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What's it like being a programmer?

By xeven101 ·
hello everyone,

I've been considering going back to school to get either an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, with the idea of someday working as a programmer.

My questions are: What is it really like working as a programmer? What are the pros and cons? What type of personality is best suited to programming? Is the stress level so bad as to make it unbearable?

I'm really not sure if this idea of being a programmer is a good one or not. I guess I'd just like some input from others before I commit myself to going back to school.

thanks

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Stress Level Depends on the Job

by LarryD4 In reply to What's it like being a pr ...

I love programming, but I'm the type of person that could lock himself away in a room for 12, 24, 48 hours and concentrate on a project. I'm not saying you have to be that type of person but it definately helps.

The stress level of any job is directly effected by the type of boss you have and people around you.

One job I had was in a gaming company coding the magic system for a online RPG. Low stress, lots of fun, and I always had a challenge to tackle.

Another job was in a large delivery company and my first boss their was constantly on top of me pushing to get the project done ahead of schedule. My other boss during my time their was smarter and though it was the same department, the new manager was a lot better at what he did and the stress was reduced significantly.

Don't worry about the stress so much as whether you would really like the job. If you love what you do the stress will be less.

Oh pros and cons

Pro
Good money, more fun then tech support, lets you create things. (I love to make gadgets)

Cons
The time you have to put in, the beeper you will probably wear 24x7, the stress when projects are not managed correctly.

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Don't do it

by shank1969 In reply to What's it like being a pr ...

Being a programmer is terrible. You deal with tons of idiots that think they know what they are talking about. Ridiculous deadlines on every project. People think that you know everything there is to know about computers. Boat loads of stress, and absolutely no job satisfaction. You should do something that you love even if it doesn't pay much. At least when you're old you can look back at what you've done with your life and be proud. Do you really want to sit behind a desk and write disposable code for some horrible company? Don't do it, you'll regret it.

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