What's it like being a programmer?

I’m thinking of getting into programming instead of doing my current job. However, I’d like to know what a typical “day in the life of a programmer” looks like before I put in serious effort learning to program. https://19216811.cam/

Feel free to freeform answer whatever you feel like but I’d also like to know:

  1. How hard is it to find a job if you’re new https://1921681001.id/
  2. what degrees do you need (if any?)
  3. are your hours set in stone, or flexible? can you work from home ever?
  4. what’s the work atmosphere like?

I know these will vary by job/employer, but I’m just trying to get a rough idea of how things generally are, even anecdotally.

Thanks guys!

most of your questions can be answer with just “it depends on where you work”, hours, atmosphere and such are not defined by being a programmer, but by where you work - different companies, different departments will have different answers to those questions

a degree is not strictly necessary but there is a lot of competition for entry levels job, so having one would give you an advantage against who doesn’t have one, some companies also just don’t want people without a degree. It doesn’t have to be a related degree though, there are many cases of people changing career and going to programming.

It depends on a lot of things.

  • Geography - job opportunities and their requirements vary dramatically even between neighboring cities. Whether or not you are willing to relocate matters too.
  • Background - your education, level of experience, type of previous work
  • Job hunting skills - writing good resumes, finding job openings, talking to recruiters, interviewing, etc are all skills on their own. Getting a job is a different beast than doing a job.
  • etc
  • There are companies that will hire you without a degree. What they consider to be sufficient experience varies.
  • There are companies that will hire you with a degree or “equivalent experience”. For the companies I’ve worked for, this specifically means at least 4 years of professional experience (4 years working is considered “equivalent” to a new college graduate).
  • There are companies that require a B.S. in Computer Science “or a related field”. This usually means a STEM field and also requires that you have done a decent amount of programming already, either for school or work.

This varies dramatically from job to job. In the past few years I’ve talked to recruiters about jobs with 35 hour weeks, with at least one day usually from home. I’ve talked to recruiters about jobs that don’t officially have hour requirements, but expect you to work 60+ hours a week. There have also been a few jobs with fairly standard work weeks plus a rotating “on call” duty of nights and weekends. Currently I am at a job where I have to put in 80 hours every two weeks (“flex scheduling”) and the nature of my work means I cannot do it outside of the facility.

In my experience though, the most common situation is that you put in about 40 hrs per week and come into the office most days but can often work from home for a day or two here and there if you have a reason (the cable guy is coming, your kid is home sick, they’re doing construction and tearing up your commute, etc).

Again, this varies so dramatically that it’s as broad as just asking all people with desk-based jobs what their atmosphere is like. There are places with dogs and free beer. There are places where you sometimes have to wear a tie.