So, what is a job in programming like?

A place to discuss the implementation and style of computer programs.

Moderators: phlip, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Internetmeme
Posts: 1405
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:16 pm UTC
Location: South Carolina, USA

So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Internetmeme » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:26 pm UTC

So, I've been thinking about instead of going into medicine of going into the programming.

I consider it an art, because just like all of the other arts you are creating something unique that is your own, that others probably wouldn't have thought of.

Now, that aside, I really like the computer. I really like making programs on my calculator (TI-86).

My dad says that most programming jobs are probably going to be outsourced to places like China by the time I get out of college, but I want to hear from actually programmers who have a job doing this.

So:
A)Desribe an average day.
B)How much do you make yearly?
C)On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?
D)On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?
E)When did you get interested in programming?
Spoiler:

User avatar
Xanthir
My HERO!!!
Posts: 5400
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:49 am UTC
Location: The Googleplex
Contact:

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Xanthir » Tue Oct 13, 2009 2:20 am UTC

Internetmeme wrote:So, I've been thinking about instead of going into medicine of going into the programming.

I consider it an art, because just like all of the other arts you are creating something unique that is your own, that others probably wouldn't have thought of.

If you're doing it right, hacking is *very much* an art. And a science. And fun.

Now, that aside, I really like the computer. I really like making programs on my calculator (TI-86).

Cool. My TI-83 was my first dev environment. ^_^

My dad says that most programming jobs are probably going to be outsourced to places like China by the time I get out of college, but I want to hear from actually programmers who have a job doing this.

5 years ago this was a fear. It's not anymore. The outsourcing boom has busted. Most companies realize that it only makes sense in limited circumstances.

So:
A)Desribe an average day.

I get up, walk 50 feet to my office, lounge in my chair and look for any new bugs or tasks to do. If there aren't any, I do something that sounds fun, and will justify paying me when I explain it on my daily journal. I'm the company's webmaster and sole webdeveloper, so I'm responsible for anything vaguely web-related.

B)How much do you make yearly?

45k, though I'm underpaid for my position and responsibilities. I'm fine with it for now due to the perks of working from home and having an awesome boss.

C)On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?

10

D)On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?

10

E)When did you get interested in programming?
9th grade, when I got my TI-83 and stayed up till 4am that morning with the manual making a "guess the number" program.
(defun fibs (n &optional (a 1) (b 1)) (take n (unfold '+ a b)))

stephentyrone
Posts: 778
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:58 pm UTC
Location: Palo Alto, CA

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby stephentyrone » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:20 am UTC

Internetmeme wrote: I really like making programs on my calculator (TI-86).

What Xanthir said. The first hardware I had was my TI-85.
My dad says that most programming jobs are probably going to be outsourced to places like China by the time I get out of college, but I want to hear from actually programmers who have a job doing this.

Some jobs in pretty much every industry will continue to be outsourced. The jobs that get outsourced will be "code monkey" jobs that don't require specific knowledge. There will continue to be a market for good high-skill programmers in the US for a long time.
A)Desribe an average day.

Get up at 5am, drop my girlfriend off at the hospital (she's a medical student), go back to sleep. I usually get to work around 7am, which is far earlier than anyone else I work with. Work on whatever project I have going on until 10am, then usually go to a meeting or discuss some project with my team for a while. Work until 11:30, go to lunch, play foosball. I like to integrate code changes into the build in the early afternoon, then spend a couple hours coding and go home around 4. Go for a run, feed the chickens, have a beer. Dinner with my girlfriend whenever she finishes at the hospital.
B)How much do you make yearly?

~120k base, plus bonuses and stock, which can be quite substantial.
C)On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?

10.
D)On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?

8. Generally, I love it, but there's occasionally some grunt work that I can't honestly call "fun".
E)When did you get interested in programming?

I did some programming in high school, but I really became interested in college.

Now, all that said:
If your goal is to have a secure job that will never get outsourced and pays well, apprentice with a plumber. Everyone's toilet will get clogged eventually, and you're not going to fly someone in from India to fix it. A good plumber makes more than 95% of software developers or doctors, with far shorter hours. You don't even need to go to college.

