people dont learn on failures for a long time.

Thread Thread
practicingdev profile image
Practicing Developer

Well, experience certainly helps.

But the speed at which we gain experience is pretty much directly tied to our willingness to listen, learn, and communicate effectively with the people around us, whether that is customers, coworkers, or business leaders.

As developers we have a lot of direct ways of improving our ability to communicate and learn from the people we're working with and for, as well as plenty of opportunities to get support where needed to get better at those things. But developing a human-centric rather than tech-centric mindset is a key starting point for those who want to head down that road.

Collapse
charbelsako profile image
Charbel Sarkis

that probably wasn't a joke.

Thread Thread
cat profile image
Cat

...Yeah, you're right.

Collapse
justgage profile image
Gage • Edited

Edited: my original comments where because I misunderstood the comment I was replying to. Turns out we're both on the same side. 🤦‍♂️

Collapse
practicingdev profile image
Practicing Developer

This is a post about what common falsehoods exist among software developers.

The common misconception is that a tech-centric focus is normal and reasonable for software developers.

I am saying that this is a bad thing, and that software developers should instead see themselves as people who first and foremost are human problem solvers, and that software just happens to be the toolset we use to help others.

Thread Thread
justgage profile image
Gage

Ah yes, so we're on the same side, sorry. The double negative confused me.

Collapse
buphmin profile image
buphmin

That even if you love coding/creating software the job will always be fun. No matter how much you love something, if you are forced to do it to make a living there will be times when you are like "DAMN IT IM DONE!". At least occasionally :P

Collapse
charbelsako profile image
Charbel Sarkis

True, there are times where I felt like that. Maybe because I had a challenging task or because my boss just decided to change the entire design of the godda...

Sorry I got angry.

Collapse
jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard 🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇨🇴

We are a super inclusive tech company and want to have female developers, but we just can't find them. Where are they hiding? it must be a pipeline issue or something unrelated to us.

Collapse
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

Writing fancy code is a good idea.

Collapse
xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

Clever code is almost always harder to understand.

Collapse
adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett

And yet most juniors or atleast I did, started out like Ash Cetchem, wanted to be a Pokémon, I mean developer master and be the best there ever was. How nieve I was. 🤣

Thread Thread
xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

Trying to prove your worth by doing something difficult to understand is an inevitable stage of most developers. It isn't until you tey to figure out somebody else's clever code that you realize that maintainability is so important.

Collapse
deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan

Writing fancy and complex code is easy. Writing simple understandable code is harder

Collapse
steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

You have to be great with maths to be a developer.

Collapse
madza profile image
Madza

try audio programming :)

Collapse
steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Hahaha game AI development :)

Thread Thread
madza profile image
Madza

could work as well 😄😄

Collapse
deepu105 profile image
Deepu K Sasidharan

I guess that depends. If you have to write algorithms, signal processing and so on it would help greatly to be good at Math. If you are doing web apps or generic applications it might not matter much.

Collapse
steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Which is why it's a common falsehood that gives people the perception of it.

To me, if you are inventing or dealing with the deep tech with the bleeding age technology. It's a yes if not it's a hell no.

Then again I'm biased since I had suffered greatly in classes for my university during algorithm classes or anything maths-related modules in school while I was growing up.

Collapse
danondso profile image
Dublin Anondson

You don't need to interact with people. Such a lie. We talk to people constantly, communication is almost as important as writing code.

Collapse
nathanheffley profile image
Nathan Heffley

I would say that in most companies, good communication is more important than writing good code. As long as your code does what it needs to do and is maintenable you've done a great job writing the code.

The key there is writing code that does what it needs to do. You can only figure that out with good communication. Even if you write the cleanest, most beautiful code in the world if it doesn't do what it is supposed to do then it's all for naught.

Collapse
steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Hahaha totally agree with that

Collapse
daniel13rady profile image
Daniel Brady

That job titles matter very much. Roles and responsibilities matter a lot more. The expectations of a "senior software engineer" at one company may have very little in common with the expectations of a role with that same title somewhere else.

I don't know the titles of most of the people I work with on a daily basis, and it doesn't impact our ability to collaborate. Hell, I don't even know the title of my manager. I've only found titles to matter when advertising a rough skill+experience level to other people, or when setting goals with my manager to "rise" within a hierarchically structured employment scheme.

Collapse
jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard 🇫🇷🇩🇪🇬🇧🇪🇸🇨🇴 • Edited

pro-tip: if you really need a job title for marketing purposes, you can create a startup "Uber for flying fish". Fill the paperwork, incorporate in Delaware, there are people that can explain how to do it. No need to find paying customers.

Instantly you can call yourself CTO or whatever else you wish.

Not a new idea, mind you, this is what a lot of people are already doing on LinkedIn

Collapse
codewilliamson profile image
Mark Williamson 🇨🇦

When I attend a conference or other community event, I often give myself a different title depending on what I'm working on that day/week/month 😏

My official corporate title is meaningless to me and everyone else I work with.

