DEV Community


Posted on

when did you figure out what you want to do as a programmer?

was it a certain idea you had for a project that led you to learn a specific programming language? was it already having a career that helped you realize what you wanted to specialize in? as a beginner I haven't found what it is I want to do as a programmer, I just know that I feel passionate about learning coding. I'm curious how others have arrived at the point they are at in their careers/studies.

Top comments (3)

rizvanadnan profile image
Adnan Rizvan

For me it was one of those things that just happened.
I was studying CPP in college, and I didn't really find the motivation to program in that language. For me it was the lack of the visual aspect. (Typically in uni, you build those console applications and a lot of the emphasis is on algorithms etc.)

Then I went on to a web development bootcamp and I absolutely loved it. Have been coding in the javascript ecosystem for quite some time now.

I suggest you just try a bunch of different technology stacks and see what works for you :)

otavio99 profile image
otavio99 • Edited

Hey there, you have a good question. From my personal experience, I can say that there is one question that can help you to figure out what to do with programming which is easier to answer than the initial question. The question is: Do you need programming for something?

  • IF YES: if you need programming, then that is mostly not because of programming itself. My situation for example was this one. I needed programming to make money, as I was going for it as a way of living and there were no programming jobs in my city, then I had to search for remote work. I searched for the most used programming language on the market and went for it. Then I did a bit of freelancing, got full time job, and after a while another realization: I needed to gain more money (because of family issues) without waiting for the next 3 to 4 years to become a mid-level or even senior programmer. For you to convince a company or client to pay you more, you need to bring more value to them, and companies and clients don't only need programming, they need other stuff too. I identified that in my situation, what was most needed is project management and product design, so I end-up getting a software architect position because it had a bit of both and more. Since then I have programmed less but gained interest in more things (and I am paid more now). So you see, programming was for me just a mean to make money to help my family, but yeah I do like it and love it, but that's only a mean to an end for me in the end.
  • IF NO: This case is also common, you don't actually need programming for now. Since I am not used to this one, I can only guess that in this case, the need for programming will still appear in your near future. If you feel like that you mostly like the idea of it and enjoy it, then you can take as a guide some market reviews of the stuff you have interest in right now. If you like some of the things that are not well placed in the ranking, maybe you can start to also pick interest in the stuff that are higher in the commercial rank and popularity. I always go back to the commercial side because programming can bring this kind of opportunity for you, and its always good to work with what you love. So take it easy and don't feel anxious for now. As I said, if you don't know what to do or where to go with programming, your direction will still appear in your near future, so enjoy it for now, fall in love even more as it helps you to actually stick to it when you most need. The specialization will come with time, as you progress and find more needs for you programming skills, and the need is always the point of the whole thing. You don't do things for the sake of doing it, there is always a need behind it.
affogato29 profile image

thanks for the detailed reply! I'd love to hear more about your story and what resources you used to obtain the skills needed to land those first job positions. this kind of self-driven and resourceful approach is very inspiring to me as I am personally trying to become a full fledged developer by way of independent study.