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Why do people become Software Engineers?

what motivated you?

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Rihem’s Answer

Hello Kevin,

People are drawn to software engineering by the intriguing fusion of creativity and problem-solving that it presents. This field is a playground for those who enjoy building solutions to tangible, real-world challenges through the power of code. The allure lies in the potential to innovate and have a substantial impact in a rapidly evolving landscape, where novel technologies are birthed. This dynamism is accompanied by job security, as the demand for software engineers remains strong, promising career growth and stability. With applications spanning diverse domains, from healthcare to entertainment, software engineers have the opportunity to work on projects that align with their interests and values. The collaborative nature of the profession also fosters global connections, encouraging knowledge sharing across borders. Additionally, the necessity of continuous learning keeps the journey engaging, ensuring that the path of a software engineer is always a stimulating and evolving one.
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Alen’s Answer

Hey Kevin!
It is an interesting job that keeps your brain engaged throughout the day. I love learning new things and tech is ever-changing. Since I was a kid I was into computers (thanks to video games) and paired that with learning, possibility of remote working and good pay, it was a no brainer for me.
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Atul’s Answer

I will share with you why I became a software developer.
I was good at Math and good analytical skills and it wad a natural progression to go on this field. This was more than 40 years ago.
One of the biggest joy for me was the software that I worked on was used by the most telecom equipment manufacturers which was used by the service providers all around the globe. This was one of the satisfying moment for me beyond making money (I was paid well).
Developing software and having it used by the millions - I can say that I was part of the transformation from the wireline to wireless industry.
Whatever you do in the software - the end goal is to make a difference in the world
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Kodi’s Answer

I was looking for a career change during the pandemic. I had 10 years experience as a teacher pre-pandemic but I was ready for something new. As well as my wife being in the military I wanted something I can work remote, this way we could move around together when she has too. I also had an interest in tech to begin with but never felt I had the time to dive into it until the pandemic shut everything down.

So benefits I've gained are, I work remote now and can easily move around with my wife when the military demands it, salary is higher, flexible PTO and I am learning constantly. All things I was looking for in my change of careers. I do miss teaching and one day I hope to merge the two careers.
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Dan’s Answer

I think people become software engineers because they like to solve problems while always learning new things.

I was always interested in electronics so I earned an Electrical Engineering degree and started my working career designing circuits for microprocessor-based Strip Chart Recording products (another engineer was responsible for creating the software). It didn't take me long to realize that the biggest contributions to the product were being made in the software. The hardware was more difficult and costly to change and upgrade (in the field). But the software could much more easily be upgraded and most of the product functions were determined by the software. With that knowledge, I switched to a software consulting job where I wrote software for many different products and industries (electronic weighing systems, payphones, steel manufacturing, software safety systems for nuclear reactors, and aluminum foundry measurement). I then moved to freight locomotive braking systems and mass transit control systems. In all of these applications, I used my knowledge of the hardware to write software that controlled products, typically called "embedded applications" (like cars, cellphones, game consoles, robotics, health industry products, automated equipment, airline and space applications, etc). These differ from IT or commercial software which typically runs on a standalone computer and does not actually control things (they instead generate reports and analyze/process/monitor data).

The range of products and applications using software is huge and growing constantly so you can focus your career on the areas that you find to be the most interesting.

FYI... I found that I could learn and work with software from home much more easily and for less money than I could with hardware so I was always (and still do) working on interesting projects.

Note: Your question used the term "Software Engineer" which indicates you are leaning towards the scientific applications/degree (CE or SE) and not to the commercial/degree (IT).

Dan recommends the following next steps:

Decide whether you like the scientific or the commercial side of software. They are two (or more) different University degrees.
Start learning to write software on your own. There is a large amount of free information (tutorials, manuals, and projects) on the internet along with free language compilers for C, Java, Visual Basic, Python, etc.
The Arduino Uno is a small microcontroller which you can program to control many things. You can buy one for about $25 (quick delivery) from a US firm or for about $3 (1-2 month delivery) from aliexpress.com.
This website contains many embedded products which use software (https://projecthub.arduino.cc/). There are many other sites that you can Google.
The Raspberry PI is a series of computer boards more suited to commercial (IT) programmers and has an amazing ability to do data analysis or video processing such as facial recognition. However the larger models are currently hard to buy. You can Google "Raspberry PI Projects" for ideas. You can also learn and write software on your laptop that does not require additional hardware.
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Joonho’s Answer

Software engineer is a good job with great pay. That is why people become software engineers. Money matters, doesn't it? Well, not necessarily. I used be a software engineer and that was a perfect job for me. I loved computer programming and I was called a programming genius. So I wanted my son to become a software engineer and have a comfortable life and I thought he was in interested in computer science and programming because he is my son! To my surprise, however, he hated computer programming. At first, I was deeply disappointed, but I realized that my son is not me and he is a different person and can have a different life. So software engineer is a great job, but if you don't like it and don't have talent, no matter how much money you make, it could be a nightmare.
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