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Challenges Every Software Developer Faces

Last updated on: 
September 6, 2023
Swaminathan Iyer
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About The Author!
Swaminathan Iyer
Swaminathan Iyer
Product Manager at Interview Kickstart. The intriguing mind brainstorming ideas day and night for the creation of projects from simple “Hello World” to building strategies and frameworks.

Software developers are the backbone of any successful tech company. The tech world would be pretty incomplete without these software superheroes. While it may seem like writing codes for software developers are a piece of cake, it requires immense patience, concentration, and perseverance to get it right. That being said, a software developer’s career also comes with its own set of unique challenges.

In this article, we will talk about:

  1. The ten most common challenges every software developer faces
  2. How can you overcome these challenges
  3. What are the skills required to become a software developer in 2021
  4. How can you ace the software developer interview
  5. How much can you earn as a software developer in 2021

Ten challenges every software developer faces in their career

As a software developer, it’s easy to get frustrated due to the various challenges you may be facing in your career, and code malfunctioning is only the tip of the iceberg. Here are 10 of the most common challenges every software developer faces in their job.

  1. Keeping up with rapidly changing technologies: Software developers must always keep themselves updated with all the latest technological developments happening in the world. But the rapid changes in the field of technology have put an added pressure on the software developers to leverage these developments to get an added advantage over their competitors & stand out in the market. 
    To ensure you win this, make sure your team is always up to date with market trends & polishing their skills based on the latest tech requirements.
  1. Not understanding the project requirements: It’s common for software developers to face users who have their own opinions on building a certain software that may create difficulties for developers who barely interact with the users. However, this is not the only problem software developers face with projects. Sometimes, workforce issues make it difficult to work on a complex project single-handedly, especially for new developers.
  1. Having errors detected on the last stage of production: Software developers work with challenging timelines and deadlines. They are often forced to finished complex projects under tight deadlines. This can sometimes lead to developers missing specific bugs during the development or testing phases. These bugs, when identified at the last stages of production, create more frustration for software developers. A good rule of thumb may be to continue testing and debugging throughout the production phase to avoid bugs getting detected at the end.
  1. Security challenges: Data security is one of the major challenges a software developer faces. Every application a developer makes is prone to hacking. Security breaches are very high these days, and every application will have some kind of vulnerability in them. It often gets challenging when a software developer has to deal with securing an application they developed. This increases the pressure on the developers to provide a secured solution. 
  1. Tight deadlines & time limitations: Software developers are subjected to extremely tight deadlines. It is, after all, a time-game. The entire process gets even more challenging when developers have to work with different clients over multiple timezones. Such time constraints often bring down the productivity of development teams leading to mediocre quality products in the end.

  2. Working on another developers code: Working on another developer’s code can be a tricky challenge, especially for new developers or situations where a former developer working on the code has left the organization. This can lead to conflicts in the team and needs careful attention.
  1. Beating the competition: The software market is very competitive. Companies have to ensure they stay one step ahead of their competition in the market regarding the products they’re developing. Competitiveness has a direct impact on customer retention, pricing, reach, service level agreements, etc. Hence it’s crucial to reduce the pressure on software development teams to be on top of their performance. 
  1. Limited resources & infrastructures: Lack of good resources and infrastructures is one of the biggest challenges faced by software developers and software teams everywhere. Limitations in terms of high-performance software tools, computing platforms, improper data connectivity, or inefficient data storage architectures considerably bring down the productivity & performance of the software development teams & impact the overall result.
  1. Integration challenges: A software developer has to work with many different software technologies, systems, and applications, all integrated into other third-party software. The biggest challenges with integration often stay hidden in between the development process. This often leads to extra costs, delays, lower quality of project & sometimes even the failure of the project.
  1. Requirement Volatility: Constant changes in the project requirement only make the project more complicated for software developers to work with. In a survey done by Stack Overflow in 2016, over 33% of respondents considered building products with unspecified requirements one of their biggest challenges. To avoid this, ensure that the project team fully understands the needs and that they’ve been communicated to the teams. It also helps to create a prototype first to confirm/refine all final agreed-upon requirements.

How to overcome these challenges as a software developer?

These simple solutions can help you make your life easier as a software developer. Ensure you and your team incorporate these solutions in all of the stages of your project.

  1. Communication

Proper communication skills are essential for a software developer, along with a strong background of technical skills. While improving your communication skills, you can also get to know more about your team members and understand your end-user better. This will, in turn, help you develop the product better.

  1. Break things down

Instead of writing full codes, break them down into simpler parts. Distribute your final product into smaller targets. This will help you achieve more and help you reach your targets faster. Make sure you keep testing continuously. Testing your code will throw errors. Fixing one error will help you fix the other errors too. 

