Which phrase is better: "software developer life" or "life of software developer"? First one sounds better but I would like to get why in a rather formalised way.
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closed as off topic by FumbleFingers, MετάEd, Matt E. Эллен♦, Kris, Monica Cellio Sep 23 '12 at 3:34
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Whichever way you choose, you're going to need either an article or a plural noun:
1) A Software Developer's Life / The Life of a Software Developer
2) The Software Developer's Life / The Life of the Software Developer
3) Software Developers' Lives / The Lives of Software Developers.
The first would refer to a specific software developer, whereas the second and third would be about the generic software developer or software developers in general.
If you're looking for a title, it may be more common to use the The X of Y form, but semantically they're pretty similar. So long as you've got the grammar in place, I'd say don't stress the difference between the wordings.
The life of a software developer is challenging sounds normal. Sounds like you're talking about their career.
A software developer's life is challenging sounds normal too. Although it sounds more like you're speaking about their overall life, not just the software developer aspect of it.
Software developer life is challenging sounds playful, less normal, like a joke. Like "thug life".
I think what you might mean is "The Software Developer Lifestyle" or "A Software Developer's Lifestyle".