If your goal is to do something that you find interesting, and as a bonus happens to support you, take your time. Odds are don't need to decide between medicine and programming just yet. If you're in college, you can take the required pre-med classes while doing a CS major, and then decide if you want to apply to med school when you're finishing up. You can even go work as a programmer for a few years, and then decide to apply to med school. You definitely do not need to study biology/pre-med/whatever to get into medical school; my girlfriend was a religion major as an undergrad, and she's at (arguably) the most selective med schools in the america (stanford). One of her classmates spent three years as a professional snowboarder before entering med school.
GENERATION -16 + 31i: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum. Square it, and then add i to the generation.

User avatar
Earlz
Gets Obvious Implications
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:38 am UTC
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Earlz » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:15 am UTC

Internetmeme wrote:A)Desribe an average day.
B)How much do you make yearly?
C)On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?
D)On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?
E)When did you get interested in programming?


your correct. programming is entirely an art.

A. 8-9am: getting "warmed up" reviewing code, making minor changes or finishing where I left off the other night if I was in the middle of something, especially any "breakage"
10-12: Real coding takes place, sometimes research when I'm stuck. Also talks about how the program should work with my boss and future prospects of the program(the company is just 1 program right now)
12-1: lunch
1-3: More coding and such. Usually at a slower pace than in the morning
4-5: Coding and research and possibly more talking with the boss.

Factor in telemeetings(my Boss and I with clients) for about an hour or two every other week also.

B. $1600/month before taxes, so $19200. You must be aware however that I don't work a full 40 hours a week(I usually get 30-34) and I am in my first semester at college. I have no formal programming experience other than hobby projects (also, I will possibly own 10% of the company in a few months)

C. 9. I love my job. It has it's ups and downs though as with everything. and with busy college schedule and other things, I get tired of working and had rather have more free time(as with any job). I went from working at McDonalds to here though, so I'm very grateful

D. 7.5. There are times when it gets tedious to code certain things, and a general bore whenever you get tired of working on a certain part of the project.. but there are other parts where you go home and keep thinking about how your going to implement something and how awesome it will be..

E. I got interested when I was 13. I'm now 18. I began coding in C when I was about 14 and made an OS at the same time. At 16 I began work on an 8086 processor emulator and just recently it has the chance of being used in a class room. I love programming and always have. Ruby is my new found love of programming languages though
My new blag(WIP, so yes it's still ugly..)
DEFIANCE!
Image
This is microtext. Zooming in digitally makes it worse. Get a magnifying glass.. works only on LCD

sje46
Posts: 4730
Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 4:41 am UTC
Location: New Hampshire

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby sje46 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:23 am UTC

How necessary is a formal education? I want to go into Psychology, and that's what I'm majoring in (and I have no room for more minors), but I am becoming more intrigued by computers in general. Is it possible to teach yourself all of it?

And how competitive is the market for programmers/IT dudes?
General_Norris: Taking pride in your nation is taking pride in the division of humanity.
Pirate.Bondage: Let's get married. Right now.

User avatar
OOPMan
Posts: 314
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:20 am UTC
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby OOPMan » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:45 am UTC

Internetmeme wrote:So, I've been thinking about instead of going into medicine of going into the programming.

I consider it an art, because just like all of the other arts you are creating something unique that is your own, that others probably wouldn't have thought of.

Now, that aside, I really like the computer. I really like making programs on my calculator (TI-86).

My dad says that most programming jobs are probably going to be outsourced to places like China by the time I get out of college, but I want to hear from actually programmers who have a job doing this.

So:
A)Desribe an average day.


Let me see. Once at work I start slowly winding into the day. Check my bug tracker, deal with some lighter bugs. During the middle of the day and afternoon I deal with any larger, knottier issues. At the end of the day I slowly wind down again. I usually intersperse my work with small amounts of random browsing. If I'm on a deadline, play stuff goes out and I put my head down and get the job done. Mostly though, it's an agreeable mixture of problem solving and relaxation, although sometimes there is stress.

B)How much do you make yearly?

