I just got back to work after my summer vacation, so this is a good time to write an article about my daytime job. I work in the tech industry as a full-stack developer, meaning I make websites and apps for a living. Working in tech, especially when you’re the only female developer in the company, can be hard at times but I wouldn’t want to have any other job. So I wrote down my five favourite things about being a developer.
#1 Solving problems
Coding can get challenging at times, which is probably my favourite part of it. To me, solving a difficult problem or simplifying a hard piece of code gives me a lot of satisfaction and can really make my day. I’ve always enjoyed solving math problems, and coding is actually pretty similar to that. Everything will progressively get harder, a bit like a video game. And thinking of coding as a game or a puzzle might not make the problems easier, but it makes solving them a lot more fun.
There’s a lot of creativity involved in coding. I play a big role in what the end product will look like, even when I’m just implementing someone’s design. It’s not just about making animations, page transitions, responsive websites or fancy menus. Writing good code also requires a lot of creativity: the way you solve certain problems, structure your code, name your files, fix bugs, etc.
#3 Changing the world
This feels like such a cliché answer. Everyone wants to change the world. I’m not curing cancer or reversing global warming, but I know that the work I do is making some impact on people’s lives. For example, a while ago I created Asthmatic, an app that uses the weather to predict a week in advance how bad your asthma will get. I have asthma myself and created the app, as a side project, because I realised that so many asthmatics could benefit from it. It’s my first app in the AppStore and I’m really proud of it.
Many people might have the idea that people working in tech have no social life, work long hours and are stuck at the office all night. While that’s true for some companies, many also offer a lot of freedom. The company I work for promotes working only 8 hours a day, and will give you time off for every hour you work longer than that. We’re also allowed to work from home on certain days if we want to, which is something most tech companies allow.
#5 The people
The people are both my favourite and least favourite aspect of the job. The company I work for puts great effort into keeping us happy, so we often have parties and trips together. And seriously, my colleagues are absolutely amazing. To me, they’re friends rather than just coworkers. We generally have a lot of fun at the job and there’s always someone around to help you if you need it. But unfortunately, there are also quite a bit of shitty people working in tech. The industry is very competitive at times, which can bring out the worst in people. I’ve had guys straight out telling me that I shouldn’t be coding because I’m a girl, for example. Those people are loud, but luckily in the minority. Many companies are hunting for female developers, so generally there’s enough choice to find a company with people you like.
Do you have a job? What is it and what do you enjoy most about it?