Pros and cons of being a full-time software Programmer Watch

TheMaster102
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I've worked as a programmer for quite a while now (4 months) and i've learnt a lot during my time here that I thought id share with TSR, for any aspiring students looking into getting into the field and might want to gain some insight into the daily experience as a full time programmer.

* Pros

* Job security: Contrary to what people think in my experience we have probably one of the highest levels of employability, if you're a decent programmer you can find jobs pretty easily there's a massive demand. You also always know in the back of your head that if you get fired you can easily find a new job so there's that security aspect.

* Well paid: I started out on 28k, the senior devs are on 50kish and the managing senior developers are earning 60k+. The senior dev above me is about 28 and is earning 50k, not bad.The company wants to keep you, especially because in this market the company often needs the programmer far more than the programmer needs the company.

* Benefits: Extended from the well paid part, often we get a lot of in-work benefits that other positions don't have, google famously give their staff massages, free meals and other perks and many companies do this too, sometimes only specifically for programmers, at our company we have a games room for all employees, but it's not unheard of to have game rooms and certain perks only for the software team. Especially in software oriented teams.

* You're respected : Often times your managers won't know anything about the job you're doing, they're find it miraculous you can do some things, in the general hierarchy of the office you will find yourself seen as in a quite prestigious position as your other employees will be well aware of how integral your role is in the company and how valuable you are to the company as a primary creator of the company's wealth.

* It's often relaxed : It's not very strict and there is a kind of chill vibe in the team, most people who are programmers are generally very laid back people. Often times you're working with people who have very similar interests and it's likely your co-workers will be very like minded which creates a friendly space in the office.

* Cons

* A lot of responsibility: This is something I had no idea until I started the role. It is a high stress role in a sense, despite the tech-hippie vibe of the office you will always have a release around the corner, releases can be very stressful because if things go tits up it will be directly your fault and will cost the company a lot of money. The code you write is going to stick for years to come and if you **** up you're going to have to fix it sooner or later.

* It's tough work : You would think sitting at a desk typing code all day would be easy, a nice cushy office job. Oh how wrong I was. You're always using your mind in coding, all the time. It takes a lot of mental energy and when you get home you will be tired in a completely new way, you'll be absolutely mentally exhausted.

* Managers can have unrealistic expectations: Because managers don't understand how what you do works, sometimes they can fail to understand basic principles and expect results that are simply impossible.

It can be frustrating but luckily, from what I've seen the management often are forced to bow down to our final say when we insist against their wishes. In our company us programmers are also paid significantly more than the management team which is unusual I guess, but because of the high skill nature of what we do it's how things are always going to be.

* Little creative freedom: often you will have to just code according to a spec and you can't be creative, that sucks a bit because you want to input on design choices and graphics, sometimes you'll be given crap graphics and want them changed but won't be able to, sure you can suggest so but it's rarely done.
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anitax
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Hashim123
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Haven't read it all yet, but you might be interested, Carpe Diem Jay.
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shawn_o1
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"massive demand"? graduated with CompSci and no job for 6 months lol. Or it's completely my fault :rolleyes:
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Vikingninja
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Thanks for this. Was interested in learning some code as I was interested in being a programmer in gaming but yeah got drawn away from it so yeah this helped made by decision.
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TheGuyReturns
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In before wannabe bankers show up to tell you you're paid ****.
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bradnom
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Pretty accurate, good to hear you're enjoying your job.
If by creative freedom you mean original thinking allowed to a developer, that varies between companies, usually depending on how tight the task is specified upfront. Not sure if you meant creative freedom regarding visual presentation though.
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thecatwithnohat
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Repped.

(Original post by shawn_o1)
"massive demand"? graduated with CompSci and no job for 6 months lol. Or it's completely my fault :rolleyes:
Did you do a year in industry?

Even with a year in industry, some employers feel that the graduates are under prepared for the world of work because companies spend a large amount of time training the apprentice for a few months or so before they actually start doing what they're expected to do.
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shawn_o1
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(Original post by thecatwithnohat)
Repped.



Did you do a year in industry?

