This post is an opinionated piece. In it, I will briefly go over 4 reasons why I think programming is a great profession. If you are looking for the right career field and are considering programming, then you may find this helpful. If you would like to find out more information, then you can check out my posts about 5 challenges new software engineers face and 4 tips on professional development that will help you get the job.
If you’re like me, the first thing you think of when choosing a career is job security.
When I initially chose computer science as my college major, I had no idea what a “program” even was. I was not aware of programming languages, how they worked, or the difference between software and hardware. In my own mind, I was simply looking for which major could provide me with the best safety net.
It was 2010, and the American economy was still struggling to get on its feet. Many people were losing their jobs, even friends and long time acquaintances. As a reaction to it all, I chose the field of study I thought would save myself from unemployment.
Fast-forward a few years and I am working happily as a software engineering consultant. There has been no shortage of jobs for developers and we will most likely fail to see a shortage of good developers in our lifetime.
Computers and technology are here to stay and will be the driving force to even greater things we as people accomplish in the coming years. Without skilled developers (and engineers and scientists), none of this tech would exist. As long as you are willing to work hard and learn, you will have a seat at the table.
A programmer can code whatever he/she can think of. Literally.
Video games, websites, custom applications or even a smart mirror. Soon, developers will be creating more applications for virtual and augmented realities. The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to what can be created with code.
Creativity and careful planning are necessary every step of the way, as well.
Projects have their own life-cycle, user-interfaces need to be sketched out, and use cases or “stories” must be written about how users can interact with your software. All these scenarios can lead to a programmer creating something which helps people achieve greater goals and can leave someone feeling better than they did before experiencing what you’ve built.
Never Stop Learning
There is so much more to software engineering than just writing code.
Sure, in the end source code is what tells an application how to respond to a user’s actions. Source code is what tells an application how to look, feel, and think. However, a proper development environment must first be configured before any code is written. Compilers, frameworks, version control, IDE’s, database and application servers all must be chosen, installed and set up. An application’s architecture should always be defined for moderately sized projects.
There are so many different pieces to the puzzle that is programming, and to some people, that is one of the greatest things about it.
Programming as a profession, you will find yourself learning new things on a daily basis. Each new lesson is a reward in itself. Each new challenge you surpass is another accomplishment, another notch in your belt.
From the technologies, to getting over the many conceptual hurdles which make up your code, the best programmers are the ones who learn quickly and problem solve efficiently.
Good Programmers Can Work Anywhere
Once you’ve acquired the many technical skills of programming and application development, you may not have to rely on working for someone ever again.
A programming professional can be his/her own boss.
Thanks to the internet, it is more possible than ever to make a living working from home. You can create a website, or work as a freelancer for clients, but you will never need to answer to a higher power. This lifestyle may not be for everyone, and as I stated earlier, I am still working as an engineer for a consulting company.
However, there are also remote positions which have become more and more common in recent years. Interviews, meetings, and deliverables can all be passed via digital medias. Through websites such as https://www.flexjobs.com/ and https://remoteok.io/, the dream to enjoy a life away from the office is within everyone’s grasp. And as a professional programmer, you are more capable of accomplishing these goals than perhaps any other profession on the planet right now.
Thanks for reading!
If you liked what you read, please share with others who might be looking for their next career choice. If there is a different topic you’d like me to write about, please leave a comment below.