All of you employed developers, what are your jobs really like?

This is a discussion on All of you employed developers, what are your jobs really like? within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; If you are an employed developer I would like to know what your day as a developer is really like. ...

  1. #1
    Shadow12345
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    All of you employed developers, what are your jobs really like?

    If you are an employed developer I would like to know what your day as a developer is really like. Here I am a programmer hobbyist, but I don't even know if I want to become a software developer.

    If you do reply to this post could you also send a url for the company you work for?

    The more details the better. I'm thinking about not taking computer science in college, rather electrical or mechanical engineering, thus not becoming a software developer.

    Thanks if you reply.

  2. #2
    PC Fixer-Upper Waldo2k2's Avatar
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    I work @ The Baker Group as an electrician (also plan on getting into elec eng). Over the summer i did some programming in C++ for about 3 months, i made a few console apps, one of which searched and parsed text files which were programs for running machines (the CNC machines spoken of in the web page), allowing the operator to find and reuse previously ran programs. Currently I do some programming on Allen Bradley microcontrollers which we use to run our machines.

    I get to the the microcontroller programming at home. When I programmed in the summer here was my basic day: wear whatever i want, go to work, sit in front of the computer, get at least 3 sodas ready, start programming, go to subway for lunch, come back and program some more, BS with the coworkers, sometime after 5 go home.
    It all depends on how professional the company is, or at least, how professional they want you to be.
    Last edited by Waldo2k2; 12-23-2002 at 10:21 PM.
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  3. #3
    Code Goddess Prelude's Avatar
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    >I would like to know what your day as a developer is really like.
    Hardly as spectacular as everyone seems to think it is. I go to work, chat with my co-workers until something interesting happens like a system crash and then we work furiously to fix it. I spend most of my time either maintaining the systems (tweaking), training fresh programmers and interns, or interviewing the odd applicant.

    >If you do reply to this post could you also send a url for the company you work for?
    https://www2.suntrust.com/careers/

    -Prelude
    My best code is written with the delete key.

  4. #4
    Registered User LordVirusXXP's Avatar
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    My main passion is video games. I'd much rather program games than stupid crap for a company that no one knows.
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  5. #5
    Registered User foniks munkee's Avatar
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    I work as a *nix Sys Admin. I desperately want to get into programming proffesionally, but jobs are thin on the ground for commercial noobs. "Will code for... cola!"

    The most I get to code at work is shell scripts and the odd Nawk script, although I do get to look after some old legacy code.

    I spend pretty much every other waking moment at home in front of my compiler.
    ..training fresh programmers and interns..
    Like I said, will work for cola and I am quite happy to move to the otherside of the world for a bit of training from you Prelude.
    Last edited by foniks munkee; 12-24-2002 at 02:50 AM.
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  6. #6
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    My passion is music, a good tv show, chocolate and ... uhm ... watching non PG13 material. Still I wouldn't go for a job producing any of these

    I've been developing software for http:\\www.saz.net, a direct marketing corporation. Most of my experience comes from there, so although this sounds very general it's just a description of my job. Working next door or in one of our international partnerships could be much different.
    Working hours are quite ok. I'm free to come in somewhere between 7 and 10 and leave when the job is done. This fits my style of work exactly, I'm not someone who can work from 9 to 5 and leave work behind at 17:01. I can leave my thoughts about work at work when the problem is solved, so this style is fine with me. It has some drawbacks however. Working until the problem is solved is fine if it's easy, it also means I have to work between christmas and new years eve ( a time when almost all people take their last days off in Germany ) and probably even on one or two weekends if we encounter a problem that has to be solved when the users start working again next year.

    When I'm developing a normal day would look like this:

    Comming in at 10:00.
    Getting a coke or other caffeine drink of choice ( don't like coffee that much )
    Checking emails and chatting with colleagues to find out if there were any unexpected events, reported bugs, system failures of some kind etc
    Depending on the scale and progress of the current project:
    -Starting Word & Visio and writing programm specifications and database or programming concepts
    -writing proof-of-concept code
    -actual coding
    -testing & debugging

    Leaving somewhere between 17:00 and 21:00 depending on various factors.

    In between there are calls from users ( we are kind of support as well for our own programms used inhouse ) who need help with programms I wrote, bug reports and planning for system downtime. Some meetings to plan new concepts or make sure existing concepts steer in the right direction.

    When bugreports come in, everything else will stop and the bug will be sought. Once it's found, we will give out an advisory how it is to handle ( workaround, quickfix, total downtime ) and if critical we will work on a fix right away. Fixes for critical bugs are things that can lead to really tough working hours once or twice a year. If it's critical for the system to be up the next morning, a twenty hour workday or a weekend of work has happened about once a year. That's the downside of a rather relaxed working hours policy. You have time for your needs, but you have to accept the corporations needs as well. I like it that way, but it's not for everyone.

    Somewhere in between there are a lot of organizational things to do: check out new software, probably beta, write small tools for yourself or your colleagues, learn new stuff like algorithms or techniques or installing special stuff our IT could not.

