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If I'd Chosen A Career In Software-Engineering

Nowadays, technology-focused jobs maintain the highest profile on the job market. If you want an oversimplification, we’ll go ahead and narrow down technology to computing; artificial-intelligence, software, hardware, wires, mesh, engineering, programming, X+Y=Z. These are trigger-words which can remind a variety of thoughts and feelings depending on who you ask. Although general society may not understand the how and why computers work, they appreciate that computers do. So there are a lot of people wish they had chosen a career in software-engineering. JT1 will discuss with you this issue right now.

Titans in the Modern Age - Chosen a career in software-engineering

For the past half-century, entrepreneurial companies and individuals have accomplished the Bronze-Age equivalent of loyal Spartan warriors ascending to literal Titan-status. An unsure journey on the footholds of Mount Olympus has morphed into a rush to build the biggest temple. Mere mortals will soon be caught in the crossfire of automation; metalworkers and artisans will be out of business and not only will the Titans answer for it, but politicians may have to answer for it as well.

Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple stated: “The reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.”

When the humanities have no limitation to Gilded-Age stories about people shopping in department stores — or spending ten pages describing furniture — they involve adventures in philosophy and religious studies.

There are no graphs — except for comparing population size in cities — and there are no formulas to follow or scripts to perfect. Thoughts, feelings, and ideas replace cold, calculated logic. Term-paper marathons are preferred over programming marathons. The only ‘startup’ involves studying philosophical movements and who or why they impacted.

When you study the humanities, you study thinkers, writers, philosophers, activists, teachers, political-idealists, economists, theology, wars, and other synonyms close enough to share an umbrella. When you study software-engineering, you study computing-theory, script-theory, how and whatever to program, variables, constants, formulas, and so on.

Programming marathons and brainstorming sessions are common among all companies, both big and small. These methods not only teach you how to get things done but also future-proof your career; if you possess any degree in software engineering or computer-science, you don’t have to worry about employment for the rest of your life, which is why some people wish they had chosen a career in software-engineering.

The great intersection of these disciplines maintains a fair share of irony — the level of influence companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Google, IBM, Facebook, Twitter, HP, or dozens upon dozens of others have is equivalent to the influence philosophers and writers from every historical period once had in their respective field. Before humanity learned to harness electricity, we pondered questions regarding mortality, morality, fate, civics, and the gods’ will. Now we ponder how to make research and operational systems faster…better…more intuitive…

The engineers ask this question in the dead of night, tossing and turning under physical sheets of Egyptian-linen and mental sheets of coding patterns.

What will the next big breakthrough be?

Who will design the system and what will come of it?

For many young people seeking a career-path, the breakthrough is already here.

King Solomon’s Cloud Network - Chosen a career in software-engineering

Marc Andressen, co-founder of Netscape and co-author of Mosaic stated:

“Qualified software engineers in Silicon Valley can rack up dozens of high-paying offer any time they want…”

One of the reasons why tons of young people wish they had chosen a career in software-engineering is that the software-engineering realm — especially for those located in the San Francisco Bay area— offers enough riches to sneer at the jobs college graduates compete for in other fields.

The advantage of software engineering — along with its hardware-minded brother — is that it’s still in infancy; it’s a generational and scientific landmark in human history where we can’t even fathom the dividends yet to be reaped. If Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law is how “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” then we’ve already mastered card-tricks and are moving closer to pulling literal rabbits out of imaginary hats.

One of the reasons why tons of young people wish they had chosen a career in software-engineering is in the fabled “STEM” acronym: Science – Technology – Engineering - Mathematics. Everything from scientific-research to fitting mechanical parts is included because of these jobs being highly-specialized and highly-demanded. Each of these engineering or non-engineering majors — complete with the specialization of your choice — can be counted on to provide a middle-class, upper-middle-class, and eventual upper-class income; (if you play your career-cards right and work hard enough to be considered a high-priced-asset).

