When Minesweeper was a popular computer game and monitors weighed more than 5 kg, my grandma insisted that the only truly perfect thing in the world was a computer, “because computers never make mistakes, they are logical”. There was something beyond her understanding: computers are programmed by humans. Nowadays, we interact with multiple screens of different resolutions and there are countless videogames more appealing than Minesweeper, which are all developed by real people.
Back then, since computers were regarded as “perfect” objects, there was the belief that people embarking in this adventure of the “unknown” had to be experts recommended by the NASA. With time, the next generations went for other careers that seemed safer: some became doctors, some managers, and others journalists.
What neither my grandmother nor I could ever imagine was that, at least in Argentina, 5,337 new IT positions would be required in 2018, and that this country would become one of the biggest exporters of software and talent of South America.
Unlike everything we were told, programming isn’t a dark world only accessible by gifted people with special permission. What we can say for sure is that it requires discipline, perseverance and patience. Based on our experience, we will demystify a few programming misconceptions that often prevent people from choosing this career as professional path.
1. A love-hate relationship with Math: this has a direct impact on the question “What am I good at?” In reality, programming involves logical rather than mathematical analysis, but despite that, what you hear is you need Math skills in order to know how to program, or that you have to be really good with numbers. If we could refute this with testimonies of programmers, we would help those who are considering this career but are not sure because they aren’t “good at Math”.
2. Say goodbye to your social life: it’s quite common to think of the developer as someone working in isolation with their computer. Young people with no contact with programmers are especially prone to this idea, and people who like teamwork or being in contact with others find this discouraging. However, nothing is further from the truth: the programmer is in constant touch with other members of the work team because the nature of their work is dynamic and ever changing.
3. Several years of study are needed before being able to enter the labor market: many people think that in order to start programming they need to “know a lot”, which proves to be a deterrent for those who need a fix income to support themselves. Nevertheless, this is the least popular myth nowadays, since it has become common for people to study and learn as they grow professionally.
Now it’s time to present a few reasons why you should consider entering the software world.
1. Financial stability: knowing that while studying you can start your professional career in a highly required well-paid job makes this a great option to consider.
2. Work environment: every software company is horizontal, flexible and fun, which are definitely great advantages.
3. International projection: this is one of the professions that allow you to work from anywhere in the world and for any company abroad, and who can say they aren’t tempted by the idea of not being tied to the seat of an office?
4. The human side: software factories and software development companies in general are very friendly and promote team spirit among employees. This will not only make many wish to work in the programming world, but also help them take a different approach towards it.
Although each company is different, they share the effort to promote a work environment where professionals can grow and keep updated with their technologies of expertise. At intive’s offices in Buenos Aires, for example, we have implemented a place of study and exchange during working hours, at the request of our devs.
We also hold frequent meetups and participate in web platforms in order to keep growing. If you already possess a solid knowledge base, you can share it with us! Contact us through firstname.lastname@example.org.