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November 2, 2022

The Day In The Life Of A Professional Coder

What’s it like to work in tech? See what goes on behind the scenes as we follow coders through their daily routine!

We are at the forefront of the next radical industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 is already in progress, and the number of available jobs in the tech sector is skyrocketing. For the foreseeable future, coding is the hottest trade skill on the market. It’s likely that coding jobs will remain in high demand for a long time, too!‍

But, is coding the right career path for you? With diverse job options, higher-than-average wages, and optimistic industry outlook, there’s likely a niche for you. Before you decide that this is the career you want to pursue, it helps to understand the lifestyle.‍

See what the day-to-day life of a professional coder looks like:‍

Endless Education

Coders and developers must keep learning to stay relevant. Industry tools, frameworks, and languages evolve and developers must evolve with them. Often this means that professional coders make coding a part of their non-work life, working on passion projects, and creating tools to solve problems in their lives and community.‍

As long as new developers learn the newest industry tools, they immediately gain an edge in the job market — hiring managers are looking for developers familiar with the hottest technology trends.‍

Choosing A Suitable Role

As a coder, the opportunities to specialize in a subdiscipline are vast. Successful developers choose a role that suits them best; one that’s interesting to them, and one that works with their personality.‍

Back-end development, information technology, and data science are excellent choices for analytical, detail-oriented coders. These subdivisions of programming focus on math and logic. Coders who are interested in how computers and computer systems work can excel here. Those who feel at home solving puzzles and working directly with numbers, networks, and systems will find these careers incredibly fulfilling.‍

Front-end development, game development, and user interface engineering work best for coders with a creative inclination. These professionals work closely with artists and designers to create beautiful websites, design engaging games, and use psychology to maximize user interest in the applications and websites they create. Those who love code for the creative opportunities it presents can find great joy in specializing in any of these areas.‍

Freelance Versus Salary

Along with a variety of specializations, coding also offers different schedules and working formats. A coder should choose their path depending on their individual preferences.‍

If a professional coder prefers the comfort of a steady income and standard work hours, a salaried position is the best choice. Additionally, working in a team gives you soft skills for collaboration and allows you to learn from senior developers. This choice is best for extroverts and individuals that learn best in group settings!‍

If, instead, a coder prefers sprints of code and project variety, working as a freelance coder would be much more suitable. Coders who prefer to work and learn on their own will excel in this workstyle! Working freelance provides excellent training in creative problem solving skills. Plus, it also conditions workers to rely on their own resourcefulness to solve problems. Though this option provides much more flexibility, it’s imperative that coders who choose this path develop strong self-management skills so that they can meet deadlines provided by those that hire them. Reliability is a must!‍

Meetings

Coders must collaborate not just with other coders, but also with other non-technical professionals like business stakeholders, marketers, and creative roles like UI/UX designers, and digital artists. Tech is often used to solve real-world problems, so experts in the field the problem exists in will also offer input. Learning to communicate technical concepts and implications to all of these roles is key to growing in your career as a developer.‍

Taking Care of Business

Between all the coding and self care, professional developers have to make time to run errands and take care of their chores. Just like with any other career, they still need to keep their fridge stocked, house or apartment clean, their mail sorted, and their bills paid.‍

Coding isn’t quite all glitz and glamor. Even the master programmers have to occasionally purchase groceries, do their taxes, and wait in line at the DMV. No matter the career, these sorts of tasks will always be a necessity. A successful developer makes sure they leave time for those adult tasks in their schedules. Regardless of the sort of career, organization, time management, and responsibility are always important.‍

Keeping a support group

With any highly competitive career, making time to see family and friends can vastly improve quality of life. Coding is no exception to this rule. Spending time with loved ones can reduce stress, improve physical health, and improve overall mental health! Once developers take care of their daily tasks, self care, and other responsibilities, activities with others is a go-to to keep up their morale.‍

Online Communication

Coders need to spend a lot of time online. From updating their code bases to bolstering their digital portfolios and investigating potential solutions, the internet is one of the most important tools in a coders toolbelt.‍

The vast majority of developer communities work with similar (if not identical)industry tools. The same problems every developer comes across are just a keystroke away on forums, subreddits, and social media groups. Professional developers, even when they’re masters at coding, will often find themselves drawing inspiration from the incredibly collaborative coding community.‍

Additionally, many coding jobs are remote, which makes online communication twice as important. Professional coders working remotely primarily communicate with their team via online software like Slack, Google Meet, Discord, and Zoom, and use online task management software like Monday, Asana, or ClickUp. Coders must learn to use these tools in a timely manner so that they maintain close communication with their team — a collaborative work environment is essential to a productive, cooperative, and successful team.

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Authors

Olivia is Mastery Coding's Content Marketing Director based in Portland, Oregon.