Are you considering making a switch in your career to that of a software developer? Or have you already made the decision, but in all honesty (and naturally so) are feeling a bit doubtful?
While the consequences of a major decision like this one are completely subjective to your own circumstances and situation, in this article we will discuss a few reasons as to why I think you would not regret the decision, if you make it. Software development is an extremely popular career choice today, and for pretty good reason. It is considered a safe and satisfying work option by many people.
Here are some popular reasons as to why people tend to think so.
The Future is Looking Bright for Software Developers
This one is a no-brainer and probably even one of the main reasons why you are considering the switch. With everything now being digitised, information technology remains to be one of the most sought after services in the industry. Companies are on the look out for digital solutions to their business problems and for enhance internal systems through the use of technology.
To make this happen, the job market is always hungry for more and more software developers and other IT professionals.
Some people have the misconception that the IT industry is becoming more saturated with an increasing number of software developers making entry. On the contrary though, the demand for developers has also increased significantly over the years with it probably being at its all time highest. In my opinion, that’s only going to increase.
Hence, chances are that securing employment once you make the shift is not going to be the same nightmare as it sometimes is with some other jobs.
Your Skills, Knowledge and Experience Will Be Universally Recognised
Any technology related knowledge you acquire for your job as a software developer will be universally recognised. Programming languages stay constant across the globe and in the case you decide to migrate overseas, you wouldn’t have to worry about a language barrier for the most part, as with other occupations. For this reason, IT skills are highly transferable no matter which country you choose to work in.
This gives you a good amount of flexibility to move across companies and countries, as it would not require you to make overly significant adjustments when transferring. I’m living proof of this little gem of a fact, learning coding skills has let me work in four seperate countries!
This is a strong plus of being a software developer and it creates the basis for amazing career progression too.
Flexibility With Working Remotely
As with most IT jobs, chances are you will have the flexibility of working from home depending on your company’s needs. That’s due to the nature of IT industry where generally a lot of tasks can be done remotely.
Many companies allow their IT workers to work from home – if not every day, then at least a few days of the week.
IT professions allow workers to have great work-life balance compared with many others.
Above Average Remuneration (Pay!)
The pay for software developers are mostly on the higher end of the spectrum, across most countries in the world. According to Indeed’s statistics, the average pay for a software developer in the US is $93500 per annum, making it a higher paying role compared to the average one .
If you possess the relevant qualifications and skills, chances are you will receive a decent amount of pay even at entry level roles.
Dynamic Working Industry
The IT industry is one of the most fast-changing industries out there. It is so much so that most of what you learn in your degree, merely acts as a foundation for the more critical and useful knowledge and skills you would acquire throughout your career as a software developer.
This is also the reason why there are many self-learnt software developers, that are just as skilled as those who possess formal education.
Such possibility of ease of learning for an occupation that can be as technical as software development, is pretty rare to come by.
If you are someone that easily gets bored and derives job satisfaction through the presence of challenges and more room for growth, being a software developer will not disappoint you. It is a unique type of role, where you get to exercise your passion toward programming.
Creative Expression Through Your Work
Thanks to jobs like software development, creativity as a form of living is no longer limited to writers, actors or painters. As a software developer, you will essentially be solving problems for your clients and many times that involves thinking outside of the box, to bring effective results through creative means. You are essentially required to use your coding knowledge, to create new and efficient systems. While you certainly have to keep in mind client requirements and other internal and external constraints, software development allows for a significant amount of creative freedom.
Software development is one of the least rigid professions out there. We have already discussed about the opportunities for remote work.
However, think even bigger than that.
Software development experience will be extremely handy if you ever decide to be self-employed. Your knowledge and skills will easily let you change the type of work you do, including to freelancing. Software development also has so many different streams running under its umbrella.
There’s mobile application development which is booming at the moment and also web development that has always been popular. There are many options you can try throughout your career and it is highly likely that you will find one that fits your needs and interests out of the vast number of options out there.
Unlike the stereotypical software developer that spends hours on hours in their office glued on to a computer screen, in real life, software developers always work as a part of a team. You will often be working with other colleagues of yours such as business analysts, testers and other internal staff members, to build your products.
Moreover, you will also frequently converse with your clients and external stakeholders during projects. This in fact means that as a software developer, you will be expected to have pretty decent social skills to be able to do your job well. Many companies prefer to hire candidates who can communicate or listen well to others and are able to empathise with their clients’ needs.
Although, there is a space for introverts in the industry – I have personally seen several, who you might say fit that personality type, flourish.
If you’re interested in the role soft skills play in tech, check out this article I wrote.
Interesting and Healthily Challenging Work
As pointed out earlier, most of a software developer’s job involves the development of solutions for system users.
This involves spending a lot of time on working out what code will get you exactly the result you are after. It is very normal that you also spend much time prototyping, testing and revising your code.
That too more than one cycle’s worth. It goes without saying, software development is the kind of work you would do only if you were truly passionate about the subject matter.
However, for the very reason that you are genuinely fascinated by all things technology and have a never-dying curiosity of the inner workings of various applications and gadgets, you are sure to gain much fulfilment from your work. If you enjoy solving problems and like a work environment that stimulates you, perhaps being a software developer will come to you naturally.
You may be considering changing your occupation mid-career, because you feel like the kind of things that motivate you are just not there in your current role.
You may be looking for a more lucrative environment that demands you to grow. Perhaps you like change and want to break away from an extremely monotonous occupation. It does not just take anybody to truly enjoy being a software developer either. If you resonate with the above though, we could assume you are on the right path.
Changing your occupation mid-career also means that you already have some experience working in other roles. This very experience and knowledge you bring from these past roles will be a huge bonus for you in your new career path and may give you a competitive edge over other candidates in the market. You have an easier way to specialise in a particular field of work too, thanks to your previous experience. There is no denying that changing your path mid-career can be a pretty scary step to take. However, keep in mind that it is not all bad. Your reasons for wanting to make such a change is probably well worth the risk. Regardless though, now you have a glimpse on how software development as an occupation is a great career choice in itself and have some idea on how making this switch may be beneficial for you on the long run.