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    Career Project Help


    I am doing a career project for school and part of it is finding someone in my desired field and asking them questions.

    My career project is about Software Development so if someone that works in that field could spare some time to answer my questions, I would be so thankful....this includes freelance developers also, preferably someone who's main income is from professional software development.


    1. What education type did you acquire for your career in software development (Degrees/Certifications/Self-Taught)?

    2. Did you do any freelance/internship work before your job?

    3. Did you feel prepared when you started your job?

    4. Do you work in development teams on projects?

    5. How much of your day on average is spent programming?

    6. What is the average length of time a project takes?

    7. Do you often feel heavily pressured to finish a project (strict deadlines etc.)?

    8. How would you describe your work environment?

    9. Do you feel there is plenty of room for advancement (job, salary, position) in the software development field?

    10. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in a career in software development?




    Thanks again!
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  3. Sarcky
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    I stopped being a developer a couple years ago, so my answers will be a mix of current and past information.


    1. What education type did you acquire for your career in software development (Degrees/Certifications/Self-Taught)?

    My degree is in IT management. I had CCNA and A+ certifications going into college, and in college I was formally educated in database design, information system design, and nearly a dozen programming languages including C, C++, PHP, Perl, Python, Java, x86 assembly, and C#. My roommate and I explored PHP together, and it was he who gave me my first "real" programming job, consulting for a company he worked for.

    2. Did you do any freelance/internship work before your job?

    Kind of. I did general purpose "computer guy" work around town in high school, and my first real job was technically self-employed, but only because the owner of the company that hired me tried to take advantage of me.

    3. Did you feel prepared when you started your job?

    My current job, absolutely. I don't think I've ever taken a job for which I felt unprepared. But then again, I've learned a lot from every job so you could say I was unprepared for all of them.

    4. Do you work in development teams on projects?

    Not currently, but in the past I've worked on teams of up to 25 programmers and lead teams of up to 8.

    5. How much of your day on average is spent programming?

    Today, none. In the past, as high as 95% (when consulting) or 80% (when working full-time in an office)

    6. What is the average length of time a project takes?

    Impossible to answer. I've been on projects that took 18 months, others took me a couple days.

    7. Do you often feel heavily pressured to finish a project (strict deadlines etc.)?

    Of course, everyone has a deadline unless you're specifically working in experimental labs. My tightest deadlines were imposed on me by a company that would tighten deadlines more and more until they could fire you for "incompetence." I was not the first nor the last dev they got rid of that way. Today, I don't have deadlines per se because I've moved out of dev and into sales, so my "deadlines" are flight times and appointments.

    8. How would you describe your work environment?

    My current company is a casual startup trying in vain to act like a large company. We have a moron HR person imposing rules that make no sense, we hire pointy-haired middle managers who grind their departments to a halt, and all the real workers continue moving the company forward.

    9. Do you feel there is plenty of room for advancement (job, salary, position) in the software development field?

    The only person above me in my current position is the founder and chief architect of the company. If I get a title change it will be forming a new department and putting me in charge of it. Salary-wise this company has already increased my salary by 45% over the last 3 years. The last time I was a developer there was an advancement track that was very well defined and when I left that track there were still 3 significant "rungs" above me.

    10. What is one piece of advice you would give to someone interested in a career in software development?

    Build a good portfolio and be able to solve a specific type of difficult problem. For example, if you're a mediocre programmer who's a regex whiz, companies will find value in that.
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    Thank you for your time!

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