Being A Developer is More Than 'Just' Coding

The old conception that developers are all the same: long beards, messy hair, t-shirts with computing jokes, love for old comic books and the need to be in front of the computer 24/7 has changed a long time ago. But what describes a developer now?

Developers dress fashionably, developers socialize and interact with the world, developers are creative just like anyone else - the only difference is that we have that a real love for technology coupled with the skills to use it.

"Everyone wants to code!", "Everyone should know how to code", we hear it everywhere. But what is actually expected from a developer and what do developers do with their said 'talent'?

As technology evolves and we start making the best use of web development tools, responsive designs, mobile applications, wearable technology, we start seeing an endless list of interesting projects emerging online: interactive websites for boat safety, websites showing street art through Instagram posts and others, trying to promote specific events or brands, engage with users, or to create something that is simply cool.

This is what developers do.

We look for things in the real world, in whatever we do and try to come up with ideas that we can easily (sometimes not so easily) code and make happen. It is more than just a problem solving job, it is an inspirational and creative lifestyle.

We do still solve problems for day to day things such as scheduling issues or booking travel but we want to go beyond that. We now try to find inspiration in anything we do: sports, leisure activities, music, socialising - anything. For example, a few weeks ago some of the developers and designers at Equator got together and made a fun and engaging online quiz to guess football strips of the different teams in the World Cup. A simple idea based on their love for sports which brought world-wide interest.

Personally, I recently started working on some side projects that involve things that I am passionate about: basketball, agriculture and community and socialising. I want to be able to get even more involved on those things by working on these projects that people will enjoy too. Even though we try not to be seen as 'geeks' we often end up turning back all our interests to technology! Why?

  • It's a great environment as a developer to code and create different applications or websites that come from personal interests: we can start from simple ideas, change our minds, try new things, improve others, make things our own way
  • it is a place to solve some problems we find
  • it pushes us to try new technologies and techniques
  • it is a great way to find new opportunities - different companies get interested in these small ideas and invest on them, creating even better products;
  • it is a way to do what we love and still enjoy our jobs and careers

At Equator we love the kind of projects that come from people's imaginations; these small ideas spark other big ideas and maintain our creative edge! This is what developers are - people that can do their jobs and produce great products for clients, and at the same time like to try new things and follow the technology trends. Don't be fooled, we still spend crazy amounts of hours in front of the computer, do complicated things and talk about things most of our friends don't even understand but there is the creative and fun side to it.

There is no definite way to get the ideas flowing but there are different places developers use as sources of inspiration:

  • conferences and hackathons: is good to see what others are doing. A simple concept that always works: ideas produce ideas
  • magazines: apart from the usual technical magazines there are magazines that simply talk about developers lives, where their inspiration comes from, what they do at their jobs and at their spare time and how the two work together. Offscreen Magazine is a great example
  • other projects: Awwwards is an amazing hub of all the ideas that have turn into beautiful websites that people engage with and find amazing

Being a developer is a way to be engaged with the world and be able to create new things and not just do the usual geeky things everyone knows we do.

By Paciencia Canda, Web Developer