All programming is not created equal.
Having said this, I don’t know a single programmer who regrets his choice of learning to program. With growing automation, programming becomes more and more a skill that is at the heart of many tasks in our society. No matter whether you work in the medicine, logistics, retail, or service sector—programming is a critical component to keep the business running.
And because programming has become relevant for every aspect of modern society, a career in computer programming can vary a lot:
- You can work as a data scientist for a large insurance company predicting risk profiles for their customers.
- You can work as a route planner for a logistics company.
- You can create split tests for large online retailers.
- You can design, set up, and maintain web sites for small and large businesses.
- You can work as a researcher at the University.
- You can create your coding startup or work as a freelance programmer online (no, you aren’t too old or too young).
So let’s focus on the commonalities rather than the differences: What characteristics will determine your future life as a programmer?
- You’ll earn a lot of money. If you work in the US, you can easily earn six figures as a programmer.
- You’ll enjoy high job satisfaction. A recent developer survey from StackOverflow shows that most programmers are really happy with their jobs (DevOps being the happiest subgroup of coders).
- You’ll learn one of the most important skills in the 21st century. Automation creates jobs for the guys who automate. If you are a programmer, you belong to a group of people who benefits greatly from automation.
- You’ll never stop learning. If you do, your skills become less and less relevant to the marketplace because of the rapid pace of change in the computer industry.
- You’ll communicate a lot. Communication is king when working as a computer programmer. Because of the increasing complexity of today’s projects with millions of lines of code (Microsoft, Apple, Google, …), the ability to work together with other people is vital for your future success. The programmer who works for himself is the exception rather than the norm. It’s more likely that you work as a team leader or DevOps engineer managing teams with Skype around the world.
This also indicates how your day as a programmer will look like:
Invest your money. 😉
In that order.