Developer: An organism that converts pizza and beer into code

By Bryan Hufford.

The modern developer is a far cry from yesteryear’s socially awkward, beer drinking stereotype. Business acumen and a professional presentation go hand in hand with new age code monkeys.

The main reason for this shift is that the nature of development has changed. In the early years developers were in many ways defining the boundaries of the technology. Today, the technology is mature and has infiltrated the main stream business world.

Modern clients also have more mature requirements, a good understanding of their options and often even bring their own in-house experts to oversee the process. Both the end-product and the engagement is much more complex today and the developer’s skill set must reflect that sophisticated environment.

Great developers are business savvy

Software, just like any writing must connect with the audience in order to be accepted. That’s why the best software developers have a deep understanding of the business process that they are facilitating.

Is the client looking to improve a process?

Why does the client want to integrate several systems?

Does the client want to improve the appearance of a public facing portal?

Does the client want automation?

Does the client want to improve sales, distribute software or information?

A better user experience?

You get the idea, modern development focuses on the outcome rather than the technology. And at the heart of this approach is a developer who understands the aim from a business perspective and codes accordingly.

Developer’s skill set

The type of development undertaken by individuals is generally guided by the language(s) that they specialize in. For example,

HTML/CSS and javascript skills are ideal for a web front end developer

Php and MySQL skills are ideal for a web backend developer

Java and XML are ideal for Android app development

The Objective-C language will suit iphone application development

.NET (pronounced ‘dot net’) is suited to applications on Microsoft Windows platforms

C++ is an object oriented programming language ideal to develop software such as video games

Java and javascript as well as C# are typical skills for malicious people who write viruses

This is by no means a definitive list (not even close). There are hundreds of different programming and scripting languages that can be used across multiple platforms. But the list above are well known languages along with their well-known associated development platforms.

Most importantly, the list helps to demonstrate the association between front end, back end, web development and application development in terms of the jobs that one may seek once these skills are developed.

We even threw in the virus reference to show that one technology can be applied across a number of disciplines. A javascript specialist in the security field may not necessarily be suitable for front end web development work but it is safe to say that some of the skills would be transferrable.

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