Is coding the only thing coders do?

No, writing code is not the only thing coders do. So what do they actually do? Some say that their main responsibility is to think. New challenges are inevitable and programmers need to overcome them daily. So If you enjoy solving puzzles and can think logically, programming may be the career for you. Here we break down the coders’ scope of duties to help you decide if you are up for the job. 


1. Code

Some say that coding is solving problems, others argue that it is converting instructions from one language to another. The primary purpose of coding is to facilitate communication between humans and machines. Therefore, coding is the initial stage of programming which, thanks to complex queries and algorithms, allows you to achieve the appropriate results. 

One has to remember that the programming approach involves translating requirements, writing lines of code, and then deploying them to machines. Of course, there are plenty of complicated programs that generate code automatically. However, anyone who has ever been forced to use them knows that the programmer’s first step is to erase unnecessary lines of code that these tools produce. 


2. Use tools that enhance good practices 

Assuming that coding is solving puzzles, we need to write the solutions down using a programming language. As with any language, grammar and style need to be as uniform as possible for the product that is to be made in cooperation with others team members. Coding software is rarely a task for just one person – it’s a team effort. 

To make our code cohesive and easy to read we have tools such as Eclipse and Sonar, which are integrated development environments that provide end-to-end facilities for computer programmers during the coding process.

Unfortunately, these tools need to be adapted to our needs, so the programmer must get to know them and learn to use them before releasing their first “hello world” test program.


3. Run your code

Every piece of software, even the best one, must be run. The commands saved as a source program are suitable for execution by an automaton. Some programming languages ​​require a specific environment provided by the respective operating system before they can run. Many modern utility packages have support for some programming languages and have tools to help you create and execute programs written in them. 


4. Run unit testing 

To ensure our  code is resistant to the creative modifications of our teammates, we should run unit tests. What are those? Unit tests are nothing more than a set of trials that verify that a unit of code (eg Class, Service, etc.) is working as expected.

Unit tests can run automatically each time the project is built; if any of the tests fail, the whole procedure is aborted. When it comes to software development unit tests are important because they allow us to make sure that our program works correctly. 


5. Prepare documentation 

Next, we have to deal with the rather boring activity of documenting our work to share with other team members. Fortunately, writing documentation does not require the creation of thousands of documents and complicated language.  

It should be simple, concise, and understandable for the largest group of readers. Ideally, documentation is part of the software development process (often written as notes directly into the source code) which includes a description of functionality, tips for the tester assessing our work, and the analysis of the impact of functionality or functionality changes on the entire module and related modules. 


6. Communicate

Studies show that one of the best ways to share ideas and progress is at the whiteboard, where there is direct face-to-face communication and coders can exchange views and experiences. The second most effective way to communicate is by talking directly on the phone.

However, in today’s reality where team members are often scattered around the globe, there is a need for efficient online communication platforms that allow seamless workflows such as (to name just a few)  Slack, Basecamp, or Teams. These tools allow teams of developers to maintain a high level of involvement as they work on projects together. 


7. Know your market

Last but not least – creating a good piece of software requires at least a basic knowledge of the market which will use it. So if the solution you are working on is intended to be up and running in agriculture, but you are not familiar with this industry, extensive research will be essential. Apart from studying on the internet, you should also talk to specialists from that market to gain some valuable insights from their experience. 

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