Why I decided to become a software engineer at the age of 26
Sometimes people ask me why I became a software engineer despite being graduated in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering. I don’t go over details to answer the questions, rather give a one-line reply - just stumbled upon it. But the reality is that it was a choice made after considering various factors that I’m going to elaborate on in this post.
Let’s dive into the factors I considered when I decided to become a software engineer almost 6 years ago.
Before breaking into software engineering, I was working in the IT support sector. The experience was very unpleasant. I had to work overtime with regular pay and to tolerate rude behavior from the management. The senior colleagues were not willing to share knowledge. These behaviors were consistent across multiple employments.
Because of these awful experiences, I was looking for a field where I will have control over the type of work I do and whom to work with. Software engineering exactly is that. If the condition at the present employment gets unmanageable, it’s relatively easier to find another opportunity due to the availability of job openings.
However, this does not mean that we should be thin-skinned or easily tempered. Being able to work with tough people and cope with tough situations are critical skills to have a successful career. But if the red line is crossed we should better move on.
Since there are more opportunities available, I can choose the organization with products and services I care about. This is one of the key aspects of job satisfaction as it increases job engagement. Caring about the product and the end-users inspires me to provide deliverables of the highest quality.
If I care about the product, it is easier for me to eagerly learn more about the business domain. Having concrete domain knowledge helps to identify the correct problem and to provide the appropriate solution.
Personality affects job satisfaction because not every type of job goes with everybody. So, I took a personality test using a free online tool. My type came out to be inclined towards introvert which exactly what I was thinking due to the presence of some of the characteristics of introverts to some degree. The personality type added up with other factors to the decision of becoming a software engineer.
It is not to be believed that all software engineers are introverted or the extroverted ones do not suit the profession. It’s more to do with what one enjoys most. I took the personality type into account because I came to know about it and its influence in a book and thought that it was vital to determine the type to make an informed decision. Later I’ve found out that it does not matter much.
Personal traits are equally important as technical skills for landing the dream job. Hiring managers take both the hard and soft skills into account to take the appropriate hiring decision. So I had to work on the collaboration and leadership skills to be considered as a valuable asset for an engineering team.
Software is eating the world. We’re continuing our pursuit to digitize everything as much as possible. The trend also was prevalent then. Seeing my work impacting positively would be very fulfilling to me which was somewhat missing in my previous career.
Around that time freeCodeCamp was founded and I became more inspired than ever seeing the impact it had on the community.
These are the factors I considered before going all out for a career in software engineering. So, what did I do after this? I googled “how to be a software engineer” and read all the stuff I could. MOOC was on the rise at that time. I enrolled in a course named “Programming for Everybody (Python)” which lead to other technologies critical to land on the frontend internship.