Why Switch to Coding?

Six months ago, I was earning a comfortable living as an industrial robot programmer. I enjoyed the work, and earned a sense of accomplishment and pride while watching my robots race through programs I had written. It was pretty damn cool, really — and great conversation fodder for first dates. I’ve gotten to work on some unique machines, and some big-ass robots — many of which also featured lasers. So why did I quit, and drop my career as a manufacturing engineer to go into coding? There are so many reasons that I’m excited to make the jump!

Software affects everything in our world! Uber provided its billionth ride, over a year ago, one out of every five people on Earth have an active Facebook account, and Google Earth is even being used to help conserve endangered species! We live in a tremendously exciting time, in which software facilitates and drives revolutionary change, at a pace that is unprecedented throughout human history. Software solves human problems, and it is thrilling to be able to contribute — in some small way — to this ongoing revolution.

Coding offers limitless learning opportunities, especially to an intellectual with a thirst for knowledge. Over the past few months I have learned a lot about JavaScript and web development, and I will continue to do so. Without knowing for whom I will work, I can confidently state that my thirsty noodle will be crammed full of coding goodness — and I will get paid too!! I also of course retain the option to pursue education in statistics or machine learning — both of which interest me — and either of which could naturally augment my coding career.

If you’ll pardon a brief philosophical digression, it is worth taking a moment to appreciate our good fortune. How lucky few of us humans throughout time were blessed with this opportunity to acquire a new skill, and to reinvent ourselves? I for one will make use of that luxury! My time as a robot programmer was a meaningful and illuminating experience. I could write many pages on the lessons which I acquired along the path; I am sure that these experiences will be of value in the future.

Back in the real world, there are still many more reasons I’ve decided to pursue coding; I could easily fill another two or three pages. Let me save us all some time, with this handy — and short — list:

· The employment opportunities are incredible: web development positions are predicted to grow by twenty-seven percent over the next 10 years, compared to an average of only seven percent

· The proliferation of web development opportunities will result in increasingly attractive opportunities: supply-and-demand is about as reliable as gravity

· Similarly, compensation is above average: even having left a position as a reasonably well-paid engineer, my lost income will likely be recovered within five years

· Coding offers the outrageously awesome possibility of working remotely

· I’ve enjoyed many hours coding as a hobby: it’s fun!

Ultimately, I made the decision because the advantages were simply too great to pass up. As a career coder, I will be paid well to do something that I enjoy, from any location I choose, while continuing to learn cool stuff along the way. I switched to coding because I want to solve real problems, for a group of people that is unlimited by geography. This is going to be great.

See you on down the trail!