Have you ever just sat and thought about what you really want out of a career? What does it entail? Developing new ideas and innovating? A high salary? Opportunities in every direction?
If you have had these thoughts, a career in coding may be something you should look into, coding is the first step in a career of computer programming and it is currently a centerpiece in nearly all of the technology and many of the industries that are a daily part of our lives. Learning a coding language is considered the single best way to get yourself through the door and begin opening up opportunities for yourself in this realm.
Of course, as with any job or career path, there are plenty of pros and cons to learning a coding language and committing to this career. If you are considering going into computer programming, here are some things — both positive and negative — to take into account. Let’s start at the beginning.
You’ve made the decision to learn a programming language — now what? The first step on your path is going to involve actually doing the learning and the big first step is what language you are going to choose. There are plenty of options — each with its own benefits — including:
Each choice offers a wide array of career opportunities, many of which overlap with other languages. However, you should take a deeper look into each and make an educated choice based on where you think you want your career to go.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of choosing to learn a coding language is that there are tons of ways to learn. Many courses for beginners are even free! In addition to that, there are a lot of tutorials and web pages full of helpful chunks of code and advice on how to use it.
One of the challenges or cons in this whole thing though is that learning to code is not easy. There is a steep learning curve and it isn’t for the faint of heart. Like learning any spoken language, you won’t become proficient if you aren’t willing to put in the time and effort to become fluent. It can take years to reach a point of understanding where you are developing new ideas and challenging technology norms.
The next big thing to realize about learning to code is that you are going to spend A LOT of time on the computer. For some, this is easy. Between online video streaming, keeping up with friends, and gaming, adding coding to the list of reasons to be on a screen is no big deal at all.
Many experts worry about how much time people in our society spend on the screen. This is especially true for parents raising their children in a modern world that has more technology than they could have dreamed of when they were growing up. Even for adults today, finding that balance between keeping involved with technology enough to not fall behind and avoiding it enough to live a well-balanced life is difficult.
Finding this balance is arguably the biggest challenge in pursuing a career in coding. Landing a job as a software developer will almost guarantee that you’ll be tied to a screen for 8+ hours per day. Taking time to get up and stretch, exercise outside of work, and participate in activities off the screen can not only help your brain and creative juices recharge, but it can be a huge benefit to both your mental and physical health.
Jobs and Demand
Once you’ve finally, finally reached the point in your coding career where you can qualify for jobs, the next step is getting one. Fortunately, there are a lot of needs for people with your skillset. The number of technical experts needed to continue to propel technologies further is growing at a rate far faster than we can generally keep up.
Not only that, but the pay is great compared to many other career paths that require a similar educational commitment. However, there has been some concern that the salary increases of many entry-level programming jobs are slowing down. Of course, this is because there are a lot of these jobs with numerous people vying to fill them. To continue to move up and keep earning more, you’ll have to continue to develop advanced skills in all sorts of realms beyond just coding such as marketing and web development.
Another concern is that sooner or later new technologies will replace coding altogether. Things such as cognitive computing systems will be able to do it all. Though this may be a concern one day, it probably isn’t a real one for now as the technology and ethics are a long ways off. Furthermore, for it to become a reality, it’s going to have to be coded and maintained.
Choosing to pursue a career in coding is commendable. It can be a difficult yet rewarding career path. Once you’ve reached the career stage, the job market is looking up, and with continued skill development, you are sure to work your way to the top!
About the Author: Sam Bowman writes about people, tech, wellness and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading, and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.