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Should I become a developer?

jenicarvalho profile image Jeniffer Carvalho ・3 min read

If you are asking yourself about that you should think about these topics.

Probably you know there is a large lack of developers in the world. In just the United States alone there will be a shortage of 1 million developers in a couple of years.

Besides that, it's a very lucrative career, making an average of $ 100,000 in the USA.

Seems amazing, right? But it is not only about the good things.

Stay up to date

What do you think about studying for the rest of your life? Or at least for your entire career. When I say studying, it is not only taking some courses in a couple of years. It is an active and almost daily studying. You should be up to date on the newest techs, frameworks, languages, and terms.

Sometimes you have to switch from one technology to another because it becomes obsolete, and you just can't fight against that.

It's so normal in a developer's life that we started to make memes about that.

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Technology changes so fast that sometimes we just can't follow. It makes you be afraid of falling behind in your career. To lose your job, and not be able to get another. To be seen as a fraud.

These feelings can turn into a disease called impostor syndrome. You can see more about it here.

Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves. We need to be updated as much as we can, but we are not machines. We can't handle all the techs at the same time, we don't know all the new frameworks. But it's very difficult to balance that. To know when its time to stop, when to have a life outside the job.

Love what you do

Now you know that you'll be studying all the time. But how can you do that? I have a tip: you should see coding as a fun thing.

When I started to learn React I made some cool projects to practice on.

My first project was a webpage that communicates with Marvel's API showing some comics. I spent an entire weekend doing this. It was a useless project. But the possibilities that the Marvel's API gave me were so cool. I was handling with comic information. What can be cooler than that? Well, maybe cats.

I built another project, but this time using an API that gave me gifs of cats. It was just one image and one button, when you click on the button the gif changes. It was one of the coolest projects that I ever built. I learned A LOT of things with these projects and I did it having fun.

Conclusion

To handle this career you need to love it. Because when you are not at a job working, you'll be at home coding. You'll be spending a lot of weekends coding. I don't think someone is capable of doing something for most of their life if they don't love it. Money is not capable of making you love coding. How much fun you have with it will.

Should you become a developer?
Ask yourself this first: are you able to love it?

Discussion (4)

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codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald • Edited

From the article...

In the USA alone, there is, at this moment, almost 500,000 software developer jobs on the market.

Be advised, this is an artificial shortage. The majority of job postings are for developers who simply do not exist: job descriptions that are impossible to fulfill, over-specific technical expectations ("must have at least 5 years experience with Mithril"), disqualification of good candidates on irrelevant, arbitrary, or biased criteria, and so on.

What we're short is not 500K developers. What we're short is about 500K HR managers and recruiters who know jack cheese about the software development and IT industries.

This is not to discourage you from pursuing programming. Just understand that the developer shortage is an illusion. There are a number of developers looking for work, who between them could fulfill a majority of those 500K open jobs, but they aren't going to be considered for that mid-level backend JS position because they aren't a 25-year-old neurotypical white cis male with 30 years experience, including 10 years in Kubernetes and a Masters in CS from MIT. (Honestly, I'm only exaggerating a tiny bit on that one.)

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jenicarvalho profile image
Jeniffer Carvalho Author

Hello Jason. You are right about that.
I also work as a tutor and I see amazing Junior developers suffering to enter the market. It's not easy at all to get the first job, and when you do you see a lot of new things to learn each day.

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aminmansuri profile image
hidden_dude

I'll be a bit harsher. It's not that technologies "become obsolete" what really happens is that the industry is susceptible to fads. One fad ends and it's time to go to the next, even if the older technology still does exactly the same thing.

Web development, for example, has just been one fad after another, even though many of the newer frameworks don't do much more that the stuff we had 10 or even 20 years ago.

Some even complicate things, because you wouldn't want to do it the "old" way.

It's a bit of a fashion contest rather than engineering.

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guscarpim profile image
Gustavo Scarpim

Nice post Jeniffer!