A stereotypical view held of software developers tends to be one that is not favourable when held up against the perception of people in other professions.
These pointy-heads, geeks, nerds or any other derogatory term of your choosing are frequently believed to be loners, glued to their computers. Wake, code, sleep, repeat. All done while wearing one of their collection of t-shirts boasting slogans that only other technically minded people will realise is a pithy witticism.
However, shining a light on the software developer’s life and the environment that they operate in reveals a little more about why common misconceptions are held.
The role itself can be challenging: developers have to write code to get a correct output within tight deadlines and face fresh challenges on a daily basis due to evolving technology, market trends, customer demands and new unpredictable problems. This calls for absolute concentration and immersion in their work. As well as a broader enthusiasm and commitment to keeping up to date with new industry developments.
Developers at Yard
The life of Yard developers is somewhat similar to that cliché described above. A simplified version of my typical day is:
- Wake up (always helps)
- Go to our incredible offices
- Daily stand-up meeting
- Code, develop and implement tags relentlessly
- Complete timesheets
- Head home
However, it is the culture at Yard that really sets it apart. We are able to focus on work, enhance skills, deliver quality yet crucially break up the working week.
Part of my role involves a continual development of my skills, which is an area in which Yard excels. There is not always structured training available, given the pace at which software and coding languages can develop. But Yard supports on the job learning through research and experimentation and there is a pool of experience and curious minds to tap in to. A recent example includes being able to scour the web for information to help with a specific Adobe Target implementation, which was ultimately delivered through working with the rest of my team to come up with and test potential solutions.
We published a post that summarised the benefits of introducing play to work for delivering creativity. The same principles ring true for developers – when such focus is required, cognitive stimulation and being able to relax enhances the quality of work. Of course, the interaction with others, even in less delivery focussed situations allows us to operate as a team and tap into the diversity of thought held by colleagues from different backgrounds and with different skill sets.
Yard workplace culture
There are a range of extracurricular activities that we enjoy in the office at Yard. We have a video game section so Yardies can take short breaks between work, allowing the day to be broken up and focus to be regained. In fact, academic research has found that video games can help relieve stress and increase the ability of individuals to handle pressure, so there are multiple benefits to having this option available.
It’s not all screen-based activity either, we have a table-tennis table, which brings a little physical activity to breaks and gets the endorphins flowing. For those that fancy it, there is a well stocked beer fridge too, which after a tough day keeps the team together when we start to unwind.
Every 2 months, we have an office games night. This involves staying in after work to play indoor games and we’ve taken it upon ourselves to bring home cooked food and cakes in, all of which helps us bond as a team and show alternative skills to those we might display in our work.
In my 2 years of working at Yard, I’ve found that this has been hugely beneficial to how we operate as a team. It’s obvious to me that the Developers at Yard are knowledgeable with deep and broad technical experience. However, the cliché of isolation and loneliness is entirely dispelled as the devs at Yard offer teammates help when they are stuck, teach new skills to colleagues whenever required, are clued up on industry trends and share the latest news within the company and with clients.
It’s not just a supportive environment from direct peers either – line managers empathise with their team to allow the entire department to fully understand the problems that are being faced across projects so collectively we can discover solutions to make their development work for everyone.
Based on my experience, software development is stressful and challenging. However, to become a good software developer you must have a relaxed mind which can be achieved by your surroundings and the culture of the company you work for. Given how this is handled at Yard Digital and I am proud to be a Yard Developer.