Erik is a software engineer with more than 20 years of professional experience. He is currently working as a contractor through his company Hellsoft. Besides writing code for everything from smartphone apps, websites, backend and IoT systems, he is also writing about software engineering on his blog (www.hellsoft.se). Erik has written two books on Android development and can often be found at various tech conferences where he talks about some tricky topics that he has come across in the past. Besides programming, he likes to talk about coffee, gardening and books.
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You are one of the most senior and seasoned developers I have met. What is the most significant change you’ve noticed in the development community since you started your career?
Automation on every level. When I started writing software, there was no such thing as automated tests, IDEs with code-completion, or build tools that optimized your code. Even simple things, such as automatic code formatting, were unknown. Even experienced developers with as much or more experience than me would have trouble writing software in the “good ol’ way.” I think most of us don’t appreciate the advancement made on the tools we work on. Even compilers have gotten so smart today that there is little reason to think about the optimizations we needed to remember only 10 years ago.
Is there anything you miss from your beginning days as a developer?
Not really. Everything is better, just more complicated. Sometimes I might miss the times when I learned or discovered something new, as that happens less frequently these days, but that has more to do with me having less free time and also being old and learning things slower.
What do you think is one core concept that most software developers don’t pay enough attention to, when they are trying to grow their careers?
Automation. Most of the things we do as developers today will be automated to some degree. Most developers will spend less and less time writing actual code and more time thinking about composition and design of systems. The tools will get smarter. Much, much smarter.