This statement of course assumes a high-school-graduate follows the path of entering college in their late teens and exiting in their early twenties. This also assumes they did the bare minimum of going to a boring, public-university and took out a five-figure student loan. They might or might not receive some financial-aid. If they manage to finish their degree and are willing to ask around, they can land a gig earning well-above entry-level pay for other disciplines.

The Valley of the Gods - Chosen a career in software-engineering

“I’m a Silicon Valley guy. I think people from Silicon Valley can do anything.” — Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla.

However, even if you didn’t gain a full-ride at a prestigious university, you are still one step ahead of the game — at least in theory — when it comes to securing a financial future.

In a world where the cost of living is rising exponentially and wages are stagnating, a six-figure salary straight out of the college-gate is the equivalent of putting an eagle on the first hole in golf. An unscientific search on Glassdoor reveals how salaries across the board offer excellent compensation not just in base pay but in bonuses as well. If you do well enough to warrant high-compensation, you might be able to turn down $500,000 because you’re already making over $3 million.

Even if you start out at a smaller company where you’re ‘only’ making $70,000 — $90,000 a year, making the jump to a larger company can cause a massive salary boost; toiling on a baby-vineyard for a few years could lead for the opportunity to help craft a better brand of wine for a multi-generational vineyard. Once you hit a threshold where only the priciest of markets can cause your wallet to sweat, then it becomes easier to save for the real things that matter; emergency savings, weddings, funerals, buying a condominium or a house, and retirement.

A quick search across the board for salaries involving the humanities — namely teaching, curating, or freelance work — doesn’t get anywhere near to the early six-figure range, let alone a seven-figure-range. If you are a writer who manages to publish a worldwide bestseller, then congratulations — you’ve obtained an island in a sea of unpublished manuscripts.

Maybe you go the professor-in-training route at a university and can get close to the six-figure range; become enough of a high-profile through published research, speaking gigs, and interviews and you could soon clear six-figures. For those in the humanities that want to follow in the footsteps of wealth, opportunity arrives but it knocks on an infrequent basis.

So far, this job sound like a gift from the gods, graduates in other realms after a long time working, many of them wish they had chosen a career in software-engineering.

So, what’s the major drawback? If this job is in-demand and well-paying, why isn’t everybody doing it?

The Altar of Chronos is Unforgiving - Chosen a career in software-engineering

Money may threaten to collapse at any moment, but time remains a constant threat.

On a normal work day, you can expect to work 8–10 hours. This doesn’t include the company meetings, luncheons, and other events you are in expectation to attend if you want to increase your profile. This also doesn’t include crunch-time for deadlines, where 12 to 18 - hour days and irregular sleep-patterns can become the norm not only at startups but for the Titans themselves.

One deadline missed leads into another deadline missed. Which leads to friction in the office and personal unraveling as lack of sleep encourage shouting matches amidst human errors. For those looking at starting — or already have — families, this leads to work-life balance being thrown completely out the window.

Like how it is in finance, so it must be in software-engineering — the more your job is tied to an evolving marketplace, the more you are pressured to evolve with it. The relationship and family time you sacrifice is devoted to helping the company — and the products it provides — move forward.

Teaching the past is less time-consuming than engineering the future. You can make teaching the past a life-consuming process, but the future demands a burnt offering. Infinite possible timelines will only converge when somebody does something about them.

There will be benefits, sure. Many companies offer good vacation packages, investment opportunities, stock options, health insurance, or even a corner office with a view if you ask nicely. But time, is always something you will never get back.

Conclusion – If you had chosen a career in software-engineering?

So, if you have the ability to fight numerical formulas, you can thrive in a high-stress environment where you might not see your family for days on end… and how the demands solely increase if you move higher in a company’s threshold… then you would have high recommendation for a career in software engineering.

If you have the ability to be a software – engineer, why are you still considering?

And there are many people think if they had chosen a career in software-engineering, everything would be different now. So, what is your thoughts?


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