    If you have more specific questions, feel free to ask ;-)
    hth
    -nv

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  7. #7
    Refugee face_master's Avatar
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    Im interested in this too.

    nv, what is 'proof-of-concept code'? And what sort of authority is in place to make sure you are doing your work?

  8. #8
    Just a Member ammar's Avatar
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    I would like to add another question...
    What are the requirment to get employed... Degrees, experience, etc...
    none...

  9. #9
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    My background is in electrical engineering, but currently I'm working as a software engineer in embedded systems in which I can combine my knowledge of hardware and software. These days I don't do a lot anymore with hardware, mostly software.

    >I would like to know what your day as a developer is really like.

    Depends on the phase of a project. But some major software engineering activities:
    - writing design documents
    - review documents and code
    - writing code
    - test code
    - verifying code
    - solving problems

    Some other major activities:
    - drinking several kinds of coffee
    - chatting with colleagues
    - doing courses

    >If you do reply to this post could you also send a url for the >company you work for?
    http://www.ict.nl

    For those who can't read Dutch, there is an English section.

    >what sort of authority is in place to make sure you are
    >doing your work?

    Actually no one is making sure that I am doing my work, it is my own responsibility that I do my work, but our team-manager makes time-plans in which we can find what we have to do and when it must be finished. But he doesn't actually care when you work, when the sun shines or during the night, the important thing is that you finish your work.

    >What are the requirment to get employed... Degrees,
    >experience, etc...

    Depends on the kind of work and probably also in which country you want to work. In the Netherlands: For embedded systems a background in computer science, computer technology, electrical engineering, electronics or related education is preferred. Being able to read, write and speak English and German. The level of education is TU (Technical University) or HTS (Higher Technical School), I don't know exactly what it is in other countries, but I it is the same as master and bachelor. Experience, for a starter it is assumed he/she has not very much experience.
    Last edited by Shiro; 12-24-2002 at 03:56 AM.

  10. #10
    the hat of redundancy hat nvoigt's Avatar
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    >nv, what is 'proof-of-concept code'? And what sort of
    >authority is in place to make sure you are doing your work?

    As Shiro said, there is a person that has the timetables and makes sure all developers do their work and finish on time ( which would be me ) and I have to tell my boss if/why anything does not go according to the plan I did and he signed.

    Proof-of-concept code is code that is intended to show that something can be done this way. Another program will be written to actually do it, but when you write a concept, you want to make sure that the promised way of doing it actually works. It would really suck to notice any shortcommings while being in the middle of the coding proccess
    hth
    -nv

    She was so Blonde, she spent 20 minutes looking at the orange juice can because it said "Concentrate."

    When in doubt, read the FAQ.
    Then ask a smart question.

  11. #11
    RoD
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    Redundantly Redundant RoD's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nvoigt

    Proof-of-concept code is code that is intended to show that something can be done this way. Another program will be written to actually do it, but when you write a concept, you want to make sure that the promised way of doing it actually works. It would really suck to notice any shortcommings while being in the middle of the coding proccess
    so basically its psudo-code written to find holes/flaws?

  12. #12
    Shadow12345
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    Very good descriptions all that replied, all of us developer-wannabes are very satisfied and we all look up to you. In my opinion your jobs sound pretty cool.

    Have any of you professional developers been required to read something along the lines of Code Complete? In my opinion that book should be a part of evey college course. There seems to be a huge difference between knowing the syntax of a language and being able to actually put those skills to use in a team of developers on a large scale project.

    My background is in electrical engineering, but currently I'm working as a software engineer in embedded systems
    The ideal path for me. I have an interest in programming machinery, in fact one of the schools I'm applying to offers a software course that entails embedded systems, so when I graduate I'll be qualified to do so. The biggest qualm I have is being able to solve problems creatively and originally. I don't want to be a tech support person or do the same things over and over (which might be a drawback to embedded systems development).

  13. #13
    Programming Sex-God Polymorphic OOP's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Shadow12345
    The biggest qualm I have is being able to solve problems creatively and originally. I don't want to be a tech support person or do the same things over and over (which might be a drawback to embedded systems development).
    There's always game development

  14. #14
    Shadow12345
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    There's always game development
    and winning the lottery and getting struck down by lightning twice under the same tree. I'll try to get into game development, but if I don't I'll need a backup plan.
    And yes I am serious about game development, as in I'm still applying to digipen It's just not the easiest industry to get into and it takes many years of commitment.

  15. #15
    Programming Sex-God Polymorphic OOP's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Shadow12345
    and winning the lottery and getting struck down by lightning twice under the same tree. I'll try to get into game development, but if I don't I'll need a backup plan.
    And yes I am serious about game development, as in I'm still applying to digipen It's just not the easiest industry to get into and it takes many years of commitment.
    I wouldn't compare it to winning the lottery. The industry is in constant need of new slaves - you just have to be dedicated and willing to give up your soul.

    In fact, if you apply for a job at just about any game development team they usually only require you have 3 or 4 years experience in C or C++ or Assembly and don't usually even say you need a college degree. You just have to be good and have something to show for it (IE a compeleted game, previous experience working in a team, etc.).

    ... okay, you have to be very good, but it's not as impossible as everyone makes it out to be.

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