Being a software developer is one of those careers where no two days are likely to be the same. Different projects call for different skills, and a huge part of being a developer is finding solutions to problems. Flexibility is one of the most important attributes of a professional in this industry.
Software development is a growing industry. As the world moves to a mobile-first world, and applications and software is being made for pretty much every purpose imaginable, it can be an exciting career full of opportunity. There are estimated to be 3.4 million developers in the US alone.
There are many different routes into this career. This is partially due to the fact that there are so many different specialties. For instance, there are loads of different development languages that people focus on. A Python developer and a C++ developer may have very different skills. In an ever-changing environment, there is constant debate over which languages are the most useful.
It is no exaggeration to say that there are hundreds of different courses that you can take. If you plan to follow the university route (which isn’t always essential for this career) then you don’t necessarily have to take a course in Software Development. Computer Science and other subjects in this field can help you to develop the skills required to work in the industry.
You can hone your skills further within a strong online community. From watching YouTube videos, to taking online courses, to working on passion projects remotely, a large part of creating a career in this industry is building a portfolio.
Software development is also an appealing role for those who want to live a nomadic lifestyle. There are many freelance developers, and those working for companies remotely. In this post-COVID world, it is easy to see the appeal of this kind of career.
An employed developer is likely to have a slightly different role when compared to freelancers. Being in post for a long time often means more of an opportunity to hone skills and work on exciting projects through to completion. An employed role within one company represents an incredible opportunity to grow for some developers who wish to make a name for themselves.
To learn more about the development profession, Movavi, represented by PR Marketing Manager Julia Voloshchenko, interviewed our employee in the role of software development to explore what daily life looks like in this role.
Annie – a C++ programmer at Movavi. Annie talked about the development profession, how her workspace is organized, and what her main tasks are during the day.
– Hi Annie! First, tell us a little about yourself and your work experience (how long have you been working as a developer, how did you get there? did you study it on purpose)?
– Hey! My name is Annie, and I work as a C++ programmer on the Movavi Video Editor project. I joined Movavi two and a half years ago, and before that, I had worked in a small IT company, where I started my career. My background is somewhat related to the IT-sphere, as I am a mathematician. I know it sounds like I was supposed to be a teacher, but my major is in Computing Technologies, and a lot of my friends from Uni are programmers too. I have always been interested in computers and languages, so being a programmer seemed like the best of both worlds.
– How is your workday organized? Are you an office worker or do you work remotely/hybrid hours?
– I stick to a hybrid work model: I work from home most of the week, and if needed, I work from one of the offices twice a week.
– Tell me how your workspace is organized and some tips for working efficiently from home.
– I used to work in the office. When the pandemic began, I was nervous about my remote work because I didn’t feel like I could concentrate with my cat purring next to me. Honestly, I expected I would pet him all day long. But then I found a simple trick to help myself get involved.
Every afternoon I left an important task for the next day, and the next morning I only needed to open my laptop to dive into work. These tasks could be: answering comments on my code review or closing it and passing the solution to the next step – something simple yet significant. When I realized I was comfortable with working remotely, I set up my workplace. It is nothing fancy: just a desk big enough to fit my laptop and my cat.
– You probably work in a team. How does your interaction work?
– Yes, I work in a distributed team. This means some of my teammates live in other cities, some work from home, and others prefer to work in the office. We have daily calls to share our progress and discuss issues, and we stay in touch the whole working day using Slack. During calls, we keep our cameras on, so I feel like I know everyone personally.
It’s funny how the brain recreates a human appearance using only video calls. When I first meet a teammate in real life, I am usually not surprised at all. But one time I didn’t recognize a person because I didn’t realize how tall he was!
– What are your main tasks during your working day? Is there a clear to-do list for the day, or do the tasks appear spontaneously?
– The developers on our project deal with tasks of 3 different types: implementing new features, fixing errors in the code, and reviewing new code. New features are planned under the product roadmap.
Code errors, also known as bugs, just happen, so fixing some of them is always a part of a two-week plan. Finally, we do code review daily because new features and bug fixes result in new code. Also, as team members, we take part in planning, decision-making, estimating tasks, communicating with other teams, and other activities.
