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Computer programming a great career?

  1. Dec 27, 2009 #1
    Some people dont mind sitting down on a desk with a cup of coffee and
    solve some problems on computer, (mostly coding for whatever it be).

    im thinking of persuing my career as a programmer and i think it suits my personality and my
    Im looking for anyone whos currently working in a computer programming field and any regrets for your education? or anything that you would like to change if you were to go back in time?

    For me i think computer programming seems like a very interesting job. i would love to sit
    down with group of guys and think of innovative ideas to change the world with our technology.

    If there are any suggestions or advice for me concerning my future careers please let me know. im open for any cons/pros or anything i should watch out for. Thanks :D
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 27, 2009 #2
    It is a good occupation if you're into this kind of thing. One word of advice though is that you should not ignore the long-term picture. Things you enjoy doing when you're 25 are not necessarily the same things you want to be doing when you're 50. You should either have some valuable specialization that lets you move beyond dumb coding, or do what most people do, work on your social skills, eventually get into management.
  4. Dec 27, 2009 #3


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    I am a programmer. It is actually my second career. I thought I wanted to be a cinematographer. But I programmed as a hobby since I was young. It's a good clue what you like doing if you do it for fun.

    It is very lucrative, especially if you consider the amount of work required (a lawyer or doctor may take years to get to where they want to be, and they may have to work a 60-70 hour week). There is always work in the field (if you keep your skills up-to-date).

    It's a good field to be in in a recession.
  5. Dec 27, 2009 #4
    The downside is poor job security. Most programmers change jobs every 3-5 years. I imagine it gets increasingly difficult to find new employment and to keep your skills up to date past 50. And you have to make it to 65 somehow, by hook or by crook, because that's when Medicare kicks in. (Unless you strike it rich early on, so rich that you can afford to retire and buy your own health insurance.) In the U.S., anyway.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  6. Dec 27, 2009 #5


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    Heh. It's been so long since I had any security I hadn't even considered it as a factor, up or down. Longest job I held in programming is 4 years. Usually more like a year.

    True. I am suffering from ageism, and I'm not 50.
  7. Dec 28, 2009 #6
    I'm *almost* 50, and have been a programmer for years. While I have to admit that I'm sick of it and am desperately looking for a way out, I also have to say that I've personally never been in as much demand as I have been in the last year or two.

    As for job security... my experience has been that there is *always* another job. Companies come and go all the time, but I've never really felt any job insecurity in the sense that I always knew that there were other opportunities out there.

    As a disclaimer, I live in Silicon Valley, which is sort of a strange place in general, and probably colors my view of the entire computer industry.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  8. Dec 28, 2009 #7
    On the other hand, who doesn't nowadays? The last set of layoffs I've been through were once in which large numbers of people both technical and non-technical got the ax.

    Keeping skills fresh isn't that hard. Once you've learned ten different programming languages, then one more isn't a big deal. Also, I'm find that as time passes, the number of opportunities just keeps growing. As you move along, you meet different people and come up with different skills.

    But again, computer programming is no different here than any other industry that I can think of.

    At 59 1/2, you can start pulling money out of 401(k)'s.
  9. Dec 28, 2009 #8
    Physicians and professors have very good job security. School teachers are very rarely laid off. Lawyers are generally quite secure, as far as I know (this recession notwithstanding.)

    As long as you don't have any pre-existing conditions that make you uninsurable or make your health insurance cost upwards of $1000/month, or make your life miserable in some other way.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
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