A man working on a laptop in a brightly lit office beside a plant. He works at Verizon Media.
Ronan O’Rafferty. Image: Luke Maxwell/Silicon Republic

What does a software developer do on a typical day?

10 May 2019

For those who want to be software developers, an exciting career in tech awaits. But what does a typical day actually look like?

There’s a big difference between knowing what someone does for a living and knowing what they actually do on a day-to-day basis.

When the title of a role is both broad and changeable depending on the company, it can be difficult to be sure what a job might actually entail.

With that in mind, we decided to head down to Verizon Media to speak to software development director Ronan O’Rafferty. Verizon Media is a relatively new company, forming less than two years ago, with properties from Yahoo and AOL.

While O’Rafferty admitted that there isn’t really a ‘typical’ day, he did talk about some of the typical tasks that a software developer might have to do.

“On any given day you might have to troubleshoot a production issue, you could have a coding task that you need to take on and complete, you could be mentoring an intern, you could be interviewing – there’s many things that people do on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

In terms of the skills a software developer would need to implement on a daily basis, O’Rafferty said there are a lot of technical skills, such as Java development and experience with databases. However, soft skills are also vital. “It’s really very important to be able to communicate,” he said.

For those who want to become software developers, O’Rafferty said the hardest thing is keeping up with the technology developments, especially since the industry evolves so fast. However, he added that it is also one of the most rewarding parts of a career in the sector.

“From a productivity point of view, the tips that I would give are really simple around keeping a list – what are the priority things that you need to do today – and don’t lose sight of the most important things,” he added.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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