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To experienced people in the computer science industry – Are there any expectations you had about this career path that you have found differed from reality, in both a good or bad way?

#computer-science #technology #computer

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Pooja’s Answer

Thanks for the great question. The good news is that this industry is so wide and scaled that you can course your own path forward.

I started my career with a startup which had a completely different expectations , you end up doing everything but you learn a lot in a process and helps you to be a well grounded expert in software development life cycle.

As i stepped in MNC - The expectations and roles were more defined and again you can course your path based on what you like or are passionate about. Feedback loops and continuous retrospectives and introspective help us define the path even better.

Reality is always different than what we study but it has always been a good learning. Some of the things that help is to ask upfront about culture, expectations, roles and responsibilities to get as much clarity upfront.

The good news is that this industry is so vast with ample opportunities and innovations coming every day that you will be able to map your expectations with your passion.

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Jerome’s Answer

Yup.

When I started in this business -- as a field-service technician -- "they" said "You never work late, you never get dirty, and you never have to worry about getting hung out to dry, because you can always escalate if you're in trouble." Turned out that you often worked late, laser-printer fixes got you covered with toner, and "escalation" sometimes meant "fake it till you make it, because no one else knows what to do either".

On the other hand, when I moved into software development, "they" said "You'll work with a bunch of opinionated prima-donnas, you'll constantly be in shouting matches trying to make people use common sense, and you'll never get a break from tedious coding and debugging the same problems over and over again." That wasn't true either; the folks I work with -- and work for -- have generally been courteous, empathetic, and incredibly smart (not to mention having tons of common sense). Sure, there's some tedious work, but there are also a lot of very interesting and rewarding projects to keep things from getting stale.

The point: Expectations and reality don't often match -- for good or bad. But that really makes very little difference, because your success and happiness depend on your efforts here, now, and perhaps in the future, not on what someone or something leads you to expect. Listen to all, make your own judgments, then set your expectations based on the reality you see. You'll never be disappointed taking that approach.
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Mickael’s Answer

Hi Brennen,

Oh yes there are.

The first one is that I was expecting my day to day work when trying to come up with a solution to look like the gathering of all students involved in the project to come up with ideas, with more professionalism since all should care. Well, that's two disappointment is one. First, these meetings do not necessarily happen and second, there are people that really do not contribute.

The second big one is that I was expecting that because people were delivering industrial solutions that they will go beyond the threshold that teachers usually put on students. I realized quickly that the truth is that good enough in the industry is sometimes under these thresholds. Testing is not necessarily done the right way, time pressure to sell makes the quality sometimes questionable.

The third one is I was expecting that when someone is good technically and wants to remain a technical person, that this person will be offered a technical career. It is not mandatory true. Many companies will try to have that person becoming a manager, without that person willing to become one. This statement has nothing against manager in any way she performs. Some people simply are not good managers, but are good leaders and/or technicians and it should be ok to choose technical careers. In some companies, they discourage that path when you are experienced.
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Nicole’s Answer

Hi Brennen S. THIS is an awesome question!

I can share two expectations that I had, that have evolved, during my career in computer science and technology-related roles.

The first...I expected, as a young engineer, that my clients/partners/peers would always accept the knowledge I was giving. In hindsight, the "knowledge" I was giving was, at times, news to me and therefore worthy of sharing. My new found knowledge wasn't always news to my clients/peers/partners. ;) Because a lot of my career has been centered around convincing partners that they need to do something different in order to get better outcomes, having partners who yawned at my "great findings", was not what I expected...but...I am so very glad for those pieces of feedback that I got early in my career. That feedback became the catalyst for ensuring that I did everything I could to find insights that were meaningful to the stakeholders that had to make decisions on how to improve on their business initiatives.

The second...I learned that my bosses/supervisors do not always have the answers...either to my questions or even their own. I have learned overtime, that an individual's professional value can be vaulted by their efforts to dig deep and come up with solutions or at least the first steps of solutions that are executable, measureable and make "walking around" sense.

I do hope that these two pieces of learning will be helpful to you as you move forward in your journey. Best of luck to you!
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