I live in the third world and am still moderately junior so I'm not pulling much by US standards. I earn about R162000 a year gross (About USD $22000 gross).

C)On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?

I rate my current job at 7. Although web dev is an irritating field, there is cool stuff to be done and my position is quite flexible with regards to personal projects, research, etc.

D)On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?

Depends on the project. Some projects rate a 1 (Eg, Maintenance work on a project previously code by some form of sea slug),
others rate a 10 (Playing with full-text search engines)

E)When did you get interested in programming?

Started playing about when I was in primary school :-)
Image

Image

User avatar
Xanthir
My HERO!!!
Posts: 5400
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:49 am UTC
Location: The Googleplex
Contact:

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Xanthir » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:39 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:How necessary is a formal education? I want to go into Psychology, and that's what I'm majoring in (and I have no room for more minors), but I am becoming more intrigued by computers in general. Is it possible to teach yourself all of it?

While a formal education in Comp Sci is useful, it is *far* from a requirement. The major benefit I got out of school was a handful of algorithm classes; the rest was a waste of time. Most of what I know I learned from google and experimentation, particularly in the actual field I'm in (web programming). (Getting a degree is also useful just to have the certificate on your wall; a lot of people who don't know better think that's important.)

And how competitive is the market for programmers/IT dudes?

Really depends on what submarket you're targetting. Afaik, it's middle-of-the-road for my line of work.
(defun fibs (n &optional (a 1) (b 1)) (take n (unfold '+ a b)))

0xBADFEED
Posts: 687
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 2:14 am UTC

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby 0xBADFEED » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

Xanthir wrote:The major benefit I got out of school was a handful of algorithm classes; the rest was a waste of time.

Besides algorithms/theory there are lots of other classes that are useful that you're much less likely to run into in self-directed Google-learning.

For example, OS theory, Distributed Systems theory, CPU architecture, digital logic courses, etc. I think these are far from a "waste of time".

As Xanthir says, it's not a requirement, but it can give you a major leg up in the more technical areas over someone who doesn't have a degree. For straight-up programming/IT though, a degree doesn't offer that much over what you can learn from Google.

Parsifal
Posts: 113
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 1:35 am UTC

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Parsifal » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:20 pm UTC

A)Desribe an average day.
An average day is 40% coding, 20% thinking/design, 20% debugging, 10% meetings and 10% incidental tasks (time tracking etc).
A GOOD day is 60% thinking, 30% coding, 10% incidental tasks and no debugging (because I spent so much time thinking first) or meetings (because half of them are time-wasting political consensus builders anyway).

B)How much do you make yearly?
In this market for my level of experience, it is common for developers to make anywhere from 75k to 120k yearly.

C)On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?
8/10. I have more or less complete freedom with technical details and hours, but the problems could be more interesting and it would be nice to have more opportunities for professional development.

D)On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?
5/10. I could be writing video games, but I would probably work much longer hours for a lot less pay.

E)When did you get interested in programming?
I started coding professionally as a high school freshman and after that it was all I ever seriously wanted to do.

User avatar
Xanthir
My HERO!!!
Posts: 5400
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 12:49 am UTC
Location: The Googleplex
Contact:

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Xanthir » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

0xBADFEED wrote:
Xanthir wrote:The major benefit I got out of school was a handful of algorithm classes; the rest was a waste of time.

Besides algorithms/theory there are lots of other classes that are useful that you're much less likely to run into in self-directed Google-learning.

For example, OS theory, Distributed Systems theory, CPU architecture, digital logic courses, etc. I think these are far from a "waste of time".

Those did offer the service of convincing me that I never want to go anywhere near them. Digital logic was fun, but just as a toy to play with.
(defun fibs (n &optional (a 1) (b 1)) (take n (unfold '+ a b)))

User avatar
headprogrammingczar
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Beaming you up

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:29 pm UTC

While technically, this isn't a job, it is similar enough to one that I think it qualifies:
Spoiler:
A)Desribe an average day.

When I get a day off from work and college, I get up, eat breakfast, then get on my computer, check various forums and news websites, then go through this forum twice, discuss with the project lead what we want done for the next test, and code it. After that, I either "run a live test", or find a way to pass the time.
B)How much do you make yearly?

