Dave Powers

I create things with words and/or code.

On Being a Software Developer

I am a “software developer.” Or, at least, that’s what my official job title says. I suppose I could be considered a web developer just as equally (possibly more accurately). Others who do similar work may self-identify as a programmer, coder, hacker, problem-solver, or a number of other terms.

Ship It!

As of recently, I’ve been busy finishing up a couple projects that have since been shared with the world my family and limited Internet following. More on those in a moment.

First, I wanted to share a quote that I like, which is an old saying at Apple attributed to Steve Jobs:

Real artists ship.

Branching Out

No, this post isn’t a reference to git. Rather, I’ve been making an effort to step slightly outside of my comfort zone. I’m making an effort to get more involved with the Ruby and software development communities, both locally and remotely/online. I’ve found that engaging with others is a great way to get a unique perspective on what it’s like to enter and work in the industry, especially from someone with more experience than you.

The TDD Way

At Launch Academy, we are exposed to and taught best practices for software development. One of those best practices is that of test-driven development, or TDD. As the name implies, it is a method of programming where your tests guide your decisions.

Breaking It Down

Now that I’m really immersed in Ruby programming, the problems we are trying to solve are becoming more complex. This is exciting, as the programs have increased functionality, and aren’t just “one-trick ponies” that simply accept text and spit it back out to the user. We are writing code and starting to see the real-world applications it could be applied to.


The “breakable toy” at Launch Academy is a project worked on throughout the duration of the course, used as a tool to learn web development across the stack. While we are learning to program, we’re encouraged to try new ideas and techniques, most likely breaking the application during the process (which we can then roll-back to a working state with git, of course).

A New Way of Thinking

After finishing up the first week at Launch Academy, I find that I am starting to “think like a programmer”. A lot of this is a result of the various ways that my familiarity and confidence has been built up regarding different aspects of software development.