I am a backend software developer for a San Francisco-based startup.
Learning / Being Challenged
Day to Day
As a backend software developer, I mainly do my work using Ruby on Rails, but I also code in a variety of languages and utilize different apps and programs on a daily basis. My day to day involves working on all of the basic functionalities that keep our website and apps running smoothly. We start the day with a stand-up meeting where we go over tasks for the day and for the coming weeks. We do a lot of breaking down tasks and doing code reviews to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Skills & Qualities Beyond School
You have to know a variety of coding languages and have advanced tech skills. A lot of those skills can be self-taught, you just have to be motivated and dedicated to learning them. Beyond computer science, having knowledge of business and how a company works is beneficial. You have to have a deep understanding of the particular area/industry you work in and how what you are building can impact your customers. Contrary to popular belief, a lot of CS work involves teamwork and good communication!
Advice for Getting Started
Here's the first step for everyone
Getting a degree in order to work in computer science isn't always a requirement, but it is helpful and empowering. This is a career where if you can demonstrate proficiency and prior experience, that might be all you need to get a job. Explore your options and figure out what would work best for you. Do as much self-learning as you can in order to figure out what area of computer science really interests you.
My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took: