This may sound elementary but hear me out. The word developer means (as a noun) one who develops. Develop means, among other things, to start or to improve. If you start to build or improve on your own or someone else's social skills or a social project one might say you work in social development. If you were to write software (or even take other written code and combine it) I would say it's appropriate to call yourself a software developer.
What most people are asking when they ask "am I a developer?" Is really "would a large enough body of people who know or become aware of my work, work being the tasks I perform for money or not, and the details of my work consider me a developer or at the least approve of my use of the word developer when describing myself?" The answer to that question is always "who cares". If you are focusing on getting a job than I would say you should care but only in so far as it lands you the job.
Be honest about where you are at however or the job won't be a good fit (good advice for any profession) but you should rise above the need of others approval of what you call yourself and call yourself a pink elephant if you want.
I'm considered a developer in the classical sense however I find it to be a reductionist point of view because as I see it writing code is the least amount of work I do, designing or finding solutions being the most. When you are looking for developer work what businesses are really looking for are people who can think critically and solve problems not an expert code writer.
Very well put, thank you, nice of you to add it to each of the posts. 😉 You are correct there is very much a "who cares" element that should be remembered. I think part of the point of the post, at least for me, was to kind of step out of the "shadow" of the word if that makes any sense. And hopefully maybe even spark others to do the same. There is a wide range of aspects to "development", it simply doesn't due to get hung up on that one word.
And now I kind of wish there was a pink 🐘 emoji?
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