I love the helpful community. I’ve been on FCC for a few months now and taking Colt Steele’s Web Developer’s Bootcamp simultaneously. I’m motoring along and I’m doing relatively ok, but sometimes I can’t help wondering if this work will be a good fit for me.
Prospects - I reckon this kind of work has a better prospects than most for the future. Loads of jobs currently unfilled.
Potential Earnings - All the projections seem to indicate that Web Development will continue to experience good salary growth going forward.
Potential for Location Independence - This is probably my biggest motivation really. I’d really like the opportunity to travel and see a bit of the world before I die. I reckon I could learn a bit of coding and freelance while I travel.
Potential to envision cool things and make them myself.
Well, I guess I fear that their might be a bit of a loneliness factor with this work. Long hours keeping to yourself.
I’m kind of more of a collaborative personality, and I think at this stage in my life the skill I have most honed is giving kick-ass presentations (I’m a 43-year old teacher and coach). I’m wondering if perhaps there is potential for knowing a bit of coding and dovetailing that with presentation skills. Come to think of it, is that what Steve Jobs did?
Anyway, just wondering if anybody else out there is thinking “yes, this is something I could probably learn and even be good at, but gosh-darn it, I don’t want to end up growing old and sick in a cubicle again.”
Contrary to popular belief, programmers tend to be extremely social and collaborative people. Just look at the FCC chat and forum for proof. My team members work together closely on development, help each other out, shoot the shit throughout the day, and (especially this time of year) schedule “meetings” to go get ice cream. I’m not lonely.
In all honesty, I think it’s the other way around. Imagine working for an insurance company as a sales person over the phone, or being a customer service agent for a cable company. To me, that is the line of work that’ll get you thinking that you’ll end up growing old and sick in a cubicle(not that there is anything wrong with that line of work).
In my opinion, web dev or any other tech related / coding jobs are more dynamic, collaborative and fun. You are being paid for what you know, not for your time (which means you have to be repeating lines on the phone over and over again for 8hrs). Some times you get to work remote, which gives you freedom and more time with the family/friends. Other times you will work in an office, but this is rarely(if ever) cubicles. People are always talking and helping each other, goofing around and enjoying what they do for a living, which to me, is the most important aspect of finding the right job.
If you go and become a developer because you have fun, enjoy building stuff and banging your head against the keyboard in frustration, you will have a good time on the job.
For a bit of perspective… Ive been in sales for the past 12 years. Not sure if that speaks for itself, but my job was all social and speaking skills and 100% person to person contact. In my personal life though I am a hardcore hermit lol
Anyway, a couple months ago I was talking to someone in software development who became incredibly interested when I told him my background in webdev…hes actually the one who resparked my interest in taking this seriously as a career path. Anyway, he said a huge part of his job was pitching ideas for to fund new software solutions that the company he worked for developed. He said that a developer who also has people skills is a killer combo.
Take from what you may… but I do get the gist that the stereotype that programmers are all socially awkward and never talk to anyone is just that, a stereotype. Everything Ive been seeing about working in a co have to do with the ability to collaborate and work with others on a project…unless you are in a very small company and the only developer, but if you dont want that, don’t go after a job like that.
In other news…I too love to travel and my ultimate hope is to be able to work location independent. Realistically speaking through, remote jobs are so highly sought after that it would likely take more effort than just learning a bit of coding like you say. But, that is my end goal that I am working towards.
I think that remote work will become more and more the norm rather than the exception. You can feel the shift that is going on in the professional world, just by everything being so connected now. I see that companies looking for developers are realizing more and more each day that being able to offer the possibility to work remotely is a huge advantage for both the company and the employee. Hopefully this trend will continue and all of us campers will have awesome jobs in the near future
A lot of software type jobs will be heavily collaborative. You can certainly find solo jobs or jobs where people leave you alone, but the majority of it will involve collaboration with co-workers, management, and possibly the customer. There are too many examples to list here. You have typical in-house code reviews where you present your code to co-workers. You have customer interviews where you gather requirements for your project. There are endless software related conventions where you can learn and network with tons of people. And if you are ambitious and not afraid, you can be the guy that goes on behalf of your employer and pitches million dollar+ solutions to NASA or Chevron or the Department of Defense or a major university, etc. That will exercise your presentation skills! Heck if you can speak well, you can avoid code altogether and still find 6 figure jobs as long as you are able to advance and become a subject matter expert in your companies line of work or product.
For the record, I despise cubicles. I lived in cube-land for a while, and every single day I felt like Ron Livingston. There were many, many days when on my commute I wanted to just keep… on… driving… right past the office and back to bed. I do know people that work from home in data science and programming jobs. That is pretty strong motivation to know that is a possibility.
Thanks for all the replies guys. I really appreciate them one and all. After I posted it, I had a bit of an epiphany that perhaps there might be opportunities for collaboration and such in development, but I had just been a bit focused on what my current experience is. I’ll have to make a better effort to find others in my locality going through the same experience. Ideally, I’d find a mentor to help when the going gets tough. I haven’t put as much thought into that as I should have perhaps. Everybody is so busy with their own lives, etc. Thanks again folks!
I truly hope so… my dream is to buy an RV and live on the road, traveling from place to place while being able to work remotely. If I can do that…Im set for life. lol
You can totally do that! My wife and I just got back from nearly 3 months in the Bahamas on our sailboat. She works remotely as a writer, I’m getting into coding so I can cut my ties to land and we can be out there indefinitely.