Software developers (a.k.a. computer programmers) turn ideas into reality in the form of an app or website. Developers can work on three different areas to make this happen.
Front End Development
It’s a little known fact that the iconic scene from The Lion King, where Mufasa and Simba sit on Pride Rock and Mufasa tells Simba everything the light touches will be his, Mufasa was actually referring to when Simba grows up and becomes a Front End Developer. (Okay, we might have made that up but the metaphor holds.) Front end developers use code to create websites and applications that look so good they bring all the clicks to the yard.
Back End Development
As the name suggests, Back End Developers work behind-the-scenes on elements of a website or app the user doesn’t see—like the server, different apps and plug-ins and databases—that are vital for it to function smoothly.
Full Stack Development
This type of software development is the full monty, so to speak. Combining front end and back end development, these developers look after all aspects of a website or application, ensuring it looks great and functions as effectively as possible.
What does a day in the life of a software developer look like?
Software developers don’t work in a silo. Alongside working closely with the client, they’ll liaise with other key professionals like UX designers and copywriters to ensure every website or app launches with all the required content, and has a functionality that delivers a top notch user experience and looks damn fine.
A typical project could involve chatting with a client (the Project Manager and any stakeholders) to understand the full depth of their vision including the target audience for the product and the kind of data that will go into the product and be output by it. If it seems plausible that all the desired elements will fit together, the software developer will move into the ‘product design’ phase where they mark out the product’s architecture and figure out how the different elements might interact and how they’ll contribute to user interface and experience.
Once all potential bugs have been sorted, the product will be deployed and the public will get a chance to interact with it and provide feedback. This is called ’beta testing’. At the end of this phase a second round of adjustments will be made to the product before moving into ongoing maintenance, ensuring any issues are fixed in a timely manner, systems are kept up to date and any expansion (processing power, memory, database capacity etc.) is added to keep the product functioning at its best.
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