Bri Manning

My Pros and Cons For Working in Software Development

March 3, 2011

Recently, I wrote a blog post about site-building for clients with little experience and some of the pitfalls you can run into. This prompted a conversation with a friend of mine about software development in general and what my thoughts and opinions were and what I liked/disliked. I thought it was an interesting conversation and really got me thinking about my career in general, so I thought I’d post some of the thoughts here.

The best way I can describe software development for me is with a list of pros and cons. So, starting with the pros:

  1. Solving problems. Personally, this gives me a sense of accomplishment, at the end of the day, I can look back and point at something that I did or made or finished.
  2. Alone time. I’ve found over the years, I need alone time. Otherwise, I just get to the point where I can’t take people. There’s plenty of alone time in software. This, in particular, is a pro for me, but could be a con for others.
  3. Smart people. There are a fair amount of smart people in this field. People who make sense and think logically and, in general, aren’t crazy. Of course, there are some horribly awkward people, but sometimes that just makes things more fun.
  4. Always something to work on. Now, this is both in terms of the job market – compared to other areas in the current economy, it’s still quite strong, and in terms of being able to play around with things outside of work and improve yourself.

Now, cons:

  1. Not-so-smart people. There are, as in all areas, the less-than-smart people you have to work with. I think, however, that this is something anyone is going to run into in any field, so it’s really in the con list of having a career or job at all. However, I certainly do not have the horror stories that some people seem to have.
  2. Getting bored. Personally, I get bored with a certain task or single project after a few months. If it’s the same project, but with a new twist or interesting new updates, that’s enough to keep my interest.
  3. Working on uninteresting things. This is very similar to con #2, but it’s still slightly different. Generally, I tend get frustrated when I make something that no one is going to use or provides little value.

Personally, the pros, especially #1 and #2 are what really makes me love what I do. #4 is also a great thing in terms of long-term value and career, and #3 makes the day-to-day passable.

Then, in discussing where to find work, I wrote:

Generally, I’d say look for a small place, and one who’s goal is to make websites/software if you can, not just that they do have a software division to make tools to use internally. That’s not bad, but that means that you’re always going to be a coder to them, but at a place where software/websites are the goal, then you’re the MVP and everything is built around you getting your job done the quickest and best way possible. Because of this, they’re also harder to get a job at a place like this because they are in higher demand.

Great reason I’m happy to work at Bootstrap Software. 🙂