– Is there a case in your work that you’re proud of?
– This summer, our team added the ability to track objects motion to the Video Editor. I was happy to work on such a great feature! Shortly after the release, we started to look for ways to improve it: the object trail seemed too shaky, and the objects attached moved jerkily. I liked this feature, so I really wanted to improve it.
I did some research in my spare time and thought through possible solutions while walking my dog. When I was ready, I completed the algorithm in a couple of days, and the result was astonishing! But new features don’t come without bugs, so this improvement had a drawback… Fingers crossed, now it’s smooth and stable.
– Do the developers have some “rituals” of their own? Can you share some of them?
– “Never deploy or release on Friday.” It’s not just a bad omen, it is a safety rule: if anything goes wrong, it will be harder to fix because of the weekend. And for some reason, everything goes wrong only on Fridays.
– What inspires you in your work?
– We develop software for creative people, and creative people have always inspired me. I get genuinely excited every time I watch YouTube videos and notice something unique to the Movavi Video Editor.
I want to share a little story from my trip to Cuba in January 2020. I was having breakfast in a cafe in Santiago-de-Cuba, half the world away from home. There were music videos on TV, and suddenly I saw something familiar. The video started and ended with one of our titles! It was so strange I even went numb and stared at that TV for 5 minutes straight.
– Do you have any hobbies? What helps you take your mind off things after work?
I am really into The Sims 4. I started a YouTube channel about my experience with this game, and my videos are getting popular. Guess what video editing software I use to create them?
Fun fact: using a product you work on is called “dogfooding.” And speaking of dogs, I have one. His name is Kensei, and he helps me to keep my work-life balance.
Software Development in the Field of Video Editing
The video editing industry offers a huge opportunity for developers. How many video editing apps are available for iOS and for Android? How many different editing, streaming, and recording programs are available for Mac and for Windows?
The industry has a constant need for developers, and for specialisms. From building the framework for a piece of software, to working on a specific area of the industry like special effects for movies.
The industry shows no sign of slowing either. Developers may wish to develop their own apps and software solutions or work for one of the industry giants, and there are undoubtedly endless possibilities moving forward.
Historically, editing videos was something that required specific skills and plenty of computing power. Now, when you buy an Android or Apple device, there is every chance that you will get video editing software included. Anyone can get started building their skills through online courses, and even free blogs and videos.
Skills Required for Video Editing Software Development
What sort of skills are needed to forge a career in software development for the video editing or VFX industry?
Some examples of skills that are utilized virtually every day by developers in this role include:
Industry knowledge. You don’t have to be a video editor yourself, but you will probably need to understand a lot of what it takes to be one. Your role will involve creating potential solutions to their problems. Knowledge of this ever-expanding industry can make all the difference.
Coding and programming knowledge. Naturally, this is often the first port of call when you get started in the industry. Python, Java, C++ and other languages such as Ruby can form a foundational knowledge, and you also need to understand programming fundamentals including code structures and algorithms. There is always mathematics involved.
Object-Oriented Design (OOD). A modular approach to design that can ensure that your coding always focuses on the key principles of the industry.
Attention to detail. One lapse in attention, and one buggy line of code, can cause huge issues for a software developer. Being able to pay close attention makes all the difference.
Communication skills. Though the role likely involves plenty of solo work, it also involves relaying information, working to specification, and communicating ideas to others very clearly.
Video editing is not reserved for the Hollywood professional, or limited to use within the industry. In the modern age, it is something that everyone can get involved in, which means there is a huge need for software. Whether it’s editing a home video or creating stunning visual effects for a movie, the use of editing software is more widespread than ever before.
Those with an interest in this profession can take some early steps without having to commit to a place at university, for instance. There are plenty of blogs, online courses, and resources that can help people to understand the basics of this challenging profession.
Every day presents its own unique challenges, but if you are willing to put the work in, and specialize in the in-demand areas in the industry, this can be a steady job that allows you to hone your skills and utilize your creativity in your work. Our guide has hopefully given you an overview of what the job requires, the skills that individuals in the industry tend to have, and how rewarding it can be to work as a software developer.