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Does your work make you happy?

I'm a disenchanted graphic designer.
I've been in design for the last six years and I've been contemplating a career switch for some time.
(design, you see, is becoming less about design/communication and more about being a glorified software user)

I was wondering if a few of you would chime in and share your insights about the pros and cons of being a programmer.

What is it about writing code that keeps you coming in every morning (or evening)?

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

You're not asking the right questions here, I think.

What you are really trying to say there is "Why should I become a programmer?" and that isn't really what you ought to be asking. Or rather, maybe it is, but you don't ask us.

What we think is completely irrelevant (Well, not to us, but to you), since you are the one changing jobs. The only real advice I can see anyone here giving to you would be this: Try it. Just do some amateur stuff. There are a ton of open source projects you could get into. Or start you're own. A bit of persistance, a book, and a lot of time and you can learn it. And once you've done some real work, you'll know whether /you/ like it or not. That is, after all, the important thing.

Mike Swieton
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Also, I suggest you visit [ ], if you haven't yet.  The level of misinformation in the comments is nothing short of astounding.  But it's still at the center of things, and interesting to boot.

Fain Hopkins
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

"(design, you see, is becoming less about design/communication and more about being a glorified software user)... What is it about writing code that keeps you coming in every morning (or evening)?"

The thrill of writing little programs that bounce balls across the screen does tend to fade over time. What keeps me coming in is... design and communication. That is what software development is about, although at times it gets so technical that it's hard to see.

User interfaces, requirements gathering and writing specifications are all about design and communication. Writing code is communication, too. You're writing a message not only for the computer to translate into a program, but one that fellow programmers may need to read and understand one day. This is possibly the least trivial aspect of writing software.

I'd like to say that if you're ever bored doing your work as a developer, you're in the wrong profession. The industry is not mature enough for anyone to consider themselves assembly line coders.

Johannes Bjerregaard
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

I think that writing software coding makes you feel a little bit like God. We create a thing that takes on a life of its own.

The finished product is, indeed, greater than the sum of its parts.

Yoav Rogovin
Thursday, January 3, 2002

Yes, but I only want to work on the good parts :-)

Friday, January 4, 2002


Do you know LEGO, those brightly colored plastic building bricks from a Danish toy company?

I just loved them as a child. To me, programming is like playing LEGO almost all the time. I still cannot believe that they are paying me to do it.

Ok, there is the other side too: tools that do not work as I want them to work, the sales department, bug reports, undocumented features...many things to grumble about.

For me, programming definitedly is the thing, but it surely is not for everybody. I fear, you have to find out for yourself,

have fun,

Jutta Jordans
Thursday, January 17, 2002

I totally agree with Juta... it is LEGO...

If you are a person who thinks logically & modularly, you are already a 90% programmer.. the rest 10% is the syntax of the language in which you want to develop... :)

ramesh kr
Monday, January 21, 2002

I'm a senior at Crawford High School in San Diego. and if my senior exhibition class i have to write a "Career Reseach Paper" well the career that i want is. to be a computer programmer. but i need help. this site already give me some pros and cons but i need more of my paper. can you guys that are programmers help me out but posting to pros and cons of your job. thank you and I hope to get a reply before 10/10/03 thank you

Robert Rolling
Friday, October 3, 2003

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