The Journey of a Developer: Expectations VS Reality

Man staring at the clouds

Truth is, your journey as a developer comes with a lot of expectations which in most cases doesn’t appear so in reality. When in the university, you’re being thought an idealized version of what to expect after graduation. This varies greatly from the reality. Also, due to the glamourization by the movie industry, when you think DEVELOPER, you picture someone in a hoodie typing furiously on a computer in a dimly lit room. While the job of a developer varies from developer to developer, the movie stereotypes are fiercely inaccurate. So, if you’re a new developer or you are an aspiring developer, what can you expect from a career in development? That’s why we have tried to do justice to this topic – Expectations vs Reality: The Journey of a Developer, to help you know and understand the reality.

Expectation: You will be writing code all day long as a developer

Reality: If you are an aspiring developer, you already probably think you would be spending all your time writing code. But coding is much more than just writing code. Development is much more about solving problems than it is to write code all day long. No one tells you that you would be spending most time debugging and fixing other people’s code, testing codes and banging your head against your keyboards because clients are driving you crazy.

Expectation: You would be working alone on your computer in a dark room

Reality: Just like with any other jobs, you would most likely be working in a communal, forward-thinking and lively environment. Depending on your employer, it could be in a big, formal and busy office or a small and more laid back office. In reality, you will find that development is significantly more of teamwork than you may have envisioned. 

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Expectation: You only need your technical skills as a developer

Reality: Development is one of the fields that requires a great deal of creativity as it mostly deals with problem-solving. Therefore, you will be spending a lot of time thinking of creative ways to solve those problems. So you will need skills like creativity, imagination and problem-solving.

Expectation: There are no female developers

Reality: While the fact demonstrates that the tech industry is mostly male-dominated, women have likewise been engaged in the advancement of computer software throughout the history of coding. More women are breaking into tech jobs now than any time in recent history. This is as a result of programmes tailored towards encouraging young girls to pursue careers in tech.  So, in case you are a female keen on coding, don’t let gender stereotypes dissuade you from chasing your dreams.

Expectation: Being a developer is a one-person job

Reality: Thanks to the movie industry, most people think that when you have a job to be done, you just sit on your computer and code it up, but in reality, it is mostly teamwork. There is a considerable amount of communication with others. You will have to examine your plans and designs with your colleagues. You will be in meetings reviewing new features. And you will have to discuss with the testers testing your code.


So, what can one really expect from a career in development? A lot right? But guess what, the realities are immense. As you take the first step into this journey, keep in mind that what you’re taught in school is an idealized version of the reality and because technology is ever-changing,  much of your time is going to be spent researching things, reading blog posts, reading articles, reading books on software development so that you can learn how to use the new technology. 

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Always remember that despite your expectations and the actual reality that you will be faced with, your job is really to solve the problems.

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