Greetings and welcome to my very first ever blog post. I want to start off with a bit of an introduction to myself and my background before we start with why I decided to learn Software Engineering.
My name is RobSm!th and I have always been interested in technology ever since I was a little boy. I would take things apart just to see how it worked only to sometimes never put it back together like it should have. I always loved to make something new, exciting and wanted to learn how to program. Unfortunately my family at the time could not afford a good computer or lessons to learn programming. Once I was in high school the opportunity was available to me, but I ended up choosing other curricular activities and hanging out with my friends.
It wasn’t until I had my first kid at the age 22 that I decided to get back into computers and programming. I started off working for a company called Cutting Edge Computers where the owner ended up teaching me how to build and maintain computers and their systems. This sprang up the desire to learn how to code and program video games. So, I signed myself up for the next most expensive college out there and only completed one year before giving up because they hadn’t taught me how to write any code yet. With that, I ended up taking a small break before attempting it again a second time with another yet expensive college.
At this point I put aside my web development and started to self-teach myself how to program using Python. It was with this language that I truly learned the meaning of programming and the power it had. With this new knowledge and excitement I came across a little app, while searching in the app store, called Career Karma. They were able to help me connect with like minded people and a wonderful school; Flatiron School. With this school and it’s knowledge, I knew it would help me fast track my learning process and help me find a career that I enjoy doing - programming and making something new. I am still currently enrolled at the time of this writing and have learned so much already. So with that I would like to share my 5 reasons why I decided to learn software engineering.
5. The Average Base Pay For Software Engineers Is Close To Six Figures:
I was actually shocked to see how well most software engineers were being paid. I looked up on glassdoor.com and they estimated that one could make up to $92,046 per year or more depending on your experience. Even entry-level software engineers earn roughly $75,000 per year. Which is a heck-of-a-lot better then making an average of $23,000 per year working a basic 9–5.
4. Teamwork makes the dream work:
I’m not against working by myself on some projects. One thing I learned while teaching myself how to code is I’ve learned that there is just somethings you can’t accomplish on your own. One of the greatest benefits of working with a team is the fact that you will always learn something new. Another great aspect of working with a team is that the projects you are working on is going to be completed a lot faster then it would if you were trying to knock-it-out on your own. I remember spending almost a year trying to learn, code and complete a bog project on my own. It’s okay if it is something you want to do on the side. Then again, if you spend enough time with a group of friends or a team at a company, you can get an overall picture of how to tackle your own projects.
3. You Are Always Learning:
I don’t know about you, but I love to learn. Learning can be easy and it can be hard. It all depends how you look at it. After all, programming at its very base is problem solving and by solving problems in the technical world you end up learning how to solve problems in your own world. I see things completely differently know that I’ve been programming for the past 8 years or so. It’s taken me awhile to learn how to look things up on Google or YouTube. I was also scared to even ask questions in the beginning. As you learn how to solve these problems, your day-to-day problems become more and more clearer.
I came across a quote the other day that said,
“The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice.” — Brian Herbert
I believe this to be true. We are all learners and have been learning from birth. That’s why it’s a gift; the ability to learn is a skill which can be taught and learned. But it comes down to your choice to take action to learn something new. If you think you’re done learning then you’re truly not living.
2. Being Able To Work From Home:
With some recent events and COVID_19 taking over our lives and forcing us to be home, it had a big impact on most of our jobs. Lots of people ended up losing their jobs only to be disappointed to find that no one else is hiring. One of the great positives with software engineering is that it can be worked from home or remotely. You still get to work with a wonderful team and it can all be done while still in your pajamas! You can even go as far as going the freelancers route by joining fiverr or freelancers.com to get whats called “gigs”. You could even start your own business and bring on your own clientele. I, for one, have always dreamed of working from home or from where ever I’m at in the world; to enjoy my time with my family and not be tied down to an office or building.
- It’s A Creative Outlet.
It may not be drawing and painting, or building something out of wood, or piecing some jewelry together, but it can be a great outlet for your creativity. You still get to build and bring something to life; something you were apart of creating. I tried all sorts of things before finding the art of programming.
Any time you set out to write and create a program you’re creating something new, much like when you were younger playing Lego’s or some type of building blocks.
One of the greatest things is that it is never be boring and you feel a great sense of satisfaction when you can get your code to work. Sure, you’ll get a bug or an error in your code and that’s okay. There are a lot of other programmers out there that have done some things similar to what you are trying to accomplish.
There is a great community out there that can help you learn and troubleshoot your issues. They have never let me down yet. As one good friend told me, why reinvent the wheel.
How Can You Become A Software Engineer.
If you are interested in becoming a Software Engineer like me and would like to learn more then I urge you to check out what Flatiron School has to offer. They have helped me so much to realize my dreams and skills that I feel confident that they will help you realize yours as well.
A great plus is that you don’t even need to know how to code to start. They will teach you everything. I choose to go the online route, but you can choose from many of their physical school locations, too.
Good luck to you and may your future be bright!