Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Art of the Job

Every couple of years my mom asks "What exactly do you do?"

Exactly? Well you see she only knows about computers from her laptop and the internet. So what does the job of being a software developer actually consist of? The easiest way to describe it (the work-work part of the job that is, aside from the social or sociological part of the job) is in terms of all of the steps involved in battling through a software project. This is the so-called SDLC, the software development lifecycle:

Research current and near-future relevant technology
Interview or focus sessions with clients
Develop implementation alternatives
Research vendors
Review alternatives with management
Develop a project plan
Develop functional specifications
Design data flow and data structures
Develop design specifications
Design draft of interface
Various programming tasks
Unit test programming
Software corrections from unit testing
System and stress testing Software
Corrections from system and stress testing
Alpha testing
Software corrections from alpha testing
Regression testing
Software corrections from regression testing
Technical documentation
Develop implementation plan
Develop training materials
Develop online help
Beta or parallel production testing
Post implementation corrections
Production Support

Well yeah, it's a lot of stuff, and it's what makes the job always interesting and challenging.