Even with a year in industry, some employers feel that the graduates are under prepared for the world of work because companies spend a large amount of time training the apprentice for a few months or so before they actually start doing what they're expected to do.
12 week internship. Well now you tell me
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TheMaster102
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(Original post by bradnom)
Pretty accurate, good to hear you're enjoying your job.
If by creative freedom you mean original thinking allowed to a developer, that varies between companies, usually depending on how tight the task is specified upfront. Not sure if you meant creative freedom regarding visual presentation though.
So for instance we make apps and games, to be honest some of design decisions in my opinion are pretty crap and I think I could design better graphics a lot of the time but I have to just bite my lip because i've been there too little to rock the boat, and even if I didn't, there's no point mentioning it because at our company whilst an artist may change stuff on request it's unlikely they'll start over completely which is what you often think they should
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thecatwithnohat
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(Original post by shawn_o1)
12 week internship. Well now you tell me
Did you go heads in from the beginning? One of my cousins did a year in industry and got offered a permanent job 2 weeks before his contract finished

I guess doing a degree doesn't always guarantee you a job ..
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annieapple2000
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Software programming is literally my dream job XD
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shawn_o1
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(Original post by thecatwithnohat)
Did you go heads in from the beginning? One of my cousins did a year in industry and got offered a permanent job 2 weeks before his contract finished

I guess doing a degree doesn't always guarantee you a job ..
Nope, 12 week intern was between second and third years. Well I can only keep trying, but I have to be quick otherwise gov will repossess my belongings just to get the £27000 I owe for getting a degree...
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Carpe Diem Jay
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(Original post by Hashim123)
Haven't read it all yet, but you might be interested, Carpe Diem Jay.
A very positive post overall - covers my main worries in the sector (job security).
Thanks!
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Hashim123
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(Original post by shawn_o1)
Nope, 12 week intern was between second and third years. Well I can only keep trying, but I have to be quick otherwise gov will repossess my belongings just to get the £27000 I owe for getting a degree...
Doesn't work like that, does it? Doesn't it have to be paid back as soon as you start earning, and even then gets wiped out after so many years?
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shawn_o1
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(Original post by Hashim123)
Doesn't work like that, does it? Doesn't it have to be paid back as soon as you start earning, and even then gets wiped out after so many years?
Gov doesn't promise it will work like that, once they run out of money they'll do everything in their power to get the nine grand a year from graduates who haven't paid it back
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Carpe Diem Jay
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(Original post by shawn_o1)
Gov doesn't promise it will work like that, once they run out of money they'll do everything in their power to get the nine grand a year from graduates who haven't paid it back
No way :/ First time I've heard this! Don't scare me away from the profession haha
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TrojanH
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(Original post by Carpe Diem Jay)
No way :/ First time I've heard this! Don't scare me away from the profession haha
Obviously the man you are quoting speaks from vast amounts of experience at the top level of economics, politics and government, as a fresh graduate out of work for the past 6 months, that obviously fully understand how government works and operates.

(Original post by shawn_o1)
"massive demand"? graduated with CompSci and no job for 6 months lol. Or it's completely my fault :rolleyes:
How do you not have a job? Getting involved in Open Source projects, building apps, making software doesn't cost anything apart from your time, you obviously have some knowledge with a CS degree. Also did you a get a poor grade, lack involvement in projects, have a poor reference, perform poorly at interviews... theres a lot more to actually getting a job than a degree.
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The_Internet
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(Original post by shawn_o1)
"massive demand"? graduated with CompSci and no job for 6 months lol. Or it's completely my fault :rolleyes:
It is relatively easy to get an IT job if you actually like IT tbh, provided you have experience (which doesn't necessarily mean having a job before). On that note...back to work for me!
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Carpe Diem Jay
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(Original post by The_Internet)
It is relatively easy to get an IT job if you actually like IT tbh. On that note...back to work for me!

Thank you!

(Original post by TrojanH)
Obviously the man you are quoting speaks from vast amounts of experience at the top level of economics, politics and government, as a fresh graduate out of work for the past 6 months, that obviously fully understand how government works and operates.
Bit harsh (considering OPs drastic situation rip) but I see your point.
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