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Should you become a developer?

A question I get all the time is "Adim does it make sense for me to become a developer now? I want to become a developer but I think the train has left the station."

Becoming a developer is not a trend, it is a profession. I usually like to ask why they want to be a developer. The answer to this question provides the answer whether or not they should develop software for a living. There are many valid reasons to become a developer. The point is that the career of a developer has its pain points and depending on what is in it for you and what your personality is will dictate your ability to survive in the profession.

Software development is currently unregulated, you can create anything you dream about in any way you want. This is freeing but it also comes with its own craziness. To survive in such a wild west, you have to eat breathe technology. You have to be ok with losing millions because of a typo, you have to be ok rewriting your whole backend because some company you rely on woke up one day and said they quit, you have to be ok with the fact that a language which took you forever to master has now been deprecated. You have to be ok with ALWAYS reading tech news. Training to be a developer today is very different from training to enter a seasoned profession such as law. You do not go to school for it, graduate, take the bar and become a verified practitioner, maybe in the future but not today. A lot of great developers do not even have degrees at all.

Most developers I talk to find all the negatives I listed above as positive attributes of the profession. Lose millions because of a typo translates to a challenge to build and idealistic fool-proof system. A third party company lets you down? fuck them, let's build it and open source it so it can live forever. The language you learned has been replaced? Awesome! brand new technology to play with, maybe you can make the first math library. Always need to read tech news? Great...is there any other kind of news?

In design, where meaning is often controversially subjective or painfully inscrutable, few things are more apparent and lucid than the presence of passion. This is true whether the design of a product delights you or leaves you cold; in either case, it's difficult not to detect the emotional investment of the hands that built it.

Enthusiasm manifests itself readily of course, but indifference is equally indelible. If your commitment doesn't encompass a genuine passion for the work at hand, it becomes a void that is almost impossible to conceal, no matter how elaborately or attractively designed it is. ~ Khoi Vinh

Why you want to be a developer allows you to peek into your subconscious to see if you have a positive outlook on the challenges that software development brings. Is there hype around software development now? Yes!, Is there a peak to what developers will be paid over time? Yes! has the train left? Not Applicable, if you are a good developer, you are a good developer. Some lawyers make millions and some are bankrupt, same with writers, painters, and engineers. Only become a software developer if you have enthusiasm for the field, anything short of that, you will be sniffed out.

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