The things that make me happy about the work I do
I’ve been writing code in one form or another for several years now. Sometimes it’s tough not to hurl my keyboard into the sea, run into the sunset and live a peaceful life in a cave by the sea. It’s at times like those that it’s important to sit back and reflect on why web development is such an exciting career to be in. Here are some of the things that help me keep motivated when things get tough in the office. On their own, they’re not unique to web development, but it’s rare to get them all in one package.
You Get Huge Creative Power
Web Development is an industry in which you get to go from an idea to a product in probably the shortest amount of time. There are a lot of ways to solve any given problem, and even when many problems have established solutions, there’s always room for innovation.
The web provides a blank canvas for you to draw on.
You Get to Solve Problems
I’m lucky enough to be part of the process of solving problems from beginning to end:
- Identifying peoples’ needs: What are they trying to do? What are their pain points?
- Coming up with different solutions
- Building wire-frames and prototypes
- Discussing the proposed solutions to refine them further, uncovering any remaining requirements
- Developing an application or feature which meets the established requirements
- Releasing the finished product which perfectly meets your user’s needs and never needs a single update
Okay, it’s never actually that simple. Still, I find the process of ferreting out what the user actually needs, delivering a solution, and getting positive feedback on it immensely rewarding.
You Get A Warehouse of Toys
There are countless frameworks, languages and paradigms jockeying for position in the web development world. They have fierce advocates and sometimes equally fierce critics. Unit testing libraries inspire loyalty that would turn a feudal warlord green with envy. It makes it difficult to choose what to learn, as demonstrated by the frequent posts on Reddit and other sites complaining about particularly rapidly changing parts of the ecosystem.
The other way to look at it, when there are so many things that so many people love that consensus is impossible, is: wow, there are are a lot of great tools at my disposal!
The Web Gives You a Massive Reach
- You lower the barriers between people and your software.
- You increase the number of platforms on which your application will work out of the box.
- By taking responsive design into account, you increase the number of platforms you can target further by having pages that serve both desktop and mobile users.
You Get to Unleash an Army of Robots
- You can get a robot to test your software. This increases the up-front cost of developing the application, but provides confidence when making changes in the future.
- When you change your application, your robot can test it automatically and tell you if something went wrong.
- If your robot decides that your last set of changes didn’t break everything, it can deploy your application for you.
- Your robot can look at your code as you’re writing it and tell you when it’s bad.
Slightly less cool, but you can also get your robots to:
- Alert you when something has gone wrong, e.g. a server has gone down or the error rate has crossed a certain threshold.
- Alert you when a new ticket has been assigned to you.