Education

Poll: Would you recommend a career in programming?

Not everyone is cut out for the competitive software development industry. Let us know whether you advise others to pursue a programming career.
Over the years, a common theme in many of my discussions with other developers is: Despite the large number of open programming jobs, it is getting harder to build a career in software development. Unfortunately, I agree with much of that assessment. There is increased competition from overseas and a constant need to keep pace with technology or fall behind, which has made it very difficult for people to stay at their current level, let alone get ahead.

For the experienced developer, especially a self-starter who is willing and able to freelance or start his or her own company, this is a fantastic industry. And for the top-shelf folks, the sky is still the limit. But for developers who are outside the top 10% or 20%, or who lack experience, this industry is a dog-eat-dog world, with competition from overseas in particular being a concern. I love my personal career opportunities, but I would warn someone considering programming as a future path to be cautious.

J.Ja

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About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

8 comments
RMSx32767
RMSx32767

That depends. The term "programming" is too vague, and the field too wide. Some folks who are very capable data processors (write a program to process simple data and load a data base with the information) might not be so good at writing a driver, OS, etc.

bobmccarty
bobmccarty

Programming is a hobby, not a career.

GuyHarel
GuyHarel

In 1994 I was hired, as a programmer, by XYZ Inc, a strategic Microsoft partner consultant firm. On one fabulous day we were called by Mr XYZ a top top level Microsoft guru and evangelist, for a VERY IMPORTANT conference. It was the rise of Windows NT, it was the rise of OLE automation. There was proudly demonstrated an insertion of a empty document inside an empty OLE container. We could actually see a white square, the container, a black frame, and a white document inside the frame... Everybody awed ! And then the final words: "with this technology, we predict that there will be no need for programmers in then years!. Users will simply have to inter-connect their components to acheive their business goal!" Well...

Matt Nawrocki
Matt Nawrocki

Here's my take on software development. If you don't have the natural inclination to solve multi-layered and complex problems with high levels of patience, you really shouldn't consider the field at all. In my personal experience, although I was able to pick up simple languages like BASIC just fine and hack around, I never could get the hang of heavy duty languages like C and C++. I am what some would consider a person that requires a lot of instant feedback. If I am not getting the golden carrot every step of the way, I usually run out of patience and give up quickly, not because I think software development as a whole is boring, but that my attention span can really only go so far. Not to mention, I tend to have a very linear thought process that doesn't adapt well to programming. Basically, if you don't have a passion for software development, try something else. Spare yourself the pain of constant failure and move on.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

some people will pay you to do. If you keep getting paid, it can be confused with a career.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

No cloud accessed via an ORM with a NoSQL backend in an aspect oriented Saas based design. Doomed to failure from the get go. :p

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Basically we are just glorified clerks. Grab an icon off a tool bar, drag it on to the WYSIWYG editor, set it's caption, job done. :D My take would be that you don't have to recommend a career in programming. Those who want to do it will fall into it naturally, those who don't want will only fall into it unnaturally, like if some clueless HR wannabe told them it was a good career. Is the money good? Compared to what? Recommending a career, is basically an economic assessment, in fact it's a prediction, no lets be honest it's an unsubstantiated guess. Don't be guided by someone else's interest or by incompetents, have a go at it. If you like it, it's an option, if you don't it's a poor option.

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