Don’t Become a Software Developer if You Only Like to Code
If you are starting now or thinking about to start a software development career. Or even if you, like me, are there for many years, you might take a while to realize it.
When I was a teenager, I thought that I was going to be a rockstar. What a naive young boy!
There was a time that I played for three different bands. I thought I was increasing my chances to succeed by doing so. I dreamed playing in front of many people and make a life of it.
But then suddenly I released what is the real job of a professional musician. It was like someone had mailed me the job description years after I started.
When you are in a band, many other responsibilities come to place. You have to practice alone at home and together with your band.
You need to go to studio sessions, record demos and albums for hours in a day, many days in a row. And usually pay for it.
If your band is like my bands were, you have to take care of merchandising, sell or distribute your own demos, publicize concerts.
In the concert day you may need to unload amplifiers from the truck, put them in the stage, tune your instrument, do sound check and wait to play for 1 hour or so.
After the concert, when the public is already going home, you and your band still have to load the truck again and drive back home. Very often earning nothing or only enough to cover the expenses.
If your band is popular or at least have some relevance you may not need to carry heavy amplifiers on your back, but you probably have to deal with the press, repetitive interviews, attend to events, take care of some business and boring contracts meetings.
I don’t want to be a rockstar. I just want to play music.
The truth is, every successful musician goes through this process for years before they reach the so wrongly named “overnight” success. And to be honest, I didn’t like the process so much to handle all the other boring things. My goal was not to be rich and famous, I just wanted to play music.
It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be in band. I like it very much. But this is not reason enough to make this my profession.
There are days that you don’t write a single line of code
It is very similar in the software development career.
There is a ton of activities that you, a developer part of a team, must go through during the software development process.
Boring meetings with client or stakeholders. Attend to planning, review, retrospective and task estimation meetings. Review your teammates code.
If you are a junior or started, you need to study about the current stack being used in the project and its structure.
If you are a senior or architect you have to coach your colleagues, write documentation, make decisions about the scalability, flexibility and quality of the software, as well to communicate and present those decisions to the team.
The list goes on, debug errors, read logs, write post mortem, check systems alarms.
And I didn’t even talk about the studies you have to handle at home or conferences you need to attend.
If you only want to come up in the stage and play, something is going to be left out
I surprisingly found that I love every part of this journey. I put everything I have in every part of the process. Simply because this is what I do, this is my job and I embrace it.
I’m not gonna to lie to you. There are days that I get tired of meetings. Some others I am not in the mood to debug errors. Everybody has good and bad days. But if you don’t start to enjoy the process and only wait to the time to come up in the stage and play, you will miss it.
If you truly like this career, you will learn and grow with every single part of the process.
Well, that’s the spirit I try to have when I get up to work everyday. Sometimes I fail, but the long journey is what it matters most.
Thank you for reading!