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What career should I choose if I enjoy computer programming?

I have been doing some basic computer programming for about 5 years now and it really interests me. I would like to have a career in computer programming but I have no clue which job would be the best to go into. I enjoy not only making games but also general software. #computer #computer-programming #programming #software

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11 answers

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Hunter’s Answer

Howdy Alex!

Computer science is a very diverse field that touches almost every field and interest. I would choose something besides computer science that you are passionate about and use that to guide your decision!

If you like gaming look are some game dev companies. If you like music apply to companies like Spotify. Having a secondary interest beyond CS will help maintain your motivation and increase your overall enjoyment of your career.

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Kenneth’s Answer

There are a number of paths you can take since you enjoy computer programming. I started my career as a computer programmer so here is a potential path. I started my career as a network programmer / administrator. I then became programmer analyst writing business applications for a specific industry (e.g. financial services, gaming, healthcare, Technology, etc.) and then started managing programmers and architecting / designing software solutions and programs for major corporations. I then went into consulting and gained exposure to different industries and a diverse set of technologies.

The sky is the limit as a computer programmer as long as you stay abreast of the changing technologies to support the work that you want to do.

Kenneth recommends the following next steps:

Look up the term full stack developer as you want to have knowledge of multiple programming languages, front-end and back-end technologies: User Interface, Middleware , Database, Infrastructure.
Explore different technologies (e.g. Cloud Native, Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning, Robotics Process Automation) and the associated computer languages that allow you to write software to support the technologies mentioned.

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David’s Answer

Computer programmers are needed by almost every business. You can focus on being a professional programmer. Other areas to look into include:

  • Computer Operations
  • Computer security
  • Web developer
  • Artificial Intelligence

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Carlos’s Answer

Hi Alex,

Congrats on identifying an activity that really interests you!

One of the careers that involves the most programming is Software Engineering. As a software engineer you are responsible for the design and coding of systems or applications. You could do this in a few different settings:

- Internal IT: Many large companies have internal IT departments where software engineers develop systems and solutions specific to the company's needs.
- Product companies: These are companies that develop software products or services and sell them in the marketplace. They range in sizes from large (e.g. Microsoft, Google, Facebook) to small startups and everything in between.
- Independent contractor/freelancer. In this model you are contracted by a company to develop a piece of software for say 6-12 months at a time. You then move on to the next contract.

All of these have pros and cons, but I'm partial to product companies. The main reason is that in those companies the software is the main avenue for creating value. So these tend to be the places where engineers are most valued. which translates into better growth and compensation for them.

I've been doing this for 20+ years and I find it a very rewarding career. You solve tough problems and need to be constantly learning, which tends to be a lot of fun.

Happy to answer additional questions!

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Poorwa’s Answer

You should explore different avenues such as:

1. Gaming - e.g. Unity
2. Mobile app development - iOS / Android / React Native
3. Web development
4. Computer networking
5. Machine learning

Doing projects in these would help you to identify which part resonates with you most.

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Hasibe’s Answer

That's great to hear that you found smth that you enjoy !
From a college perspective you can go for computer science or for software engineering.. But the important thing is to choose the area that you'll focus, and I believe you'll have a better idea in 2nd/3rd grade. It can be game programming, data mining, big data, Artificial intelligence, cloud native programming etc etc. I would definitely recommend you to find opportunities to work as a trainee during your college as much as you can to have a taste of things and expand your network for the next step after college.

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Peter’s Answer

Hi Alex - if you enjoy Computer Programming, then your options and opportunities are endless! Since computer programming is needed is almost any field. I would focus on what field you are interested in - healthcare, environment, product development, etc. and look for additional areas for specialization. If you want to focus your energies on mission-driven organizations, you should check out non-profits whose mission resonates with you. Hope this helps. Good luck! - Peter

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Nalin’s Answer

I would look at anything within the Artificial Intelligence space or a sub stream of it, like say Machine Learning-There are HOT jobs around these skills and will be around for at least the next decade

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Arlene’s Answer

Hi Alex,

Congratulations knowing that you like computer programming, you already have a bright career as a Software Developer.

During those 5 years that you did "programming", is there any domain that really sparked your interest? If you already have, then I suggest that you stick with that. Early on in your career, one of the most important job of being a Software Developer is the "depth/mastery" in your domain. If you can prove your craft, you will be valued more and will get to work on more interesting parts of a project.

And as you build your career, you can focus on the widening and expanding your knowledge in relative domains.

If you have not find your "spark" yet, I suggest that you choose an industry or a cause that you are passionate about (financial, healthcare, gaming.. etc). Is there anything out there that you like to spend most of your time on? Is there anything you think that can be improved?

Another important aspect is to choose a technical domain (web, database, Big Data, AI, IOTs, embedded, etc.) that you are most passionate with and work on to that path.

Best of luck!

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F’s Answer

Software skills are increasingly becoming "literacy", and it would it would likely be better to follow a second passion and add the software to it, as an extra dimension. Software skills are applicable to all sciences/careers today ... and more so tomorrow.

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levinski’s Answer

Software Engineering can lead you to work in very different levels of a project. You could be in the frontEnd (User Interface) of a web application for instance. I would recommend everyone to start from the tip of the iceberg, learning some basic components that is extremely useful to get you deep into this field. For beginners, frontEnd will allow you to learn how software works behind the scenes, it’s not like the abstract world of “under-the-hood” backEnd stuff. Start by building some portfolio of your own, maybe helping some relative with their website for free. After you have a few up and running solution, you can start to charge for it. Taking the career from that perspective will teach you some gold principles of fullStack development and entrepreneurship mid set.

levinski recommends the following next steps:

Keep digging in CS trending frame works and technics
Learn DDD (Domain Driven Design)
Learn AWS ( Developer Certification)
Apply for FANGs
Get involved with the SDE community