My First Week at a Software Development Company

By Emily Buchanan on June 15, 2020

software development company motivating sign that reads "you got this"


There is a magical universe of coders and software development companies working to create things we use everyday. Your blog website, GCal reminders, and diet tracker are all products of someone somewhere’s hard work. They curate flawless experiences for us so we never have to lift the hood. Genius.

I, on the other hand, upon hearing a word like “code” instantly picture scenes from one of the recent Jobs movies. As a writer, my knowledge of this mysterious software world doesn’t stretch far beyond the basics of website need-to-knows. So, it makes sense why I’d be a little nervous for my first week at a Software Development company. I braced for what would likely be a fire hydrant of technical terms I had no chance of understanding. Yet, what I found was a company of humans creating for humans. As patterns began to emerge, it seemed they valued teamwork over lingo. They spoke of collaborating with clients over negotiating with them. Could this be?

My greatest surprises:

1. They believe the best software is built for real people.

In the nontechnical (read: my) world, we often don’t give the people making “cool” stuff much thought. For some reason the whole process can seem robotic like the technology itself. Cold, rigid, and at best, designed a little. But from the inside, there are people designing for people. They are taking into consideration how you move and think. It’s not so cold and dreary in here, in fact, it’s rather nice.

2. They aren’t interested in appearing like the smartest people in the room (even though they are).

After one day of onboarding, I knew this was a place that “got” people. The anticipated feeling of drowning had dissipated. Their goal was not to confuse me, but to wade me in. A sense of, “You’ll learn what you need to learn and we will help you along the way,” rose in the air. (I assumed this is how they handle nontechnical clients as well). There were no false pretenses of course. I was almost immediately given a link to a “Glossary of Terms“, but I was happy to read it.

3. There are SO many keyboard shortcuts I did not know about.

For fun things too-who knew.

4. You can make a difference no matter your skillset.

In five days I have seen how individuals with completely different skillsets can change the world. And how they empower others to do the same. In 2020 there are more than enough chances to use what you know for good and not evil. And I’m pretty excited to be a part of a team who is doing just that.

It’s true, it will take me some time to learn the rhythms, terms, and systems of a software development company. But I’m excited to become a part of the operating system. 😉