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What is life like as a developer in a software agency?

By 28th February 2019 No Comments

Software agency life. It’s known for being fast-paced, dynamic, and quirky. You imagine a clan of developers in the zone in the surroundings of a city centre office filled with perks. But what is it really like to work in a software agency? We’ve pulled some of our amazing developers aside to have a chat with them and ask them some of the questions you might be interested in knowing the answer to. We’ve got Mark and Ste, two of our web developers. Mitch is part of the iOS team. And Ricardo is one of our Android members.

What do you guys enjoy most about agency life?

Mark: I enjoy that every day can be different. Each project will have a client with a different vision of what they want from a project. I like that working in an agency offers us the opportunity to work on projects that are interesting and diverse. I feel in the past, agency life can have the potential to become stale. At Dreamr it’s the people and the projects that make it enjoyable.

Ricardo: Being able to work on a number of different projects and working with cutting edge technology. We also have the opportunity to start projects from scratch and learn which approach works best for different types of apps.

Mark – Web developer

How does agency life differ from working for an in house team?

Ricardo – Android developer

Ricardo: This is my first time working in an agency and you never have a boring day. You also get to be able to work with different people on a more regular basis. Rather than working on the same thing every day with the same people.

 Mitch: This is my first job in development out of education so I don’t have experience within an in-house team but I’d imagine both have their benefits. Agency work always has great variety but in house means you can really own the project you’re working on.

Is agency life as fast paced as everyone presumes?

Mark: Agency life can be fast paced. But at Dreamr a lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure things are delivered at a good pace, while ensuring the quality of the final product. As well as allowing developers to achieve a good work/life balance.

Mitch: Yeah I think the implementation of an agile workflow aims to counter this as we can properly estimate how long things will take and work in sprints rather than just working to a finish date.

Ste: Agency life is fast-paced – luckily we implement new project management methods like Agile to spread that load so we don’t have to rush unnecessarily near project deadlines.

What aspect of development do you enjoy the most?

Mitch: Discussing topics is important for me and learning from other developers.

Ricardo: Trying out new tech as it becomes available to developers is something I really look forward to.

Ste:  I’m enjoying learning front end toolkits and features such as Flexbox.

Mark: I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of development and playing around with new technologies.

Mitch – iOS developer

Software is always evolving, what are you looking forward to learning in the future?

Ricardo: Definitely learning and working with AR on Android.

Mitch: Yes me too, probably AR. The amount of potential it has in everyday life means there will be a surplus of ideas.

Ste: I’ve got an eye on machine learning. I am doing lots of reading about the higher level aspects at the moment and waiting to put it into practice. I was hoping to build an intelligent eBay bot that could buy and sell for me basing its decisions on price trends.

Mark: With the popularity of Apps and IoT. I see the web as taking a more back end data handling role. Probably moving towards big data, machine learning and A.I, with PHP having the predominant use of acting as a backend API. Big tech giants such as Google will offer more paid for services to develop solutions for clients, so I’d like to keep up to date in this field. In terms of front-end it feels a little crowded currently with the variety of frameworks available. But there is potential for JavaScript to have a large amount of influence in the front end framework and mobile app space.

What skills have you gained working at Dreamr that you didn't have previously?

Ste – Web developer

Mark: Working under Phil the head of development, has allowed me to further improve my coding practices. Such as offloading work into jobs and queues and leveraging all aspects of the frameworks.

Mitch: Actually being able to talk about programming with developers as previously I didn’t know any others. On the technical side of things, I’ve gained experience in new software architecture patterns such as MVVM. Also reactional programming being the main two.

Ste: I’ve learned the wonderful Laravel. Coming from a Django background I had to bridge the difference and there are quite a few. Luckily, we have some great web developers here that made that process easier.

Ricardo: I’ve successfully learned Kotlin (Android programming language), and how to configure continuous integration software, Android testing and Dependency Injection.