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What were (or are) your initial thoughts about the technology/software development industry?

lssweatherhead profile image Laura Weatherhead ・1 min read

“It’s all men.”

“You need a technical degree before you can even knock on the door.”

“Everybody is really clever.”


I’m curious... how do we, as a technical industry, initially present to groups like:

  • new starts?
  • juniors?
  • graduates?
  • people making lateral moves from other industries?

But also children, or parents? What do they think the unwritten rules of working in technology are?

Doesn’t matter if you’ve dispelled them now or if they are actually true - every viewpoint is valid:

What did you think the rules were?

Discussion

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lssweatherhead profile image
Laura Weatherhead Author

I asked my mum a couple of questions - purely out of curiosity - and was rather surprised by the answers... as a yardstick, Mum is not technical and not part of the industry, and I asked:
What do you think about the technical industries?
A: “They are quite insular - it seems like you need a certain set of training or skills to get in. The industry also seems quite aloof; like they are privy to a lot of information that no one else really know about and they are proud of it.”
How does that compare to similar industries that require certain skills and have a lot of information eg doctors and lawyers?
A: “With doctors and lawyers they are generally public facing - you can go to an office and talk to them and hold them to account. You don’t really get that with technical companies. I don’t even know who I’d talk to”
I guess I’d never really thought of it like that before...

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shoupn profile image
Nick Shoup

Before breaking into the industry, I thought that developers needed a computer science degree or be a super genius of sorts. What I've found is that in it's like most other industries. Networking makes a difference and it still often times comes down to who you know, not what you necessarily know. Your reputation will proceed you.

I think a lot of industry trends depend on location as well. I live in an area with a lot of demand for tech workers and a shortage of people who have the knowledge necessary to do the work. Was an advantage to me when coming from a self-taught background as out most likely helped lower the barrier of entry into the field.

Another thing I've noticed is that titles are not universally applied in the industry, which really shocked me at first. I came from an engineering background where certifications were necessary and part of your title. I've seen people called senior developers with two years experience and junior developers with more than four years. Go figure.

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lssweatherhead profile image
Laura Weatherhead Author

Yeah that’s interesting about the job titles - you’re right that there’s not really accepted benchmarks for when you transition from one level to another, it all seems to be down to individual companies and confidence.

I guess also because info tech is still a moderately young industry and essentially generating new branches every year we’re prone to slightly off the wall job titles. Titles that don’t mean a great deal but are fun like “SysAdmin Wizard” and “Network Guru”. Cute but somewhat meaningless to anyone outside the industry!

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Anna Rankin

I grew up with a software engineer for a dad, but only personally began pursuing programming several years ago. Because he worked for himself from home for most of my life, I assumed than programming was a much more solitary pursuit that I find it to be (I never saw the email lists/chats he was involved in, and dismissed his meetups with peers as "nerd conventions"). I though there was only one way to be a programmer; I also assumed you had to be ridiculously mathematically smart, speak/read binary, and understand a lot more about hardware than I've needed to.

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Laura Weatherhead Author

Haha - quite similar to me. My Dad was a software engineer and even now in his 70s will occasionally try to grapple with jQuery or C# or some fad that's floating around. I think when you love code, jobs may change but that love never really goes away :)

also assumed you had to be ridiculously mathematically smart, speak/read binary

I really enjoy the mental picture this paints of a development stand-ups!! I mean, I think it might sound barely more comprehensible at times haha

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jel111 profile image
dumdumdev

I believed I could learn a lot faster how to build a site. I mean I knew that the learn to code in 5 minute sites were bull but I thought just a little code and I would be golden.
Every step I realized I needed to learn something else to get to where I wanted.

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

Hmmm.. these are some of the rules I can think of at the top of my head when I first started out.

1) I need to know everything in a job description to apply for a job.
Which is really a large portion of technologies that you need to learn as a developer.

2) I must be a genius developer to be a software developer professionally.
Which till this day, leaves me with the chills down my spine that I almost didn't pursue a developer job straight after university.

3) I need experience for an entry-level job
This is actually a catch 22, cause I had come across multiple entry-level jobs.

Which requires you to have from 2 - 5 years of experience. This practice is really insane and ridiculous that sometimes I wonder how out of touch are the person recruiting developers.

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bizzy237 profile image
Yury

I thought it'd be easier. Less talking to people, more clear requirements so all I'd have to think about is technology and algorithms