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  • Lokajit Tikayatray

The Right Reasons to Become a Software Engineer

Recently I read an article on Medium that declared coding is a trap.

The article's central premise is that people who chose coding as a profession don’t know what they are getting into. They are blindly falling for the promise of excellent remuneration. Ultimately, they get trapped and become unhappy.

The article touches upon some relevant points, but the theme around money and lifestyle choices is inaccurate.

If money is the only consideration for becoming a software engineer, you are already starting your job on the wrong foot. Anything you do after that will lead to an unsatisfactory career.

Programming positions pay well, but they are not the highest-paid ones.

Today software jobs do not even come in the list of the top 10 highest paying industries. If you want to run behind money, you should try your luck with these jobs that pay much better average salaries.

However, I have rarely seen a dull moment in my 16 years of software engineering experience. Give me coding any day, and I will happily latch on to the assignment.

Many of my readers are passionate developers. They still love to code years after joining the profession. Doing the job for the right reasons helps them thrive without any remorse.

That said, here are some of the reasons that you should consider while choosing software engineering. If these points make sense to you and find them attractive, you will never feel trapped by coding.

1. Get into coding if you love solving problems

For me, one of the main attractions of coding is the continuous supply of real-world challenges to solve. Problems exist in every facet of our lives. Most of your assignments will need some form of creative application of problem-solving skills.

If the process of solving problems and converting the solutions to useful products fascinates you, then software development is right for you.

The job provides endless opportunities to understand the circumstances, identify possibilities, evaluate options, and decide solutions. Finally, as a developer, you get the chance to convert the idea into something tangible.

It does not matter which programming language or tool you prefer; you will never get bored with coding if you love problem-solving.

2. Teamwork energizes you

It is a misconception that development is a loners job. Software teams are formed with developers, architects, designers, product owners, testers, etc. They also have business representations among other stakeholders.

I feel excited to work in a team as it allows me to work with all these brilliant minds.

Each member of the team has varying skill sets. I learn a lot from everyone on the team. They all bring their expertise and work towards a single unifying goal of making the product a success.

“None of us is as smart as all of us.” — Ken Blanchard

As a developer, you get the opportunity to learn from all the participants of the team. Collective effort always produces the best result. That is why when we work together, we deliver our best.

3. You wish to help people have a better life

Coding is only one part of software development. The job's primary focus is to use technology to create applications that can help people realize their dreams.

Software is used today from entertainment to making life more convenient. Irrespective of their age and profession, software help people become more productive. Applications in the medical domain enable doctors to save lives.

All this is possible because of the programmers who code these applications. So, don’t view coding as yet another job to make a living. Understand how your work helps people live a better life.

It can help you remain motivated throughout your career.

4. You like to help businesses thrive

Many people take pride in their contribution when it helps companies prosper. I feel happy when I see how my work contributes towards achieving the north star goal of our company.

Every programmer is contributing to their organization’s growth. Irrespective of the industry, their software is always focused on directly or indirectly helping the company and its customers.

If you are interested in helping your organization grow, you are in the right position to contribute as a programmer. A single innovative idea of yours can propel your company to become the market leader in what it does.

Any contribution to the success of the company can help you too to excel in your career.

5. Continuous learning opportunities excite you

One of the heartburn of the author who proclaimed coding is a trap is that you have to keep yourself updated with the ever-changing technical landscape to remain relevant in your role.

Well, I consider it as one of the perks of the software job. Learning new things at regular interval fascinates me. The constantly evolving nature of technology is what keeps the work from getting stale.

You can choose to update yourself in your preferred programming language, or you can switch to a new trending technology if that catches your imagination. The choice is entirely yours.

6. You thrive on healthy competition

Software job is competitive. But you will get enough support from experienced people. With their help, you can learn to perform and become a valuable contributor.

“Competition is always a good thing. It forces us to do our best. A monopoly renders people complacent and satisfied with mediocrity.” — Nancy Pearcy

I enjoy the healthy competition at my workplace. It helps me become more inquisitive and motivates me to work with others. The performance of my peers inspires me to push my boundaries.

If you love to work in a challenging but collaborative environment, then the coding job is for you. It will give you ample opportunities to feed your competitive spirit and grow simultaneously.

7. You want to be a leader

Coding might be one of the gateways to the profession, but there are many options to branch out once you are in. Each choice provides numerous growth opportunities. You don’t have to feel trapped after some years of coding.

If building a team and enabling them to be successful sounds inspiring, you can choose to become a leader. You can help the team perform at their peak by providing them a productive work environment.

To grow as a leader, you need to cultivate leadership skills. Soft skills are highly essential for both individual contributors as well as managers. It all depends on your interest and how much effort you are ready to put.

You can start as a software developer and move on to be a leader. All you need is to be clear about what you want. Once you have a plan, it is super exciting to follow through and work on achieving it.

Final Thoughts

Now you have a list of points that can help you decide if you want to be a software engineer. If you are already into the industry, these points can help you determine whether you wish to continue with it or not.

The lure of the money goes away with the first few salaries deposited into the account. Hence, except for money, if no other points attract you towards coding, think hard before you decide to continue as a software developer.

You should be in a job where you are inspired to contribute. Your enthusiasm to learn and excel in your work should propel you to achieve your professional goals. Financial success will automatically follow.

As your passion pushes you to reach new heights in your career, you will never feel trapped.

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