Have you ever felt a distinct lack of respect in the office? Or that you’re not being paid fairly? That’s the gist of a post currently being debated on Hacker News. I disagree with the post on several counts; after all, programming is an awesome job to have!
Let’s start with the obvious: as a programmer, you will go to work in some form of office, have your tools provided for you, and never have to work in hazardous conditions or with chemicals that will harm you. No standing around in a field, overworked and under-stimulated. You’ll also get paid above the average as well.
Programming is a universal skill: if you can program in C++ in London, you can equally do so in New York, Paris, or even Warsaw like I am. I often say it’s a bit like being a plumber; people will always need fresh code for their computers.
You also have a vast choice in specializations. Like creating websites? Great! Want to move on to creating interactive web applications? The door’s wide open to you! Fancy starting over again and going into desktop apps? Perfectly possible. If you choose well, the work will be stimulating, challenging and thoroughly enjoyable.
How about working hours and career paths? You can choose between big corporations, some with fixed 40 hours a week, others expecting more. You can choose between the same for small companies and startups. The variety of workplaces you can choose between is staggering.
And what about the opportunities available? If you want to create something on your own, there’s nothing to stop you. Should you want to create your own business in your free time, go right ahead!
This is only just scratching the surface of how good a profession programming is. In the grand scheme of things, we’re doing very well for ourselves.