Is It Worth Become a Developer?

Posted on Mon, 20 Jan 2020 in Other

There is a whole week of bank holidays at the very beginning of January in Russia. Sometimes it causes strange thoughts and ideas in people's minds. For example two of my friends decided to become programmers.

There is nothing wrong with that. It is quite easy to find a good job with a decent salary even if you have little experience. And it's super easy to do that if you have a couple of years of experience.

However, their way of pursuing this goal is completely wrong. They both have decided that they have to spend a lot of money on courses missing one thing about our industry. You can try it before "buy" it.

Our industry is not medicine. You don't have to learn many years before you can practice. In programming, you can start immediately. Find and idea and try to implement it in code. That's it. It can make your education easier if you have someone to validate your idea or to help with coding. But it is not necessary.

I want to say that good enough coding skill is just a matter of time and energy. And actually, formal education or online courses don't help to get them. The only way to learn how to code is coding itself. Your first project doesn't need to be useful and big. It could be a small useless thing. For me, it was implementing Conway's Game of Life in Pascal.

The main goal for your first project should be understanding software development is for you or not. I guess it is not wise to change one carrier you not happy with another that is not for you.

All software developers I know have chosen their carriers not because it was a wise decision but because it was the only possible way for them. Almost all of them started programming when they were teenagers. At least a couple of years before university. Several guys changed jumped into programming from different fields. However, they wrote code for a while before that.

So how fast you can get your first programmer job? Well... Half a year before getting an internship is enough. But if you have a family to support it would take at least two years to get a salary big enough to leave your current job. In this case, you have to build a developer portfolio full of interesting projects.

Probably it can vary from country to country. But as far as I know, an intern isn't the best-paid position. Junior developer earns more. But to get this position you have to have some experience.

I can imagine that someone can spend half a year learning programming without passion. But I doubt that anyone can do it for two years. And in any what's the point to do that? It's better to find something else.

And the last point. If you are absolutely sure that you want to ditch your carrier to software development, use it as your strength. You will compete with young guys who have years of experience in the field even if they have just graduated.

But your current carrier can help you to differentiate yourself. It can be a unique business experience, deep knowledge of a particular industry or soft skills.