Why I chose to be a Software Developer

I recently came across this article on Medium

https://codeburst.io/why-you-dont-deserve-that-dream-developer-job-60d5e5adb8d7 (go ahead, read this if you haven’t done already).

It asked me a question “What made you choose this career? And what makes you care so damn much about being successful in it?”

I am a software developer from India. As you all know, India is filled with “Software Engineers”. With every college offering courses in Computer Science and Information Technology, the country produces nearly half a million “Software Engineers” every year. So, naturally, with the high availability of software engineers, the demand has gone low, paychecks are low, compared globally, and work hours are hectic.

So, why did I choose this career even after the software engineering scene being not so good? Simple — “It excites me like nothing else”.

The idea that you can make things, to solve real world problems, to help people, to make lives better with cutting-edge technologies excites me. It gets me pumped.

It started when I first got my hands on a computer way back in 2000 at my uncle’s house. I just played a few DOS based games and it was the coolest thing I did on that vacation. I was in the 5th standard maybe. It got me hooked. I learnt that I could program the computer to make it do things for me. Soon after that, I started learning the basics, like MS Paint, MS Office, etc. I could not wait to start programming. It was when I moved to the 7th standard that my school introduced Java programming classes. The moment I wrote the first System.out.println() statement to print my name on the console, my brain experienced a miniature version of the big bang. So many ideas, so many possibilities, all came dashing to my head. At that very moment, I knew what I wanted to do in life. I knew computers are going to be the future, so I had to make myself into someone who can “talk” with them. Someone who can understand and instruct them to do things to make our lives better.

Fast forward to this day, the excitement has not gone down one bit. It has in fact, gone up. I have transitioned myself from just a programmer to a full stack developer. I can make products from scratch all by myself. No limits. I actively participate in meetups and competitive programming events. On top of that, I am also diving into the field of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Machine learning is just another level of awesome.

The first reason — The awesome things I get to make, the talented people I get to interact and learn from. I get to do something which I love.

My second reason would be the thrill I get. Imagine working with people globally towards solving a problem. Imagine working on the next Uber or Facebook or Snapchat, on something which will become a part of our daily lives. Imagine competing from startups all around the world on creating the next big thing. I feel lucky that I can get to work on these kind of stuff.

Another reason is that I want to change the perspective of people towards software developers here in India. The scene here is just bad. People just don’t see the awesomeness as I do. A majority of the so called “software developers” are nothing but college grads picked up by MNCs to add people to the company. They have no love for this field and are not the least interested. They just do things they are told to do. No thinking, no imagining things, no dreaming, just doing stuff. They just wait for the paychecks, party hard when it comes and then spend the rest of the month complaining about their jobs. People like these have created a very bad impression. This has lead to other people hating this field. Parents don’t want their children to get into this field. I want to change this perception by showing that it is one of the best career choices one can get in these times.

My journey to becoming what I am today has seen a lots of ups and downs. I had to argue a lot with my parents to allow me to get into this field (reason mentioned above). Hours and hours of late night coding for that hackathon, or working on my personal projects on weekends, attending meetups, designing and building systems. These things have made me. This is what I am, and I feel happy. It has taught me to do things with what I have. I have learnt to manage time very well to make room for all the activities I love. It has taught me to be a better person, to respect others and contribute towards a common goal — a better future for all of us.

That was about me. Now you tell me your reasons. “What made you choose this career? And what makes you care so damn much about being successful in it?”

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