In recent years, the sensational success stories of tech companies like Facebook and Apple have turned the general public’s attention toward the inner workings of these types of companies – and more specifically, the talent driving them.
While the founders and leaders have naturally drawn most of the media love, their success has generated a great deal of interest in the people that actually write the code behind the products and services that millions of people have come to rely on. Indeed, while software developers and coders have tended to be the people working quietly in the background, they are increasingly the new rockstars and prodigies of a new, digitally driven business era.
Although the consumer-facing products and services garner the lion’s share of press coverage and general curiosity, it is increasingly the enterprise software environment that is proving to be a hotbed of innovation for talented developers. But, as Ross McLaren, Software Architect at development company redPanda Software points out, there is a perception that enterprise systems are ‘unsexy and staid’.
“But in reality, it is an environment in which developers are constantly exposed to different frameworks, platforms and business challenges,” says Mclaren. “We also have to work with different skill sets, learn various scripting languages, become comfortable with new architectures and be adaptive to a constantly evolving set of projects and circumstances.”
According to McLaren, the enterprise environment requires developers to work within a dynamic unit, and to be constantly communicating with team members, business analysts, leaders, etc.
“We follow the Agile development process, which requires daily problem solving and meetings,” he adds. “Enterprise systems are large and complex, so not only is there a great deal of variety in the work, but it also requires creative problem solving and a strong element of disruptive thinking.”
Indeed, for many software developers and IT practitioners at large, a key component of any successful outcome is the ability to problem solve and approach business problems from unexpected angles. For McLaren, the real reward comes from ‘creating something and then actually watching it running [and addressing a business need].’
“To create something that people use, on a daily basis, is a hugely rewarding part of working in the enterprise environment,” he adds. “The opportunity is there, every day, to learn something new and to truly impact how people work and live. For software developers, who are innately curious and information-hungry, it is an ideal environment in which to acquire intellectual capital and hone one’s skills.”