In the early 1900s, it was mining for precious metals that was considered the most lucrative opportunity. Fast forward to today, the gold rush lies in places like Singapore, China, and of course California’s Silicon Valley. Working as a software developer is considered one of the best career paths to take. Everywhere you go, there is technology in sight that’s changing how people interact with and do things.
Whether it’s new machine learning algorithms that improve search results and overall shopping experience or more advanced medical screening and operating equipment that lower failure risk, there is a high chance that a software engineer was instrumental to making that device. Still not convinced? Read on further as we discuss eight reasons why you should work as a software developer:
Ever heard of people in their early 20s making six figure salaries a year? Chances are, they are coders. The average salary for software developers is a staggering $104,000, higher than most professions in the tech field. In fact, according to US News, software engineers make significantly more money than systems analysts and hardware engineers. Moreover, the highest paid 10 percentile in the industry were banking close to $160,000 in 2016.
As if the competitive starting salaries weren’t enough reason to work as a software developer in tech, some companies can reward stock options that, once vested, can amount to a huge sum of money. In fact, stock options are increasingly becoming a popular strategy for attracting and retaining talent in the tech industry. Google, for instance, can reward new hires with up to 50 stock options after one year of working for them. And considering that one share of Google is currently over $1,000, that’s $50,000 in stock options that you can either hold or sell. This, plus the quarterly and annual bonuses that can range anywhere between $10,000 to $20,000, can net you close to $200,000 in salaries and bonuses after your first year.
Remote Work Opportunity
Working as a software developer, whether as a freelancer or for B2C and B2B ecommerce companies, can afford you the opportunity to work from home or from anywhere you want. Since all the tools you need to perform work is on your computer, you can bring your work anywhere as long as there is internet connection. And in today’s web-driven world, you can find secure hotspots almost anywhere, from cafes to public buses. Being able to work from home means you save money and time on commute, not to mention you can spend more time with family members and friends.
Flexible Work Schedule
Aside from being able to work from anywhere, many software developers are also given free rein when it comes to their work schedule. As long as you can produce usable output that contributes to project progress, you can come and go as you please without having to punch in/out every time. Being able to create your own work schedule gives you better control of your personal life and allows you to find a specific work-life rhythm that works best for you. You no longer have to wake up at 6 AM to beat the morning rush hour or come home late to avoid it.
Logic and Problem Solving Practice
Problem-solving is what the day-to-day responsibilities of a software developer essentially boils down to. Unlike most jobs that involve a set of repetitive and menial tasks that fail to stimulate the mind, software developers are constantly using logic and problem-solving techniques to debug their codebase and write new features for the app or website. Although it looks simple from a customer- or user-standpoint, even the dullest features in a website or app can take a lot of engineering in the back-end.
Transferable Skill Set
Different startups may use different programming languages and development stacks, such as MEAN and LAMP, yet the underlying logic that drives their code are identical. The abstraction of specifications and features leaves the simple fact that software development all starts from ones and zeroes. If you know how to solve a problem systematically, you can easily transfer this skill set when you start working for a new company or if you decide to create your own startup.
It’s important to be comfortable in your workplace. If you feel unsafe or stressed out, this could affect both your physical and mental functions. Most tech startups go above and beyond for their workers, especially billion-dollar tech giants including Facebook, Google, and Amazon. Every year, these companies pour millions of dollars into workplace amenities, such as free meals, spa and gym, and a game room where you can play board games and video games with coworkers. It’s a common strategy in Silion Valley to create an atmosphere that invites you to log in more hours each day at the workplace. Over time, companies believe that this will improve output and accelerate growth.
Visiting the headquarters of Google, you’ll find that employees and even their guests have access to free food all day long. In fact, each day, the menu changes and the company brings in new restaurants. In their Mountain View headquarters, the search engine giant even brings in food trucks for employees who may want to eat outdoors during their break. Aside from food, you get a lot of swag or freebies during company events and normal day-to-day work. You can get simple stuff, such as headphones, discounts to services outside of the company, and reimbursements.
Working as a software developer can be a lucrative opportunity for those who can deal with the highly competitive and fast-paced environment. Perhaps another key advantage of working as a software developer is that the initial investment is minimal. All you need is time and a laptop to start learning about fundamental computer science concepts, such as loops and recursion. All the study materials you’ll need can be found online, free of charge.
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