Earning great money while you pursue your passions is a win-win situation. As they say, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
“Should I Become a Software Developer?”
Alongside local job postings, a quick web search for “Software Developer jobs” will typically show you millions of results for articles on how to become a software developer, how much it pays, and why the world needs more of them.
These are all great sources of information and fun reads, but they’re not exactly compelling arguments as to why you should become a software developer. After all, it’s your career and your life. You shouldn’t make career decisions purely based on macro-economic conditions; you should choose to do what inspires and impassions you!
Therefore, how do you know whether or not the field is right for you and if you should become a software developer? We think that more needs to be done for the future software developers out there who are seeking answers. This is why we wrote this article.
Below, we list seven different personality traits and qualities that will help you determine whether or not you may enjoy being a software developer.
#1: You’re Creative
One of the most prevalent myths in pop psychology is the idea that people are either left-brained or right-brained. According to the theory, left-brainers are more logical, analytical, mathematical, and think in a more structured manner than right-brainers. Right-brainers, on the other hand, are more creative, artistic, and imaginative. Based on this theory, many assume that left-brainers are more apt for STEM fields, while right-brainers should pursue a full-time career in art or music.
Recent neurological studies have shown that this idea is indeed a myth, but it refuses to die because it’s already so embedded in our culture. Unfortunately, the false notion that one is either logical or creative has caused many young learners to think that they have to choose one or the other. If they identify themselves as excelling in math and science, they often believe that they don’t possess a creative mind, and vice versa.
On the contrary, people aren’t limited to just one half of their brain. Neither is creativity just confined to the areas of art, graphic design, and music. STEM fields like Software Development require just as much creativity and out-of-the-box thinking as painting or writing a song. Simply put, being a software developer requires being a whole-brainer!
#2: You Love to Solve Problems
If you love LEGOs, puzzles, and strategy games, you might enjoy being a software developer. Developing software involves a variety of tasks, such as making things from scratch, assembling programs using frameworks and libraries, and tweaking existing software to improve it. However, no matter what you’re doing specifically, you’ll always be solving problems.
Many times, you will have to solve problems that you’ve never solved before, requiring you to improvise. This element of spontaneity can be stressful for those who prefer predictability and stability, or exciting for those looking for a dynamic challenge.
#3: You Enjoy a Challenge
Software Development is extremely rewarding for those who like challenges and the satisfaction that comes with overcoming them. On a daily basis, you’ll be interacting with clients and teammates, designing software, writing code, and fixing bugs as they appear. And, these challenges will continuously change and evolve over time.
If you’re looking for “easy money,” or a job that requires no more than clocking in and clocking out, steer clear of software development! However, if you’re up for the challenge and you love to test your limits, you might just have what it takes to be a successful software developer.
#4: You Don’t Want to Stop Learning
As technology advances, so do the knowledge and skills needed to succeed as a software developer. This requires software developers to keep learning and updating their skills on a regular basis. For the curious mind, this provides a huge advantage over other careers.
Additionally, you’ll encounter all kinds of problems on the job that you may have never solved before. As a result, you’ll have to seek out solutions and constantly educate yourself through online forums and documentation.
Knowing how to program in general can open up many doors for additional career paths and other work in the future. For example, if you ever get tired of working as a software developer, you can take your knowledge elsewhere and look for another job in the field of Computer Science.
#5: You Like to Work with Others
Movies and TV shows often portray software developers and programmers as anti-social geniuses who spend every waking hour typing away while locked in a dark room. This stereotype couldn’t be farther from the truth. During a typical day, software developers regularly attend strategy sessions and collaborate with co-workers and clients to make the best product possible.
Many programmers and software developers also attend conferences for tech-related topics and socialize in the real world almost as often as they do in the virtual one. So, if you’re concerned that you’ll have to bid farewell to all of your human relationships to become a software developer, there’s no reason to fear.
#6: You Value a Good Salary
Last, but certainly not least, software development jobs pay extremely well. To give you an idea, the median salary in the U.S. in 2018 was $47,060 per year, while the median software developer salary was nearly double that—$105,590 per year.
So, if you’re already sold on the idea of becoming a software developer, the lofty salary that comes with it will just be the icing on the cake.
#7: You Want A Flexible Work Environment
Working in Software Development can afford you the flexibility and freedom that many other white-collar jobs don’t. Since the majority of your work will take place on a computer, most employers will allow you to work from home during certain days of the week or on the days when there are no team meetings. However, tools like Skype and Slack now allow teams to collaborate and meet online, regardless of geographical location. This eliminates the need for physical offices and opens up the door for remote work.
Currently, there are many remote software development jobs available, as well as freelance opportunities online. Unlike a traditional job, a remote position allows you to stay home and avoid making the daily commute. These jobs don’t usually pay as much as a typical 9-to-5, but they come with some invaluable perks. One such advantage is saving time and gasoline that would otherwise be wasted in traffic. And, if you’re a bit more adventurous and less of a homebody, this will allow you to travel while still supporting yourself financially.
The world is in desperate need of more software developers and top companies are paying more than ever for qualified talent. But be careful not to choose a career just for the paycheck. Investing your time and effort into a career that you’re not passionate about will make you less happy in the long run. On the contrary, earning great money while you pursue your passions is a win-win situation. As they say, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
We hope that this article gave you a better idea of what personality traits really mesh with the field and whether or not software development is for you. If you’d like to learn more about software development, or even data science and cyber security, please read more at the official Woz U blog.