There's no denying software developers are indispensable in today's society. They create the apps we depend on for work, entertainment, travel, and everything in between. With a January 2022 study counting 4.95 billion internet users worldwide (62.5% of the total population), it makes sense that apps play a huge role in our lives. But many of us don't know what a developer's job entails.
Question: What's your typical workday look like?
Answer: My workday starts at 10:30 in the morning. First things first, I'll check our email for support tickets. If there are any, I try to respond to the person who sent the request or to the support team within a few hours.
Our team is involved in the initial phase of feature design and discussions with the product management (PM) team. These discussions usually happen between 3 to 4 PM every day.
We have 24/7 monitoring set up for our servers in our Internet Data Centers (IDC), so we get immediate alerts if anything goes wrong with our servers. The problem will be identified and resolved as soon as possible. This is an unplanned work item.
The rest of my time is dedicated to coding and architecture design.
Q: What tools and websites does the team use daily?
A: We use Zoho Projects for end-to-end task management for design, UX, and marketing. The development process is tracked using monthly milestones in GIT. We get our developer tools from our own technology website. We also use in-house automation and build creation tools to help with continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD).
Q: What key lessons have you learned on the job?
A: You can learn a lot from other developers' experiments, bugs, and fixes rather than experimenting with everything yourself. Spending time reading others' code helps you learn more than you would from the documentation.
Q: How do you measure your value or impact within a large business?
A: WorkDrive is a business-critical software that helps users manage their data. As developers, we get to know how WorkDrive as a product is important to customers and partners through Ask me Anything (AmA) sessions and discussions. Eventually, in the process, we learn the impact we have on our company.
Q: Is it difficult to attract strong programmers to a business?
A: Any legitimate and futuristic business can attract developers. It depends directly on the reputation and values of the company. From what I know, there have always been a lot of young talents who want to work with Zoho because of the culture, so I don't see a difficulty there.
Q: Is there a skills shortage in software development?
A: Skill is something that can be developed. We look for people who are willing to put their time and effort into honing their skills. The process to identify young talent can be difficult, but there can never be a real skill shortage.
Q: What attributes make a developer successful?
A: Curiosity and an inquisitive mind. Be curious enough to question current technologies, explore, and experiment. Most technologies have neat documentation from which we can learn a lot. But learning doesn't end there—code is the best documentation. You need to spend substantial time exploring the code.
Curiosity doesn't kill the cats here.
Q: What are your biggest challenges?
A: We strive to serve our ever-growing customer base. That is our utmost priority or challenge, and I think we've succeeded thus far. WorkDrive is relatively young, but very mature for its age. I think we will have more challenges with the increasing client base—and we are ready to face them.
That wraps up the interview. We appreciate hearing about your experiences as a developer, Chandramathi! I hope this has given people a better understanding of what it takes to be a programmer.