  1. Keeping yourself updated with new technologies

One of the previously mentioned challenges talked about the various technological advancements happening in the sphere. Keeping yourself updated with the latest technologies will help you incorporate them into your projects and give you a better edge over the competition.

  1. Work smarter, not longer

Long work hours are a common complaint of software developers. It thus becomes more important to assess the situation & work in a smarter way instead of putting in too many long hours. Try not to get glued down into your work and ensure you take regulated time off from work to come up with newer & fresher ideas.

Your life as a software developer gets exciting from the day you write your first code. It’s always a good practice to talk to your colleagues and seniors about your experience and ask for advice whenever necessary.

Every challenge you face in your software development career will always have a solution to it. Ensure you analyze it with a calm mind and understand that coming to the solution after facing a challenge is not impossible. 

Skills required to become a software developer in 2021

Software developers are often judged & assessed on their proficiency with specific programming languages and frameworks, but it should be noted that these are all transferable skills. That being said, some skills & frameworks are in high demand right now that will help you add weight to your resume. 

  1. Data Structures & Algorithms: Data Structures & Algorithms are some of the most important skills prioritized by tech companies worldwide when hiring software developers. Your efficiency in Data Structures & Algorithms is directly related to your problem-solving ability and coding skills. Data Structures & Algorithms are at the core of any programming.

    Software developers often fail to understand the importance of Data Structures & Algorithms in their careers’ early stages. But as you progress through, you’d realize how important it becomes when your code starts taking too much time or takes up too much memory in the system.

    Data Structures & Algorithms are also a crucial part of any software developer interview, so it’s important you continue upskilling your Data Structure & Algorithm skills (e.g., Arrays, Linked Lists & trees)
  1. Cloud Computing Skills (AWS, GCP & Azure): Companies, small & large, and various domains are now moving towards cloud services as a cost-saving method and improving scalability. This means; eventually, the company you work for will expect you to work with cloud-based applications.

    Top cloud platforms like Azure (native to Microsoft), AWS (native to Amazon), GCP (native to Google) will help you get ahead in terms of your hire ability in some of the top companies, including FAANG. You don’t have to learn all of the cloud platforms. Having a good idea about one of these will enable you to understand the others too.

  2. Git & GitHub: As a software developer, you need to know about version control tools like Git & SVN. Git & Github have streamlined the market to a great extent. Over 70% of the companies use Git. While learning Git, make sure you put some effort into understanding the advanced version control concepts such as branching and merging and learning the command line and the GUI. 
  1. Containers (Docker & Kubernetes): Docker & Kubernetes are some of the most important container tools every software developer is expected to know in 2021. Containers help developers test their applications in a unified environment but also make the deployment process easier. Docker & Kubernetes are two containers that’ll help you get the edge in any software developer interview since they are one of the most-sought-after skills companies look for in 2021.
  1. Object-Oriented Programming: As a software developer, you need to know at least one of the following programming languages: C, C++, C#, Java, Python, or Javascript. The easiest to learn, however, is the Java programming language. 

How to prepare for a software developer interview?

Software development is one of the most lucrative job opportunities of 2021. Now that you know about the skills required and challenges faced by software developers in their work let’s look at how you can prepare yourself for a software developer interview.

  1. Find out the most commonly asked interview questions.

In a typical software developer interview, you can expect to be asked questions about your knowledge of the programming languages you know, your ability to solve programming problems efficiently, and a few basic questions about past projects you’ve worked on.

  1. Do background research about the company.

While you may think you know everything about a company. It doesn’t hurt to brush up that knowledge with more information on the current products & technologies they’re developing or working on based on publicly available information. 

  1. Ask questions, and then ask some more.

Don’t straightway jump into the solution. Make sure you check your assumptions with the interviewer before you start forming your solution. Ask all the relevant questions you need for clarity.

  1. The interviewer only looks for three things in your code.

Does it run fast? Take up less memory & is it stable? If you’re able to tick off all these boxes with your code. You’ll be ahead of most of the competition. 

How much can you earn as a software developer in 2021?

The average salary you can earn as a software developer in the US is around $100-$110K/year.

While it may seem like a daunting task to clear the software developer interview, it doesn’t have to be that way. With our handy tips on preparing for a software developer interview and a list of skills companies look for, you’re already on your way to success. 

Join our 2-Month coding & systems design masterclass that will help you nail the software developer Interview with ease. Register for our webinar to know more about our program.

Posted on 
March 18, 2021

Swaminathan Iyer

Product @ Interview Kickstart | Ex | Business Management - XLRI Jamshedpur. Loves building things and burning pizzas!

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