Job Title: Software Developer
Type of Company: Online health care provider
Education: BA, Computer Science, UMass-Amherst
Previous Experience: n/a
Job Tasks: One aspect of the job is gathering requirements. Generally requirements will come from someone else, but as a software developer it is our job to interpret them and design a solution that meets them. There is a lot of freedom in the design aspect. There are always many solutions to a problem and one duty of a software developer is to think about the different solutions and decide which is best.
After deciding upon a solution, you then need to design it. This takes a lot of patience and practice. Once you have a design, the final step is to implement it. This is often where most time is spent. Problems can come from all over and one important attribute of any good software developer is to be able to solve these problems. They're not all design and coding issues, and as the developer you are generally the last line of defense.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is when I have spent a ton of time coming up with a great elegant design that solves the problem perfectly, then I get to implement it and it all goes as planned. This is one of the most satisfying parts of being a software engineer.
The worst part of my job is when a deadline is coming and everything ends up falling in your lap because business analysts and managers don't have any technical skills.
Job Tips: I would recommend you try to become a very strong programmer in either Java or .net. Then try to get a job doing that right out of college. You learn a ton at your first job and learning any other technologies that you may need down the road will become much easier the longer you have been working.
If you want to be a programmer make sure your first job is as a programmer. Don't waste time being an analyst or quality engineer just to get your foot in the door.
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