None, but it is too much fun for me to care.
C)On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?

10
D)On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?

11 (how many people get to develop online games?)
E)When did you get interested in programming?

I wrote my first program in 7th grade, after the SOLs (standardized exams, for people outside the US), I had a lot of time left and passed the time making a pong clone. It took me about an hour. It seemed pretty intuitive and interesting, so I continued to pursue it.

To answer your question: "How much formal education do you need?"
As much as you can get. While only a few classes are necessary, it has a lot of fringe benefits. The more teachers you have, the more ways you are taught to look at a problem. You will learn new languages you wouldn't know otherwise, and learn lots of new techniques.
<quintopia> You're not crazy. you're the goddamn headprogrammingspock!
<Weeks> You're the goddamn headprogrammingspock!
<Cheese> I love you

User avatar
Earlz
Gets Obvious Implications
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2007 8:38 am UTC
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Earlz » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:48 pm UTC

I would say formal education depends on the college.

Right now at my college I'm in flow charting and it's painful.

The requirements include taking every math class that exists at the college basically and taking
1. Programming in C++
2. Programming in Java
3. Programming in COBOL
4. Advanced Programming in C++.

Now look at that. I get to be taught 3 procedural programming languages and 2 OOP languages. Do you know how much that will help me look at problems differently? None whatsoever. Especially since I know both C++ and Java

My classes are really feeling like a huge waste of time.. but I know I'll need a degree under my belt just to get my foot in the door in order to get an interview with another job.. should employers judge on only degree status? No. Do they? Yes
My new blag(WIP, so yes it's still ugly..)
DEFIANCE!
Image
This is microtext. Zooming in digitally makes it worse. Get a magnifying glass.. works only on LCD

Dark567
First one to notify the boards of Rick and Morty Season 3
Posts: 3686
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:12 pm UTC
Location: Everywhere(in the US, I don't venture outside it too often, unfortunately)

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Dark567 » Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:59 pm UTC

Earlz wrote:I would say formal education depends on the college.

Right now at my college I'm in flow charting and it's painful.

The requirements include taking every math class that exists at the college basically and taking
1. Programming in C++
2. Programming in Java
3. Programming in COBOL
4. Advanced Programming in C++.

Now look at that. I get to be taught 3 procedural programming languages and 2 OOP languages. Do you know how much that will help me look at problems differently? None whatsoever. Especially since I know both C++ and Java

My classes are really feeling like a huge waste of time.. but I know I'll need a degree under my belt just to get my foot in the door in order to get an interview with another job.. should employers judge on only degree status? No. Do they? Yes


They teach you COBOL? WTF is wrong with your college? And even if they didn't they just teach you a bunch of languages, I have to say I much prefer the method of my university to CS courses, examples:

Aspects of Object Oriented programming(Taught in Java)
Data Structures(Taught in Java or C++, they offer either)
Artificial Intelligence(Taught in LISP)
Operating Systems(Taught in C)
Scripting(Taught in perl)
etc.

This method seems to focus much less on teaching syntax, and instead focuses on common programming problems. The problem is that many of the courses assume that students have previous knowledge of the language the course uses, which may not be the case. But it means that there is more time to focus on the actual computer science instead of constantly just learning new languages(which a good programmer should be able to pick up on their own via Google).

As to the OP,
A. I am currently a student and work part time at two developing jobs. One, I help on an open source genomics project and integrate with a research labs software and data. The other, I make mobile games for the Android and iPhone at startup.

B. I don't make a lot, but as I said I'm part time and a student. I expect I will be making some decent bucks when I graduate.

C. 10, developing is awesome, particularly games. It is a ton of fun to both solve the problems involved and to be involved in a designing a program that thousands use.

D. 10. See above.

E. I've been doing various vaguely programming-esque things since I was seven. Mostly simple stuff like bash scripting though. I got into C/C++ when I was in middle school and high school. Early in college had been taken up a notch though, I didn't really get everything I was doing when I was in high school(like I programmed basically everything procedural, I didn't follow good OOP paradigms like abstraction, polymorphism and encapsulation). Then again in college I had to learn LISP, and that took programming to a whole new level.(i.e. Art)
I apologize, 90% of the time I write on the Fora I am intoxicated.