Collapse
greghausheer profile image
Greg Hausheer

That spending a lot of time configuring and adjusting your development setup will make you a better / faster programmer. It will, but there's a marginal return. Eventually you just have to write code and not procrastinate.

Collapse
pavelloz profile image
Paweł Kowalski

Nah, ill just reinstall my system, invent new aliases, try out 3 new editors, find a theme, etc. that should keep me busy for a week. Much more fun than doing something with business value. /s

Gotta love this. Real story, i met a guy that started programming under the wing of someone who constantly fiddles with editor, for years. I knew exactly how it will go. Ive been meeting him every couple of months (conferences, eventually working together in the same company) and asking whats up, what he learned, how his stuff is looking.

Every time he had something new. New editor, 10 shell scripts to increase productivity, new laptop with great shortcuts on touchbar.

Needless to say, he was fired from my company because he couldnt deliver anything.

Beware juniors - dont waste time. If it works and doesnt get in a way - stick with it until it does. Then fix what is itchy, and move along. Otherwise your resume will contain more about buzzwords than results. And this is not a good thing.

Collapse
sphrases profile image
sphrases

Sorry, I have to disagree... I cannot write code if I have to look at loading bars that dont resemble nyan cats... ;)

Collapse
jrohatiner profile image
Judith • Edited

That everyone in programming is a genius. Some people are just great abstract thinkers.

that you know every programming language off the top of your head.

that you can fix their phone.

that you're a gamer

Collapse
dvlpr profile image
Travis Werbelow

That you should always be coding. Burnout is a real thing, it sucks, and it can be prevented.

Taking breaks, don't code all weekend, have hobbies outside of code. All good things to help prevent burnout.

Collapse
omrisama profile image
Omri Gabay
Collapse
jmau111 profile image
·ſ

Genius IQ Score

Collapse
maureento8888 profile image
Maureen T'O • Edited

As a full-time student having jumped into the programming world several months ago, I can really say that regardless of where you are in your learning path, we should be helping each other up, not breaking each other down. I can't say how many times I've seen the worst of people on StackOverFlow. Honestly, I think we're all here to learn and further our common goals and our industry- let's do it together. Rudeness has always been a major pet peeve of mine, as I'm sure it is for others!

Imposter syndrome may always stick with me but I'm putting mental health, physical health, social awareness, and self-efficacy first before I boot up my computer each morning.

Collapse
ahferroin7 profile image
Austin S. Hemmelgarn

That you spend all day typing.

Good developers spend most of their day figuring out how best to solve a problem, and then only type as much as they need to.

Collapse
tcgumus profile image
Tuna Çağlar Gümüş

That you should have a solution for every problem.

Collapse
nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐞 𝐝𝐞 𝐖𝐞𝐞𝐫𝐝

That you know everything. It's impossible for us to know everything - that's why we have Google. Don't feel like you're expected to know everything all the time, knowing what to Google is the most important thing.

Collapse
markoshiva profile image
Marko Shiva Pavlovic

Not having enough time for my girlfriend and pursuing other non tech related things. If you want to stay on top in the Software Development you need to give up a lot of time that you can use for other things. Its rewarding anyway.

Collapse
mlimonczenko profile image
Miranda • Edited

Just developer stereotypes, like an assumption that I don't have soft skills and would be happy spending my life coding in a dark basement.

I think it's so interesting how a job title completely changes how you're seen. Going from marketing to development was like whiplash.

Collapse
itscosmas profile image
Cosmas Gikunju

That you must know as many programming languages and frameworks. One year into my professional journey my top key takeaway has been that design patterns and paradigms are the most important thing. All code is the same as long as you know the fundamentals of programming, can read docs and be willing to spend your day 'crying' while searching error messages on Google. I was convinced that language/framework A is the best tool and you can't achieve this on language/framework B. Today I'm open minded about the best tool for the job and also being in a software development agency start up for 6 months, I have been forced to get out of my shell and work with tech I once considered unworthy or languages I thought I'd never work with professionally .

Collapse
nuculabs_dev profile image
Nucu Labs

I always thought that you need to be skilled in order to get a good job, but sometimes you just need to lucky.

Collapse
khrome83 profile image
Zane Milakovic
  1. That I know how to fix my families computers. I mean, I do. But do I really have too?
Collapse
steveblue profile image
Steve Belovarich

It’s all about making more money....

Collapse
kimsean profile image
Kim Sean Pusod

fix a broken computer parts.

Collapse
omrisama profile image
Omri Gabay

That everyone makes an assload of money. Not true.

Collapse
theredspy15 profile image
Hunter Drum

You are suddenly an IT guy who will always be able to fix any Facebook or printer problems

Collapse
dror profile image
Mr. D

that 90% of the startups FAIL

forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2015/01...

Collapse
kumareth profile image
Kumar Abhirup

That we have unhealthy habits, we eat junk, we this, we that...

NotAllCoders

Collapse
the_power_coder profile image
John Dorlus

That you need to work for companies that make you work 60-70 hours a week to make ends meet.

Collapse
cyprian_dev profile image
Cyprian

That the demand for web developers is high.