- Centurion Member
- Posts: 4913
- Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 4:35 pm
- Location: WI
Not to rain on anyone's parade, and everyone is different, but I was a computer science major and I've been doing professional programming for 15 years now in August. Did I develop microsoft.com or cnn.com? Nope. But I never met anyone who did either. 99% of us don't, we work in some business and help keep their day to day operations going.
It may sound cushy but it's really not. It can be stressful when things break. Despite code reviewing each other almost to death to show our vastly superior intellects, the junk you work on still looks like it was written by trained chimps and runs like it too. We waste roughly 20% of our week in meetings, but we are still given deadlines that expect that time to be used in development. And by the way you don't set your deadlines - they do, and they do NOT want or take your input into account at all, I mean if you knew what the hell you were doing, you'd have their job, why would they want your input? You are going to sit there and tell them this miracle technology they think is going to transform life itself has more bugs than a cheap roach motel, and that their deadline is hideously unfeasible. Who wants to hear that?
Yeah it's not all I thought it would be. When I got into it, I couldn't believe people paid me to program. I loved it so much I even did it at home after work. Now it's the LAST thing I want to do after work, I get enough of that fun during the day.
Maybe if my career path had more life than the mummy I saw at the museum, I'd have more interest, but as it is just hanging onto a job is about all most of us can hope for. If you manage that you're doing something right in this economy. But that alone doesn't really give me much satisfaction, I love solving problems and making cool things that help the users, but the BS I can live without, but you can't just pick and choose.
The field doesn't have the prestige it once had either. They've been shipping as many jobs as possible to slave wage countries, and the results I've personally seen from this are dismal. It was so bad I've actually seen them come back here (and God knows they hate the thought of paying an American a living wage). They love to list a huge laundry list of skills they require that no one on earth can possibly meet, things like .NET, Java, AS/400, mainframe, I mean everything under the sun knowing no one has all that, and 10 years experience in something that's been out 6 years. That way they can bring in a foreigner for cheaper than they could get an American.
And recruiters, or headhunters as they are also known, they can be something else, not to be racist but especially the Indians. They are either comical or annoying or both. A lot of them pick a fake American name, but you hear the accent on the phone, so you get a call from a guy calling himself George Smith but his accent tells you that's probably not his REAL name. One guy called and left me a voicemail, then they almost invariably email you too, so "urgent" is this position, and in the voicemail and the email he used the name "Julie". I emailed him back uh dude, just wanted to tell you that you picked a fake FEMALE American name to use. Never heard back. When the first thing they tell you is a lie (their name) it's pretty much all downhill from there. Back before I knew better than to play with them, one of them calls me on a Friday night, his job is "urgent" of course (they all are, no one can say Indians have no sense of urgency) and he needs me to reformat my resume a specific way so he can get it in front of the employer ASAP. So I spent 3 1/2 hours on a Friday night formatting that thing the way this guy wanted, emailed it off, and didn't hear back so I called/emailed and he dodged my calls and never responded. That was it for me and these cretins. That's 3 1/2 hours of my life I'll never get back down the toilet!
And they don't take no for an answer - one of them, I swear, the day I enabled my resume on Monster, the same guy/number had 11 calls on my phone. 11! I mean that's almost stalker level harassment. I couldn't believe it when I got out of a meeting and came back and saw that. You'd think they could actually get you a job or something - if only!
And it gets better. I was contracting at a company and one of the managers comes up to me and says are you SSS CCCC? I said yeah and he said we just got a call from somebody claiming they have the exclusive right to represent you for employment, and I said well that's news to me, aren't they lucky. Naturally this individual had no such right, but they could have screwed my employment up with that game, except the management realized I had nothing to do with it. Yeah they play games alright.
So, I hope it works out for you and maybe this is what you really love and you'll love it as much in 10 years as you do today. I hope so. But I personally try to discourage people from entering this field based on what I've seen personally. It may not be what you imagine. But I really hope it does work out great for you and you achieve your dreams, having said all that!