4 Lessons I learned from becoming a Software Engineer

4 Lessons I learned from becoming a Software Engineer

"Most of you will fail."

That's what my teacher in grad school for web development said. Imagine you going to a class on the first day and the person supposed to teach you something new tells you this.

I thought my degree would open all doors.

This freaked me out a lot. But that's a good thing because it means you're ready to come out of your comfort zone.

This really hard class changed my life in a big way. I used to think you had to be a genius at math to do coding. And that's a subject I mostly hated. But staying up all night working on how to build a simple to-do app to learn, made me really like coding, even though it was hard.

I first went to grad school because I had no direction of what to do with my career. It wasn't easy to choose between being a data analyst or a developer at the time. I want to help you not have to worry about this like I did.

Here's why being a software engineer is a great career choice if you're changing from a different career.

#1: You Get Paid Well

I'm not just going to say it. Here's what your salary could look like in the US and some major cities here.

Think about how your life would change if you went this path and I'd be lying to you if money isn't a big motivator to getting in this field.

#2: You Can Have a Good Work-Life Balance

I can tell you I am not one of those guys you'll see sitting at a coffee shop or Starbucks but I am the one you'll see go to a beach in Punta Cana or an island like Galapagos for a week at some point and not have issues with connection and what I have to get done for work. If I have to run some errands for my wife or me or if our kid needs something, it's not like you can't do that either. As long as you get your work done and fulfill your responsibilities, the world is your oyster.

#3: You Don't Need a College Degree

I've learned this the HARD way. I went to college, then tried doing self-taught, THEN went to a bootcamp. I don't think my degree played a part, but that's for another topic. Here's what you need to succeed:

  • Patience

  • Consistency

  • Concentration

  • Learning the right concepts

If you follow through on these you should be employable. Gone are the days when you need a college degree to become many things. But don't misunderstand me. College is still important in many ways and I highly recommend it as long as you have a well-structured game plan.

#4. Lots of Jobs

I know currently Big Tech companies are cutting jobs left and right. But don't let this scare you away.

Every industry is looking to hire software engineers, it could be the financial sector, government, healthcare, manufacturing, media, utilities, education, etc. Yes, I understand it can be difficult to get your foot in the door when it comes to this profession.

My two cents on this are that the hiring manager for an engineering team is already working on a product for users that have urgent needs (features/bug fixes) and teaching someone who doesn't have the skills to hit the ground running can back everyone up since you need to do onboarding and teach the new person how to navigate the codebase. So it isn't feasible from their standpoint. You need to prove that you are competent enough in the required skills to get the job done.

It's not easy to get into this profession. There's a lot to learn and preparation for this profession. You need more than just knowing how to code.

Luckily I went through a lot of difficulties on my path to becoming a software engineer so that I can help you navigate it.

If you got this far, feel free to post your questions, comments, or concerns in the comments section.

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