Maybe you learned to code in a high school class. Or as a teenage pastime in the basement of your childhood home. Maybe you’ve never coded anything in your life—yet you’re curious. “Could a career in software development be right for me?”
As young people seek to answer that foreboding question—what are you going to do with your life?—software development is at least a career path worth considering. Particularly if you are technically minded or have excelled in math and physics courses, you might be predisposed to working in the tech industry.
Here are just a few of the many reasons you should consider a career in software development:
1. Skyrocketing Demand
Every day, more and more tasks previously carried out by human employees are being taken over by automated programs. With costs of wages, benefits, and office space rising—companies simply can’t afford to continue paying a person to do what could be completed more quickly and efficiently by a computer.
That’s bad news for the majority of the workforce. Unless, of course, you happen to work in computers.
Because for every one of those new automated systems, a team of software developers is necessary to develop the program. Still more programmers are needed to maintain the system and create updates as needs arise. That spells skyrocketing demand for the software development industry.
In fact, demand for developers is so high that many of the world’s largest tech firms currently cite a lack of quality development talent as their greatest barrier to continued growth. In 2014, software developer was the most common occupation in Stockholm, Sweden. And still the demand continues to rise.
2. Long-term Security
Looking 20 years into the future, there’s little indication that the need for software developers will decline. As long as aging developers continue to grow their skills and keep up with new technology, there will be a demand for their innovative minds. If you’re looking for a career that will provide long-term security, programming may be an excellent choice.
3. Constant Challenge
For folks of a certain intelligence, settling into a long-term career can sound downright dreadful. They immediately picture mundane repetition and a lack of mental stimulation—a fate worse than torture for most intellectuals. But such a fate is not representative of career software engineers.
The beauty of programming is that it’s constantly changing. There is always new technology coming out. There’s always a new programming language to master. The breadth of challenges awaiting a developer is as wide as the effort he’s willing to put in.
Are you a person who needs to face a new challenge every day to feel sane? If so, software development may be the perfect career path. In fact, the desire to continue growing and learning as a programmer is an absolute requirement for long-term success in this industry.
4. Collaborative Opportunity
There’s a perception among those outside the development community that programmers spend their days alone in dark rooms, interacting only with their computer screens. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In reality, software development may be among the most collaborative careers out there. Developers are constantly working in teams to challenge one another, brainstorm new ideas, and solve problems. If you enjoy being challenged by your peers in a team environment, you may thrive in a career as a software engineer.
5. Creative Outlet
Software development isn’t something many laymen would immediately describe as a creative field. The public’s vision of Silicon Valley nerds surrounded by supercomputers spouting tech industry jargon seems a far cry from the work of great painters or musicians. These outsiders would be surprised to hear of the creative work involved with designing and developing software.
But if you think about it, programming is first and foremost a creative medium. You’re literally creating a program that didn’t exist before. You’re conceptualizing every level of the user interface, functionality, and processes involved to make the program run. While not a feat for the technologically challenged, it still remains a creative process.
If you enjoy working with computers, but still consider yourself creative at heart, you may find a career in software development an ideal outlet for self-expression.
6. Future Legacy
In generations past, ambitious innovators left their mark on the world, building great bridges and tall buildings. Men and women built their legacies from brick and mortar, or in the pages of classic books.
In this age of technology, leaving your stamp on the world takes a different approach. The innovations moving our world forward are found online, where companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon are daily changing the way the world lives and works.
What will your legacy be? What problem will you solve? What process will you make easier with your creative mind and technical skills?
A career in software development offers the opportunity to add your name to the pages of history books, leaving this world a little bit better than you found it. Isn’t that what we’re all searching for, after all?
Image courtesy of JISC