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Joel
Joel

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Why I wanted to be a software engineer and why you should be one too

What’s your dream job? Are you in that job now? Growing up, I along with my peers were made to think we would want to be in one of the traditional professions such as a teacher, doctor, or lawyer. Near the end of high school, I lost interest in these jobs.

I spent a lot of time on my computer and I saw others were doing the same. More and more people and businesses were moving to do things through computers and the internet. In my last year of high school, seeing all the changes the world was going through, I decided I wanted to do Computer Science. However, at first, I wanted to focus on networking. At that time, I thought of programming as something that would be very hard to learn.

In my first year of college though is when I really decided that I would do programming. My “Intro to Programming” course was an eye-opener. My fears were eliminated. I did my research and much thinking. After this, I knew this was what I wanted to do. Let me share with you the reasons why I decided to be a software engineer.

Minimal equipment needed

In college, I ditched the networking stuff because of all the equipment and resources needed to practice. I did not have the money to purchase the equipment and the school did not have any either (that’s a story for another time). But I did have my laptop and student licenses to productivity applications. Getting started with coding was easy.

To be a software engineer, you just need your computer and the internet. Sometimes you may not even need the internet right away based on what you are developing. I survived quite a while with a laptop 10 years behind its time and no internet during one part of my college time (another story for later). The point is, unless you need some specialized device or working on some top secret or patented stuff, you just need a computer and internet to get started and keep working as a software developer.

Work from anywhere

This point ties in somewhat to the first. Because there is minimal equipment needed, you can virtually work from anywhere. You can work from your home, on the beach, a hotel, where ever! Again, you just need your computer and the internet.

This has been a big advantage during the pandemic. And even now in my country, where people who need to be in the office are being called to go to work as the country is opening up and the work from home orders from the government has expired, my colleagues and I still get to stay home and work. You might also see that major companies such as Twitter and Google have told their employees that they can work from home for at least the rest of the year. Work-from-home jobs are becoming the future.

Job Security

With the coronavirus being a menace all over the world right now, many persons are losing their jobs because of businesses losing money. The tourism industry in Jamaica was brought to a halt. This is a very bad thing for a country that relies a lot on tourism and foreign exchange. That is just an example of one industry that is suffering. Others are suffering at this time with many people laid off. My heart goes out to everyone being affected.

As I mentioned before, in high school I foresaw that computers would be used more often. And this is the case now. People now more than ever, especially in this crisis are doing business online. And do you know who built most of the websites and apps that you are using now? Software engineers. We are building new things and supporting what is already out there. We are needed and will be needed for the future. I do not see this job being phased out any time soon.

Make cool stuff / Start your own business

This is one of the big factors for me deciding to become a software developer. I love technology! I love what it offers and what can be done with it. I love the thought of me having a skill where I can become creative and make cool apps to automate everyday tasks and make the lives of people easier.

I also love the fact that I can simply start my own business by developing a great product. Many programmers aspire to be the next Mark Zuckerberg or someone similar. Your product may not be as big as Facebook, but there is always the hope that you can create a platform that can bring in money.

High Salary

Software developers are in demand. And in turn, the salary is high. According to PayScale, the average salary for a software developer job in the US is $70, 000. It may not be so high in other countries, especially in third world countries like my own, but it’s guaranteed to be one of the highest paying jobs in any region.

Conclusion

The job can get frustrating at times, but in my opinion, the reasons that I have given are worth it to me and I am sure it is the same for other developers. I am convinced that I went into the right profession.

If you are not in this profession as yet, give it some thought. Don’t think about how hard it will be. Take the challenge and think of the reward in the end. If you are already a software developer, well, good for you! Let me know in the comments if you agree with the points made and what are some of your reasons for choosing this profession.

Until next time

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