What makes it hard to be a developer these days? Due to the dynamic nature of software and IT in general, developers find that what makes their daily grind difficult is a moving target. What were the top challenges five years ago have evolved significantly.
So, what are some of the main challenges that developers are facing today?
Merging Code Using Git Or Other Tools
Software developers spend a lot of time gaining proficiency in the software languages they need for jobs. The need to maintain versions of code makes it essential that they also learn how to use Git and similar tools. Back in January 2016 hundreds of open source developers took GitHub to task for shortcomings they say were never addressed by the code repository.
Dealing With 3rd Party APIs
Making sure your own code remains bug-free challenges any developer. But when its success relies on a third-party API, you can have problems. How do you handle unexpected outages by an API? Facebook, Instagram, Amazon Web Services, Twitter and many other API servers have gone down. If your application depends on a third-party API to perform critical functions, you’ve got no choice but to create a plan for dealing with disruptions.
Working With Poorly Designed Technologies
Outsourcing Threatens Job
Developers continually face the real possibly that their job will be outsourced to another country where the pay is much less. Some tech workers have even been given notice and a severance agreement that requires them to train their replacements. Hiring cheap developers may end up following that old adage, you get what you pay for. In the long term, it may be more costly to hire offshore developers, but that doesn’t keep you on the job.
In an industry that is constantly changing, is it any surprise that developers are having issues surfing the technology wave? Along with their everyday duties, developers must watch the horizon. The latest updates to the tools you use to create or host your application can create conflicts for you that ruin your work, including major operating system or code releases. This is why most sites that rank issues developers face, list new technology as a “top problem”.
A developer who fails to stay on top of changes will soon be overwhelmed and unable to catch up. This makes it critical that developers do more than just spending time completing their work. They also must take the time to learn what is changing and new in their field. Often they’ll be forced to learn a new language or other skill before they feel comfortable in their current work.
Who’s The Boss?
Sometimes the best workers do get promoted, but putting them into management becomes the worst decision possible. The developer never wanted to leave coding. Taking him out of the trenches of the project costs the company its best worker. The new manager suddenly realizes he’s unhappy in this new role, especially since he’s catching flak for his team not accomplishing something he would have done already. Even if a promotion is wanted, is it the right time? Has the developer gained enough experience to handle this new role? Did an experienced manager decide to mentor him to assure a smoother transition? Or is the new manager told, “you already know this, now go do it” as I’m sure many of us have heard from time to time?
Lifehacker lists that ever present pull between work and the rest of your life as another major issue facing developers. A project can consume a developer. Even after its completion, testing, troubleshooting and implementation can intrude into life. New code deployment during off hours cuts into nights and weekends.
These different needs pulling at you can make just having a night out with your spouse or some quality time with children seem impossible.
Everything That Is Not The Job
As Jeff Darcy points out on Quora, “As you get further and further into the actual practice of computer science and software engineering, you’ll find yourself doing more and more things that are probably not what drew you to the field in the first place.”
Most developers got into programming to write code. Unfortunately, the workplace has different ideas. This can be troubling and even stressful to developers.
Not only do developers need to focus on writing quality code, but they must also concentrate on other things. Project management, reviewing other developers work, interfacing with customers and office politics are all parts of the job.
The more experienced a developer gets, the less actual time developing they get to do. Other aspects of software development pull them into non-coding tasks.
Misunderstood Complexity In Requests
Developers often face unrealistic requests from clients. This happens because clients do not understand the complexity of what they demand. Most of the time they don’t know exactly what they or their customers need.
Yes, software is capable of doing incredible things. The problem is that if you want your business intelligence software to include connections to every type of database and data set under the sun and every report ever known, that takes time. That’s time many clients are not willing to give.
Clients who misunderstand this can often think that developers are “difficult.” They label explanations as excuses. This makes for an awkward spot for developers to be in. The never-ending push to rush the product to market pressures those writing the code to take shortcuts or do it just good enough to get it out the door.
Creating Or Maintaining Reporting Tools
If your expertise lies outside of reporting and analytics, creating and maintaining a business intelligence solution will take time away from coding for your core application. Even if your company uses a third-party BI and analytics platform, too often you’ll find yourself dealing with one-off reporting requests that multiple beyond the scope of the project and the time available.
As a developer, you have enough on your plate without having to maintain the current infrastructure for old reporting technology.
Developers need their companies to embed a self-service BI and analytics solution into the core application that they can leverage into a feature customers appreciate. But the vendor needs to have licensing and maintenance plans that future proofs embedded analytics for their own application.
Ease the Burden On Developers With BI Software From Izenda
Looking for a way to relieve some of these issues from your development team? Let Izenda do the BI development so your team can focus on what they know and need for your business.