A career in computer programming has lots of room to specialize and for rapid growth but it can be tough on your body and mind to study it. In fact, many developers are struggling with emotional and mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. In addition, it typically takes about 4 years and 120 credits to earn a computer programming degree. If you succeed, however, the result will be worth the pain. The salary has no limit considering that you can develop your own program and change the world by creating an App that solves a problem that affects the human race…
Imagine you were one of those programmers that developed an app like Facebook, Uber, WhatsApp, or Instagram? Would it be worth all the pain compared to the amount of gain? The answer is yes. Unfortunately, not every computer programmer succeeds.
In this article, you will learn some advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if a computer programming degree is worth it or not. You will also learn some computer programming tips to help you succeed in case you decide to pursue your education in the field.
Here Are the Disadvantages
- Health Risks
While obtaining your degree and working as a computer programmer you could be putting your health at risk. You will spend long hours in front of a computer learning how to program and completing projects once you enter the job market. Sitting in the same position staring at a bright screen all day can cause neck and back problems and people tend to gain wait because they don’t move around enough. Computer programmers are usually under a lot of stress trying to meet deadlines or solve program problems.
Many programmers enjoy their jobs but eventually they all suffer from burnout. When you apply for the position it is advertised as a 40-hour work week but you will work considerably longer hours on a regular basis. This job will require you to work overtime and it takes a toll on you as well as interfering with your personal life. Computer programmers begin to be less productive because they are mentally and physically burnt out and cannot focus very well.
- Advances in Technology
Advances in technology is constant and ever evolving to become more efficient or to make room for the latest models of games and toys. Nothing in this business remains stagnant so you must be adaptable as they cast away the old and bring in the new. To be effective in your position means you must be willing to learn new computer skills and languages, adjust to new tools and be able to apply new concepts. If you are a person that has a hard time dealing with abrupt and frequent changes, you will not do well as a computer programmer.
- Decline in Job Opportunities
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that programming jobs will decline by 9% through 2028. There are many countries in the world that pay programmers substantially lower wages than the United States. Since this is a job that can be worked remotely, companies are taking advantage of being able to pay decreased salary by hiring remote workers worldwide.
- Constant Reading
You will do a vast amount of reading when you are working towards your degree as a computer programmer. The sad news is, this will not stop or decline after you enter the work force. The only way to keep up with all the inevitable changes is to read, read, read! You need to be a hardcore avid reader and read several books a year or you will be left behind in the technology world.
Here Are the Advantages
If you are fortunate enough to secure a job with a company that does not outsource their work to other countries, you will have the flexibility to work from home. There will be no need to get dressed daily, spend tons of money on unhealthy restaurant food and many other expenses will be greatly reduced such as transportation costs. Having the flexibility to work remotely gives you an opportunity to spend more time with your family and keep things running smoothly at home.
- Mobile App Development
We are living in a time where the demand for skillful mobile app developers is in high and the growth of mobile users is explosive. Not only are parents buying their children cell phones but older adults are using them more each day. Grandparents are texting their grandchildren and using all types of video apps to virtually spend time with their families. You can be an excellent developer if you know design models and basic concepts to programming.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
The world is transforming right before our eyes with AI. This new technology is not just for our future, it is happening right now with chatbots and self-driving cars. AI can be used as an element in current systems or you can create new AI applications. You will have a massive advantage in the future if you become an AI expert now because the job market will not be able to supply the demand for this expertise due to the exponential growth.
- Unlimited Accomplishments
As a computer programmer you have the opportunity to have unlimited accomplishments. If you dream or imagine something, you can use your skills to create a program for it. You can analyze behaviors of customers or clients, automate tasks and solve or improve just about any issue that exists.
- Side Hustles
Are you a good teacher or speaker? If so, you can use your expertise in computer programming and become a mentor to up and coming programmers, be a guest lecturer or an adjunct teacher. You can freelance as a consultant for gaming or other types of businesses. People of all ages want to learn a simpler or easier way to do things and you can earn additional monies teaching them some easy or basic programming.
- Financial Freedom
It is very possible to gain financial freedom as a computer programmer. You do not have to limit you earnings to what a company may think you are worth. If you are a great problem solver you can create a program that could help with solve major issues like global warming or world hunger. Perhaps you can create an app that sells like wildflowers. Any of these things could help you amass a fortune in no time at all.
- Varied Industries
Graduating with a computer programming degree use to limit you to only a few types of industries that were closely related to computers such as IT and software companies. This is no longer the case because nearly every type of industry needs and hires computer programmers. The demand for computer programmers is on the rise in the manufacturing and medical industries.
Here are 7 simple tips to help you become a successful Computer Programmer:
- Create a Strong Foundation
From the beginning of your study, you need to build a strong foundation. In fact, this should be the first step to becoming a successful computer programmer. A strong foundation is like driving on GPS, reaching the destination becomes easier.
- Don’t Be Pushy
Excessive ambitious or over-working in programming can lead to mental problems, including clinical depression. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Take your time and create your success one step at a time.
- Put Your Learning into Action
To become a good programmer, you need to do more than just read books, search the internet and take some notes — you need to put your knowledge into action by start coding as you’re learning. In short, learn and code.
- Know when to Ask for Help
Self-teaching is crucial to become an excellent computer programmer but having some support to show you the ropes is better and easier. Know when to ask for help from a mentor or friend. You can also register on forums and ask questions.
- Learn How to Code by Hand
Hand coding is considered as old school and sometimes neglected. The reality, if you really want to become a successful computer programmer, or seeking a coding career, it is crucial to learn to code by hand. In fact, this is one of the most important programing skills you need to learn.
- Take Advantage of Online Coding Resources
Thanks to the internet, countless of helpful coding resources on all topics are available. From coding boot camp to free tutorials on YouTube you have plenty of resources, take advantage of them. Learning from different resources will help you take your coding career to the next level.
- Know When to Take a Break
Debugging can be challenging and frustrating when you are learning how to code. In some cases, it can take hours to find a bug. Take a bread to relax your mind and avoid mental exhaustion. Do something relaxing or enjoyable such as cooking, gardening, exercising.