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what should i do now?

im 12 and am wondering what i should do right now to get ready for my software developer job whether im at nasa or not.

Thank you comment icon Relax and enjoy life. Daniel Krashin
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Subject: Career question for you

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angie’s Answer

Hello, Ryan....

Well, 12 -- you are young. I say be a kid right now. Have fun. Go outside and play. Hang out. Get off your phone. Really expand your horizons in the real 3D world. Because to be really good/great at software development, you need lots of experience in life. Why? Because you need to know what people love, what they like to do, how the body responds to experiences before you can offer a better choice.

Watch videos on Space, Blackholes, Nasa in general. Visit Nasa - arrange a tour. Get interested in science, and experiments. Learn as much as you can about who you will be developing for so you can create the easiest, most satisfying software out there. Without real experiences you will fall flat trying to serve others....so go PLAY! Go have fun! Get curious about the world all around you and you will be able to come up with better ways of doing things for us all.

Have fun.

Thank you comment icon I will use this advice as I prepare for my career. Ryan W.
Thank you comment icon Best answer possible ☝️ Randy Tolentino
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Teerth’s Answer

Hi Ryan,

If I were you Id go out and have as many experiences as you can, enjoy life and keep an open mind. If you want to get into NASA as a software developer, learn to code! Learn from good resources and connect with the right friends in school.

You are young and have a long, exciting journey ahead of you, make sure you are in the moment, take things as steps along the way, don't become overly obsessed with one goal or another. Keep NASA as your guiding light, but, keep on learning STEM, and become a passionate programmer. NASA will come to you!

Enjoy the Journey and Make your own path.
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Jessica’s Answer

Hey Ryan!

That is really exciting that you are so interested in software development and that you want to hone your skills. If you want to end up at NASA you could try playing around with Unreal Engine or Unity. Those are used often for games, but they can also be used for any 3D modeling.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Ryan W.
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Sanjeev’s Answer

Hi Ryan, 12 is quite young to have a clear idea of what you want to do so you already have a headstart. My suggestion would be to try and learn a programming language and get that skill under your belt. That experience and skill would indubitably help you in the future regardless of what you choose to do. Good luck!
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Lee’s Answer

You may want to think private space flight vs NASA. In today's world NASA is less of the doers and more of coordination group & the purse to pay others to deliver what is needed. Very few space activities are sole sourced so having a broad skill set to help you land at a company like SpaceX, Boeing, as well as NASA may be a good approach. You may want to think about Air Force as a way to get your foot in the door. 4-8 years can open a lot of doors. Give yourself time to be a kid, but aim high.
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Ian’s Answer

Hey Ryan,

When you're young, you have the advantage of being able to explore a variety of experiences and opportunities.

If you want to get started in software development, you should probably learn a language. I recommend either Python or HTML for their simplicity. If you've already learned a language, then you can build some fun projects on your own!

If you'd like to get a feel of what college learning via lectures is like, try taking a college course on Coursera or edX. I recommend CS50 as a great introductory course for programming.

If you want real-world work experiences, you can try the following:
1. Reach out to your teachers for projects to work on
2. (when you're old enough) try freelancing programming jobs on Upwork or Fiverr
3. Apply for high school internships, research opportunities, learning programs, or summer research programs by colleges.
If you don't get into any of them, don't stress about it, continue learning and working on projects.
I also recommend trying a virtual internship (https://www.theforage.com/)
4. Learn about the field. The tech industry is so fast evolving that it's important to stay up-to-date, or else you won't realize that learning Python 2 from the old library isn't actually that useful anymore.

I hope this helps!
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Rebecca’s Answer

I am glad to hear that you are interested in software development and work in NASA.
The most important thing now is to prepare yourself. Below are some suggestions:
1. Spend more time on STEM subjects
2. Find some material to start learning programming languages
3. Start programming on some small projects
4. NASA has programs for youth sometimes. Try to join the programs if you can.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
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Nick’s Answer

Wow what a wonderful aspiration. The goodness is that you have age on your side
My best suggestion is that you focus on Mathematics & Applied Sciences.
A role of a Software Developer will need a grounding in definitely both Mathematics & Applied Sciences even though you may not see that while in school learning all those boring principles they come into play when you get into the real world
Playing video games will stimulate your creativity but it will not get you into College / University
If you go back over the past 50 years the business world has changed significantly because of the expanding influence in technology in how the world operates
Hope this makes sense for a person so young - but here are a couple of other thoughts for you to consider. Your business career will last you 40+ years & so you may find that the role or profession you initially chose may get phased out because of technology changes in your life time. My suggestion is that for you to remain competitive in the business world you adopt a strategy to continue to learn as there may be a time when you may need to retool yourself with updated expertise.
A company will always want to remain competitive against competing companies for the same type of product it sells - that concept applies in the same way between individuals competing for a single job.
Best of luck to you

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