Gone are those days when you could be the master of software development by sticking to one programming language and mastering its skills to perfection. Today, developers are literally bombarded with tons of frameworks, libraries, and languages to build the perfect competitive application in the market.
The above-mentioned fact is just one out of many that developers must keep in mind. To be frank, decades ago, since I stepped into the domain of software development, things have taken massive changes. Nowadays, every software developer enthusiast needs to be familiar with certain harsh truths before stepping into the IT domain as their career choice.
Let me list down 10 of the harsh truths in the field of software development.
1.You can’t know it all - If you want to advance your career as a developer, you need to select one subdomain. You can become a web developer and be focused on WordPress, Angular, or React. Or else, you can be a proficient backend developer mastering in NodeJs, Python, Django, etc. The point is, with different technologies available in the market, it is impossible to know and master everything.
2.Lookout for burnout - Developers are often associated with long working hours, mental stress, and too much peer pressure with project deadlines. The truth is, in order to always give our best and be productive, we forget how important it is to relax our minds and bodies. Don’t chase your career goals in one breath. Remember that it's a marathon, not a sprint!
3.Your soft skills are as important as your technical skills - Your career is not going to progress by only coding on your favorite code editor. There will be times you will be responsible for writing technical documentation, slack messages, preparing and delivering client presentations, etc. Develop your soft skills, and it will help you in the long run.
4.You won’t understand everything you are doing, and it's okay - Sometimes, as a developer, you are bound to take help from your fellow colleague or senior developer. However, don’t get all wrapped up in understanding the function he/she just wrote. It is okay not to have full knowledge. Don’t let this discourage you. The truth is, you are not alone. Everyone is on the same page!
5.You will feel like giving up more than once - Even the best of the best developer has been there, done that, and successfully outwitted the situation. The thing is, there will come days when you are going to absolutely hate programming. Relax! It's okay to feel that way. Just embrace the frustration and accept that this is a part of coding life. Giving up is not an option!
6.Don’t just rely on tutorials and courses - It’s nice to learn, but consider tutorials/courses as controlled environments where every code runs. Reality is wayyyyy different! In the real-world scenario, you might wake up only to find that the code that was running yesterday is no longer functional due to dependency errors, cache, missing libraries, improper configurations, and what not!
7.Your background matters - IF you are stepping into the IT industry, you should know that no one cares about your papers. In the tech industry, everyone cares about your skills and what you can bring on to the table.
8.Take it slow, you can’t learn programming within a month - There are a plethora of courses on the internet that promises to teach you how to master coding in a particular language within 30 days. The truth is, you will just be a beginner who knows all the syntax by the end of the first month. In order to be proficient, you need to be familiar with lots of frameworks and libraries associated with that particular language. Not to mention, learning programming means you need to be good at data structures and algorithms.
9.It's not a 9-to-5 job! - Software development is a continuous learning process. If you take it as any typical 9 to 5 job, you will be regretting it later. In the IT field, you need to be constantly updated with all the latest technologies and upcoming libraries, learn them and try to be at least flexible in them. To do all this, you need to devotee some extra hours after your working hours. Trust me, in the long run, it will benefit you a lot!
10.Programming is all about perfection rather than speed - No one cares about how fastly you can type some codes to solve a problem. The truth is people prefer proper coding that doesn’t create any issues down the line rather than getting immediate results right away. Always stick to the DRY(Do not repeat yourself) concept in programming.