Yakk wrote:The question the thought experiment I posted is aimed at answering: When falling in a black hole, do you see the entire universe's future history train-car into your ass, or not?

User avatar
Cleverbeans
Posts: 1378
Joined: Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:16 pm UTC

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Cleverbeans » Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:49 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:As much as you can get. While only a few classes are necessary, it has a lot of fringe benefits. The more teachers you have, the more ways you are taught to look at a problem. You will learn new languages you wouldn't know otherwise, and learn lots of new techniques.


Why pay for it though when you get a bunch of teacher for America's best schools for free at Academic Earth?

You need absolutely no formal education, because unlike other sciences you probably already have a lab in you home. For Computer Science all you need are problem sets, a pencil, a scratch pad, a computer and a couple liters of coffee. The rest is hard work and discipline, which if you're lacking you can buy obligation by giving money to University so you'll feel more motivated and can spend more time commuting.

Oh, Universities are also good for socializing and networking if you're into that sort of thing. However experience tells me that if you just hang out on campus and chat with people it had the same benefit without the burden of shuttling from class to class.
Last edited by Cleverbeans on Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:25 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln

MysteryBall
Posts: 314
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:47 pm UTC

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby MysteryBall » Mon Oct 19, 2009 4:31 pm UTC

I always thought this comic summed up a coder's daily routine quite well.

User avatar
Pesto
Posts: 737
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:33 pm UTC
Location: Berkeley, CA

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Pesto » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:40 pm UTC

Cue wrote:I always thought this comic summed up a coder's daily routine quite well.

Not for those of us working in interpreted languages :cry:

Grumpy Code Monkey
Posts: 99
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:10 pm UTC
Location: Blue Texas

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby Grumpy Code Monkey » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:36 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:My dad says that most programming jobs are probably going to be outsourced to places like China by the time I get out of college, but I want to hear from actually programmers who have a job doing this.


From my perspective, the craze for outsourcing has died down a bit. Turned out not to be the silver bullet everyone thought it was. Besides, there are some fields (such as defense) where outsourcing simply isn't feasible.

So:
A)Desribe an average day.


That depends on what part of the development cycle we're in. If it's in the requirements phase, most of the day is consumed by ignoring emails and sitting in endless meetings listening to two people on the phone argue over stuff that has nothing to do with me. If it's in the design phase, I'm ignoring emails and sitting in endless meetings working out what exactly we're supposed to do and how to do it, alternating with hours in front of a whiteboard or Rational Rose trying to translate requirements into a workable design. If it's in the coding phase, I'm ignoring emails and translating the design into actual C++ code, and (allegedly) writing unit tests as I go. If it's the testing phase, I'm ignoring emails and frantically writing the unit tests I was supposed to write as I was coding and integration test scripts to exercise specific requirements.

Occasionally I have to fly out to the customer site during integration efforts and debug/fix problems as they occur. I'll usually ignore emails then as well.
B)How much do you make yearly?


My current salary is somewhere in the mid-90's, but I've been doing this for 20 years.

C)On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?


This particular job rates somewhere between a 7 and an 8 most days. It's a good company with interesting and very smart people, and the work itself is moderately interesting, although after 2 years on the same project, I'm ready for a change.

D)On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?


6 to 7. The luster has definitely worn off after 20 years, partly because I wind up doing largely the same thing over and over again. Boredom's an occupational hazard, and it can result in crippling burnout (which happened to me in 2002, leading to a layoff).

E)When did you get interested in programming?


High school, circa 1981. We bought a TI-99/4A with a BASIC cartridge. Never intended to do it professionally, but it turned out to be the only thing I was actually good at (after I got to college and had all the bad BASIC habits beaten out of me, anyway).


sje46 wrote:How necessary is a formal education? I want to go into Psychology, and that's what I'm majoring in (and I have no room for more minors), but I am becoming more intrigued by computers in general. Is it possible to teach yourself all of it?


