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Hopping in the coding sector

larswaechter profile image Lars Wächter ・1 min read

Some days ago I thought about the future steps in my career as a programmer.
Since I started programming around four years ago, I dealt with web development languages / technologies most of the time. I really enjoyed the things I learned from there and I'm still excited to checkout new frameworks and more.

Nevertheless I thought about making a move in another direction in the future like leaving the web dev sector and dive into desktop application programming. I didn't even finish my education as software developer (if everything goes well in 1,5 years) yet, which is in the web dev sector, but I feel like there might come a 'cut' in the next years. Especially, because I'm not sure yet if I will study computer science after my education. I think in my case the technologies from the company I'm working for play also a role, since they are quite unknown.

So the question I have to you is if you ever felt like having the urge for making a cut and changing the direction, regarding to the software you'll develop? Or did you ever feel uncomfortable with your current circumstances? What do you think about that with regard to your age? Will it be too late at a certain age?

I guess the most important thing that matters for me at the end is to write code but it also plays a role what I'll code.

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larswaechter profile

Lars Wächter

@larswaechter

23 | Germany | CS Student | Software Developer

Discussion

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Web dev is pretty complicated. The mix of different aspects you need to know, like HTML, CSS, Javascript, and the different versions of them and various compatibility with browsers and their versions. Not to mention the do-it-yourself build processes and myriad of languages which compile to Javascript. And more coming all that time.

However, I have found desktop dev to be worse generally. Every platform has its own different universe of required knowledge. And little of that knowledge is portable. The main advantage you get from desktop apps is being able to get lower-level with the computer's connected hardware. It could be a requirement if you were writing a GPU-intensive game, or needed to interoperate with other desktop software (e.g. export to accounting software), or get direct access to a specialized printer.

But it seems to me that everything is trending toward web dev. It's not a perfect ecosystem, but the fundamental building blocks are pretty standardized... unlike the desktop space. You can observe a trend of using web tech in traditionally platform-specific areas. Examples: React Native or PWAs for mobile apps, Electron for desktop apps, even Espruino for embedded. Heck on the Windows platform, HTML/JS is one of the built-in ways you can develop a UWP app.

If you have specific goals or industries in mind, maybe desktop or embedded dev is the right move. But it seems to me that web tech continues to gain ground in all areas.

 

Age, Education or Where You Are From - make no difference, only what you want to achieve. Change can really benefit you, will keep you fresh and help you grow. I think the question should rather be "what is limiting me?" - just go out and do it, hope all your plans work out.