Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free, no registration required.

More specifically: Is a job in programming really as bad as it sounds?

I'm still in high school, but I love programming. I take all of the programming classes that my school offers (which are actually quite a lot), and program in my free time. In college, I intend to do something related to programming, and then I eventually hope to get a job in programming something. However, from what I've read on the internet, a job in programming sounds really terrifying and intimidating, and I'm wondering what it's like, and if it's really as bad as it sounds.

share|improve this question
2  
Good question, but not a good fit for this site b/c there are so many possible answers. Even two people in the exact same job at the very same company may experience the work differently. If you enjoy programming, great! Do it! A lot! But consider it a tool. Like writing, you can make a career out of just programming, but it's always good to know other, deeper things to write/program about. Anyway, if you're in high school now, don't worry about what your job will be like; work and play hard, both in high school and in college, and the rest will take care of itself. –  Caleb Feb 18 '13 at 7:21
    
Experiment. During the summer get a job as an intern doing programming. We still pay interns in this industry. –  Loki Astari Feb 18 '13 at 16:24
2  
All professions can be horrible or great. It greatly depends on who you are working for and what specifically you want concerning work conditions. That said, even the great jobs are not perfect and will never be perfect. You will have to work on projects that you don't like and with people you don't like on occasion. You will have to do some work you find less than fun. But all that is true no matter what profession you go into. The real world is not all fun and games. You need to learn the flexibility to adjust to whatever you find at work and not be unhappy because things aren't perfect. –  HLGEM Feb 18 '13 at 21:42
    
'Programming job' is too generic. What you want is specialized work with 8 hours spent in a code editor every day, and long projects. Jumping between piecemeal client projects or 15 tools to get the job done is no fun at all. Also think who you want to be responsible to. If that's your company and not some middle-boss or various unknowledgable clients, you're home free. Go for webdev or embedded solutions if you like those, avoid jobs where you use visual code tools or approval processes. I'd do all this if I could, but I'm stuck in Hicksville at the moment. –  Henrik Erlandsson Apr 19 '13 at 7:20
add comment

closed as not constructive by MichaelT, Doc Brown, gnat, Kilian Foth, Caleb Feb 18 '13 at 7:15

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

4 Answers

While I am not a programmer, I work with a team of them every day. I do UI design, and I have learned a lot while working with them.

What they do is terrifying and intimidating, but also very rewarding if you can find the right kind of company at which to work. If you love what you do, and are passionate about it, you will succeed. There are always going to be difficult times regardless of the career you choose, but the best way to get through them is to make sure you're doing what you love.

You'll likely be scared for a while once you start working (post-college), and that won't go away unless you put in hard work and time and/or get a great job with awesome teammates who will teach you.

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that college will teach you the conceptual stuff. You'll graduate thinking you know how to fix any problem. Make sure you leave room for learning from co-workers.

I recommend starting internships as soon as possible, and volunteer to help on projects whenever possible to get as much exposure to different technologies and methods of problem-solving as possible.

Remember - if you love the work, you'll do just fine.

share|improve this answer
add comment

In IT industry, you will be working in a team. It will comprise of team lead, developers and testers.

You will be required to understand the technical and functional specifications of the requirements thoroughly before starting to code your solutions.If you are stuck at any point, your mentor will guide you as to what you have to do.

Your code has to strictly adhere to the specs that has been provided by the client. After the team has coded up a solution, it will be passed to the testers. If they find any issues then its up to the developers to fix it.

I have been in IT industry since 8 months, and its just awesome to work with a talented team.

share|improve this answer
1  
Not all jobs are like that. Maybe most are? Mine isn't. :) –  Macke Feb 18 '13 at 6:41
1  
-1 That's a over generalizing description. imho many of us would really like to have a mentor, proper specs or testers. ;) –  jgauffin Feb 18 '13 at 7:05
    
Well, I have only worked for 1 company so far and based on what I saw, this is pretty much how things go around here. –  agent13 Feb 18 '13 at 7:19
add comment

I guess you could also work as a freelancer.

So then I guess that 1) First, you do what you can: it surely depends a lot from one case to another. Sometimes, this probably the though part …,

2) Then you do what you want, that's the fun part (you can make your own schedules, etc) but you got to motivate yourself well

Finally, I want to say that I'm not an expert, but there are a lot of bloggers and articles about freelancing on the net if you want.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Depends on the company you work for.

I worked at 3 different ones.

The first was a horrible internet agency, where I had to programm web-applications "till yesterday", which kinda sucked. Horrible project managers and terrifying working hours.

Then I was self-employed as a freelancer, which was kinda nice. I only worked 3 days a week, when I felt like it and had more than enough money to get along. When someone had a software problem, they called me and I fixed it, sometimes even on weekends (more money per day).

Now I work as a employed software engineer in a software company. Product development. This is nice too. Not as much money as with fleelancing work, but a more orderly working hours. I even get paid, when I'm sick haha. Since I'm not working directly for customers, my release schedule is much better than in the first company, which means more time for different things, which don't involve software development directly, but improve my developing skills. Like posting on stack exchange :P

share|improve this answer
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.