What Is a NextLevel Software Developer?

Excerpt from my upcoming book, The NextLevel Software Developer.

The NextLevel Software Developer

What Do Software Developers Really Do? Just Write Code?

I’ve worked in IT for thirty years, twenty-two of them as a Software Developer. I’ve noticed that most beginning Software Developers (and many experienced ones) think their job is to produce code. However, in reality, one of the most valuable things you might do as a developer is to warn against the creation of code.

Little Guidance for Role Definitions

There’s not much guidance for Software Developers on where their roles begin and end, but growth means that your role must broaden (into a Senior Software Developer, Software Architect or Solution Designer). However, the lines between roles are blurry making it difficult for companies and individuals to determine where any particular Software Developer stands.

What Is A NextLevel Developer?

That’s the main reason that I’ve used the term NextLevel Developer in the title of this book. This book will take you to the next level of Software Development. What does that mean? It means that if you’re a beginning developer you’ll move up at least one level (most likely it will be two or three levels) in your business domain.

However, if you’re already a mid-level developer with five years of experience, this book will still take you up one or more levels.

Instead of saying this book will transform you into a Software Architect or Systems Engineer, I use the term NextLevel because you will get a boost depending upon the experience you already hold.

Summary of NextLevel

I can tell you in just three bullet points exactly how a NextLevel Software Developer is different from all the others.
As NextLevel Software Developer you will

  • Understand what is Valuable to Business
  • Understand how to Connect Business Value to every accomplishment
  • Become irreplaceable by understanding everything the company you are working for does

Take On Any Role

As a NextLevel Software Developer you should be able to take on any role :

  • Quality Assurance
  • Technical Support
  • DevOps
  • Project Manager
  • Project Owner
  • Development Manager

You Must Own The Entire Development Life Cycle

You must be able to take a software project from the beginning (Gathering User Requirements / Creating User Stories) through the entire SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) all the way to deployment and production support.

Why Do All That Work?

You may think, “Why would I do all that work to understand the company I work for when they hardly pay attention to me?” I get it. Companies use people the same way they use chairs or desks or computers. They use them for a function and when the item doesn’t function in a way that meets their needs, they get rid of the item. If the chair breaks & the back falls off, they throw the chair away and get a new one. Many companies see people the same way.

Once You Understand How Businesses Work

All the work you do to understand how your business operates will be multiplied back to you.
Once you:

  • Understand the business
  • Understand that Software Development is for Office Automation (making a user’s work easier)
  • Understand that all Software must be tied to Business Value

You will begin to see Software Solutions for what they really are.

You will begin to see opportunities to create software that solves real business problems.
You will begin to see how your software helps actual people – makes users’ lives easier.
You will begin to find a stronger purpose for what you are doing.

Once you see all of these things clearly you will see a better connection between what a Software Developer does and the business it is supporting.
You may even notice that Software Developers almost own the business now.

Business Logic: Automated

Software developers encode business logic (what the business does) into programs and since those programs are tied to business and the business literally runs on those systems, the Software Developer who understands this, is so invaluable that they have ownership in the business itself.

Maybe Even Start Your Own Business

You will begin to understand that you could build your own business that delivers business value of some kind.

Do you see how this is different than just learning another interesting JavaScript array method?

This is about focusing on solutions, not just on technology.

What do you think about this idea?

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