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Should I pick up programming? Why and why not?

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Old 22-03-2021, 07:06 PM
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Default Should I pick up programming? Why and why not?

Because of COVID, everything is digitalised...

Everyone else is struggling to keep their jobs or find one , while programmers are getting more offers than ever.

As the situation is right now, jobs are rapidly becoming obsolete - mostly being automated by lines after lines of code.

What I'm curious is why isn't more people going all-in on programming ? What are the down sides (because I really cannot think of any), and what could possibly deter anyone from making the switch?

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Old 22-03-2021, 07:53 PM
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Programming is a useful skill to have under your belt but neither guarantees high pay, much less success in life. But I agree with the hype now, you are definitely getting more offers with programming skills. Yes, tech/programming in general is booming now and I don't doubt it is here to stay. But the average coder is not gonna get a job at FANG with close to 5 digits starting salary.

What I also want to emphasize is don't be a generalist who focuses so much on programming and ignore whatever domain you actually like (e-commerce/genomics/finance). Your programming skills ultimately have to be applied to some industry. Code itself has no value. How you apply it to the domain is the ultimate value driver.

And I think there is this trend right now called the "low-code/no-code" movement. Many software companies are helping to democratize coding by developing platforms so that end users can just drag and drop application components, connect them together and create mobile or web apps.

And the point about everyone becoming a programmer. If half of the population applies for programming job, good luck getting any decent pay. The sheer amount of supply will just drive down everyone's pay. Ultimately, only the top few companies pay top dollars to candidates. And only certain programming jobs like software engineer or data scientist are considered highly paid. Basic code monkey is usually outsourced to foreigners for low pay. Candidates will be forced to search jobs at SMEs and accept the lower pay.

Plus coding is boring as hell to most people who don't enjoy it. Eventually, they will get burnt out and leave the industry for good.

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Old 22-03-2021, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xin View Post
Programming is a useful skill to have under your belt but neither guarantees high pay, much less success in life. But I agree with the hype now, you are definitely getting more offers with programming skills. Yes, tech/programming in general is booming now and I don't doubt it is here to stay. But the average coder is not gonna get a job at FANG with close to 5 digits starting salary.

What I also want to emphasize is don't be a generalist who focuses so much on programming and ignore whatever domain you actually like (e-commerce/genomics/finance). Your programming skills ultimately have to be applied to some industry. Code itself has no value. How you apply it to the domain is the ultimate value driver.

And I think there is this trend right now called the "low-code/no-code" movement. Many software companies are helping to democratize coding by developing platforms so that end users can just drag and drop application components, connect them together and create mobile or web apps.

And the point about everyone becoming a programmer. If half of the population applies for programming job, good luck getting any decent pay. The sheer amount of supply will just drive down everyone's pay. Ultimately, only the top few companies pay top dollars to candidates. And only certain programming jobs like software engineer or data scientist are considered highly paid. Basic code monkey is usually outsourced to foreigners for low pay. Candidates will be forced to search jobs at SMEs and accept the lower pay.

Plus coding is boring as hell to most people who don't enjoy it. Eventually, they will get burnt out and leave the industry for good.
I agree with this, apart from the points on "programming isn't here to stay" and "no/low code" movement. However, I will avoid this discussion entirely as time will eventually tell, and it doesn't exactly address the original topic if a person should learn programming.

Important questions to consider:
1) Does your company already have robust IT development / place emphasis on IT talent? Will your programming skills be valued there?
2) Do you have an idea of what you want to do, after learning programming? Such as business analyst, software engineer (backend, frontend, devops / cloud / data engineer), AI/ML.
3) Following from qn 2, are you aware of the level of programming proficiency needed? For example, some business analysts require simple SAS / SQL manipulation while other roles need Python + scripting knowledge
4) Do you have the bandwidth to learn programming (time & energy)? Does your company support you in learning as part of working hours? Do you have kids to take care of / busy preparing for marriage / elderly dependents to care for?
5) What is your aptitude towards logical problem solving? My favourite question is did Physics and Math come naturally to you. If so, coding should be manageable from an intellectual perspective.

Once you have answers to these questions, the decision to learn programming or not will be extremely clear. There are tons of short-medium length videos which describe these concepts in detail. If you want to be spoon fed the answer here, then just avoid programming altogether.

As a bonus tip, I highly recommend joining some structured courses that help to guide your learning. The software world is vast and can be intimidating to learn at the start. Use the course to maintain your sanity and as professional qualifications. Good luck!

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Old 23-03-2021, 09:00 AM
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Programmers are modern age blue collar factory worker la.
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Old 23-03-2021, 09:06 AM
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Programmers are modern age blue collar factory worker la.
Underpaid factory worker
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Old 23-03-2021, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xin View Post
Programming is a useful skill to have under your belt but neither guarantees high pay, much less success in life. But I agree with the hype now, you are definitely getting more offers with programming skills. Yes, tech/programming in general is booming now and I don't doubt it is here to stay. But the average coder is not gonna get a job at FANG with close to 5 digits starting salary.

What I also want to emphasize is don't be a generalist who focuses so much on programming and ignore whatever domain you actually like (e-commerce/genomics/finance). Your programming skills ultimately have to be applied to some industry. Code itself has no value. How you apply it to the domain is the ultimate value driver.

And I think there is this trend right now called the "low-code/no-code" movement. Many software companies are helping to democratize coding by developing platforms so that end users can just drag and drop application components, connect them together and create mobile or web apps.

And the point about everyone becoming a programmer. If half of the population applies for programming job, good luck getting any decent pay. The sheer amount of supply will just drive down everyone's pay. Ultimately, only the top few companies pay top dollars to candidates. And only certain programming jobs like software engineer or data scientist are considered highly paid. Basic code monkey is usually outsourced to foreigners for low pay. Candidates will be forced to search jobs at SMEs and accept the lower pay.

Plus coding is boring as hell to most people who don't enjoy it. Eventually, they will get burnt out and leave the industry for good.
While it's true not everyone who takes up programming will end up in FAANG, many of my peers are witnessing a high starting salary right out of school :') And I'm glad that you mentioned low-code!!! Because that is becoming increasingly popular - which is also a result of programmers!!! To simplify the complex, you first have to understand the complex. That said, you will have to be the best of the best to replicate it.

And yes, it is boring as hell to me - I am most people. But thank you xin!! Really provided a different perspective for me to consider hehe
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Old 23-03-2021, 03:12 PM
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Programmers are modern age blue collar factory worker la.
HAHAHAH interesting take. So you're insinuating that they are the ones doing the "dirty work"?
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Old 23-03-2021, 03:12 PM
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Underpaid factory worker
huh, really meh? The programmers I know are making good money... not 5 figures maybe but sitting very comfortably in the salary range of an average university graduate.
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Old 23-03-2021, 03:31 PM
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Comp sci high starting pay cus of lack of supply now (soon to change though) but their careers tend to plateau after a few years. Only a select few have the social capital/skills to move on to management. Most spend the rest of your lives being senior programmers/developers.
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Old 23-03-2021, 03:42 PM
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Good pay. So?

Give you good pay. You can't do. Is can't do.

Alot of fake people in tech.
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