That depends largely on your goals. If you just want to learn to program for your own amusement, or to help you with your chosen profession, you can learn on your own relatively easily. Like most things, programming isn't as hard as it looks, but it's not everyone's cup of tea. The trick is finding good resources. Far too many "Teach Yourself..." books are crap.

You don't need a formal education to get a job programming, but a good chunk of employers won't even consider you unless you have a degree. And some concepts are better learned in a classroom environment, if only because you can keep asking "but why?" until you either get it or the professor slaps you.

User avatar
iop
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:26 am UTC
Location: The ivory tower

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby iop » Tue Oct 20, 2009 3:26 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:So, I've been thinking about instead of going into medicine of going into the programming.

It is possible to do a bit of both.

I am working in biology now, doing a lot of image and data analysis, i.e. I spend quite a bit of time programming, though I also manipulate cancer cells.

I never had any formal training in programming (nor in biology, for that matter), which shows that it is not absolutely necessary. However, getting a wide range of basic concepts taught to you in a easily digestible format (as in though a class) is a much easier way to learn, and it will provide you with a breadth of knowledge that is very hard to get if you're self-taught, because you'll only teach yourself what you think you need, and not necessarily what may be useful down the road.

EduardoLeon
Posts: 111
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:26 am UTC
Location: Lima, Perú
Contact:

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby EduardoLeon » Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:34 pm UTC

A job in programming sucks, unless you're doing ultra-cool things like advanced statistics, computer graphics, artificial intelligence and C++ compilers. But there are not many jobs like those, and those jobs are reserved for those who are ultra-smart and have a lot of experience. Yes, both simultaneously. Nobody trusts the average programmer, not to mention a beginner programmer, such tasks.

Most of the programming jobs are about writing business applications. The most usual and boring of them are transactional systems, i.e., systems that register business daily operations and enforce business rules. If you work developing a transactional system, you may kill yourself, just to experience a little fun. Somewhat more exciting are decision-support systems. The excitement associated to the development of a DSS is directly proportional to the complexity of the tools required in their development (linear programming, data mining, statistical forecasting, etc.).

Needless to say, I work developing business applications.

A) Describe an average day.
I get requirements documents. I spend some time reading what other programmers have done. I don't like writing code unless I'm completely sure that I understand what I have to do, but I have to write trial-and-error code when I'm in a rush to meet the deadline.

B) How much do you make yearly?
About $7200 (sorry for the Captain Obvious: NOT adjusted for the cost-of-living where you are). Not as much as I would like, but it's quite good for a first job here, and it's enough while my parents are there and still work.

C) On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like your job?
It depends on the application I'm working on at the moment. It can vary between 4 and 8.

D) On a scale of 1-10, how fun is your job?
Same as the previous answer.

E) When did you get interested in programming?
When I was a child. I have always been interested in mathematics. Sometimes, I could "get a feel" of why some mathematical facts were true, but couldn't formally prove them. So my first programs were just statistical tests for my conjectures. I also wrote programs that printed nice shapes and pictures, to send them as birthday or anniversary cards.
Gott weiß ich will kein Engel sein!

User avatar
headprogrammingczar
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:28 pm UTC
Location: Beaming you up

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby headprogrammingczar » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:08 pm UTC

The guaranteed way to squeeze fun out of any coding job is to enjoy optimization. You can optimize the shit out of whatever program anyone gives you, and not only will the opportunity always be available, but it will often be part of the design goals.
<quintopia> You're not crazy. you're the goddamn headprogrammingspock!
<Weeks> You're the goddamn headprogrammingspock!
<Cheese> I love you

User avatar
spudtheimpaler
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 11:57 am UTC
Location: München

Re: So, what is a job in programming like?

Postby spudtheimpaler » Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:44 am UTC

EduardoLeon wrote:...doing ultra-cool things like advanced statistics...


Ha, FTS. I'd rather go into medicine...

I've not much to add to what the others have said. All I will say is that in this job, fun work and creating fun projects seems to be inversely proportional to the pay. If you want talent, and your product isn't engaging enough for the talent, you're gonna have to bribe them.
Fueled by tea and bad maths since 1983...


Return to “Coding”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests