I am having a hard time pulling the trigger on changing my career.
When I was in college, I fumbled for a major. I have always been interesting in computers, software, programming and design. But I was also hearing horror stories of people with a Computer Science degree working at Walmart or gas station because they couldn’t get hired. This was around 2010 - 2011ish.
With my financial situation as it was, I needed a job right away after college. So I chose something that also interested me and would guarantee me a job - Medical Lab Science.
After college, I hit the workforce quickly and I loved every minute of it. Helping patients, learning new things, and all the new technology. And I was finally an “adult” with my own apartment and actual food in my fridge.
Then it became boring.
So much so, that I went back to teaching myself programming again in the downtime I was having at work. (Shhhh…don’t tell anyone)
Then I got promoted.
I had a great start in my new role and I loved being part of the backside of the testing I was doing. My new role was building tests into the lab software. So very close to programming! I even agreed to build macros for Excel and Access databases so I could do programming at work. I even had a small say in meetings about where we went with new tests and projects. Small being the key word there.
But then it became boring. Again. And I moved two hours away from my job. (Personal reasons and a very long story)
Now I am at a point in my career where a switch might be the best thing for me. But I am afraid to actually do it because of all the what ifs. What if it isn’t a stable career? What if I am not good enough? What if I start to hate programming when I do it everyday for a job? What if I can’t keep up with the new tech? What if it isn’t a sustainable job in the future? So many more float around in my head…
My main concern is that I am leaving a very steady job with good pay, to an unknown field that could chew me up and spit me out. And that I am moving careers just because I’m having a boring spell in my job.
Even now, I don’t believe I am ready to apply for jobs in development, but I want to apply to this job I found at a tech company where I could get some tech specific experience. It’s basically a help desk sort of job. Just to get some experience in the tech field (and it is much closer to home).
I just love programming so much. There is nothing like fixing a bug or getting that line or chunk of code to work. That feeling is just pure awesomeness and I can’t get enough. I love the problem solving and the simplicity and complexities. I love making something from nothing. I love reading about it and hearing success stories of people making it when they start from square one.
So I want to open this to some discussion on this type of thing.
If you have been in the same situation, what made you switch? If you currently work as a developer, do you still enjoy your job years after? What do you see for the future of developing? In, say, 40 years?
Should I stop dragging my feet and just jump already?
Any other tips, tricks, and/or advice for an aspiring developer?