Is "Programming" A *Serious* Occupation?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by bobber205, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. bobber205 macrumors 68020

    bobber205

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2005
    Location:
    Oregon
    #1
    Way back in 8th grade I discovered programming and fell in love with it. ;)
    For 5 years it was only a fun thing for me to do in my spare time. I never knew anyone else (in person that is) that did it for their job.

    I am now a Junion in Software Engineering and things are going swimingly. I've loved it like I thought it was and learning the more technical aspects has only increased my passion for the subject. (So I'm pretty sure I picked a good major for me).

    But I can't for the life of me get over this hump. A "is programming as a career really a serious job". Can you do "hard work" and program. Can you have a tough day at work while "programming"? I know the answer to all of these is obviously yes but...

    I've always seen hard work as something physical I guess. I've never been a very physical person at all, which is probably why I early on gravitated towards computers in the first place. And there's nothing less physical than programming. :p

    What do you guys generally think about this? I've never ever sensed the same feelings from my peers. People my age generally think programming as something either they sort of like or "way too hard for me!". When I do programming related things at work/really anything computer related and I've done something good, and I get praise (which is nice of course), I don't really felt like I accomplished anything. I know I did but still...

    Anyway that's my feelings on paper. Thanks for reading and making any comments. :D
     
  2. NT1440 macrumors G4

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hartford, CT
    #2
    the amount of work you put in makes it a serious job, just because its easy for you doesnt mean ur not being productive.


    - from a hopeful future programmer/software developer:apple:
     
  3. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #3
    Considering that at the moment I am fixing up dependencies to a allow a successful system build for someone who is out on vacation for a sub system that I never worked on and that the build system/process is flawed, yeah I'd say it is a pain in the behind right now. :D

    Although some days I LOVE programming, it does get old after a while and I get more fun from doing analysis and figuring out system integration problems. But it is serious work, you have deadlines, responsibilities, and if your code determines anything like people's pensions, radiation delivery, health care coverage, etc. then your logic has consequences.

    My favorite part is when I see people use my software, or know that for some of the top fortune 500 companies, people call a place and the person on the phone is using something I coded to perform some task for the customer. :D
     
  4. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #4
    I teach hardware & software to university clients, and 24-32 hours in over the course of a three to four day engagement is exhausting. Digging ditches would honestly be easier.

    Mentally demanding work is far more difficult than physical labor, because recovery is not as straight forward as soaking in a hot shower and a few hours off your feet. You can't really turn your brain off.

    Yup, programming is definitely serious "work."
     
  5. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #5
    John, that reminds me of a project from hell* where I was stopped at a traffic light and saw a guy cleaning windows. At that moment I wished I was doing that for a living. :eek:



    * ClearCase implementation and environment overhaul with incompetent management.
     
  6. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2001
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #6
    Yes, it get harder than your class projects. Lots harder. Put in a couple of weeks of 14-16 hour days and see how even physically demanding it seems.

    As I sit here wondering what the %^$# Microsoft could have been thinking when they actually suggested customers should install and use Vista SP1, and how the hell I'm going to get my product working again, with panicky customers breathing down my neck and two entirely separate critical issues I've had to back-burner to work on it, as I explain to my higher-ups why this may mean a release slip, I must say the idea of digging a few ditches or pounding a few nails (both things I've done before) would be a welcome relief. You know what needs to be done, you do it for a few hours, the clock strikes five and you go home. Frankly, that would be heaven on a lot of days.
     
  7. scotthayes macrumors 68000

    scotthayes

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    Location:
    Birmingham, England
    #7

    I do the same sort of job but for a commercial training company and at the end of the week I'm totally knackered (even more so after teaching IP Subnetting)

    As for your question, of course it is. I spent 18 months as a CoBOL programmer. Although I hated it (can't sit still for more than 2 seconds) it was at time very hard work. Of course without programmers there would be no software is no only a serious job but a vital one.
     
  8. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #8
    Obviously, yes. :D

    Put me in the "way too hard for me!" group. That's why I'm a graphic designer. I've friends who program for a living and it's definitely serious work. I don't know how they have any free time or energy for anything at the end of the day.
     
  9. weazbert macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    MI
    #9
    The baby boomer generation still holds on to that mantra of "never trust someone who dosen't work with his hands". I have heard it countless times before that since my work is transferred through a keyboard in a room that is typically air conditioned, i some how lack comprehension of the "real world". Our end product isnt as tangible as say a house, or a repaired mower. But is all good, because our intangible, "non real work" products run the world. :)
     
  10. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #10
    Um, kind of over-generalizing, don't you think? I'm in that age group, and none of my contemporaries think that, particularly as we all work in indoor, thought-oriented, air-conditioned, keyboard-intensive jobs.

    In fact, that's the first I've ever heard such nonsense. Hell, even my father counseled me to seek cleaner, less physically demanding work than he had to growing up.
     
  11. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #11
    I'd love to program for a living. It's what I'm good at. I've also made a few games - for the TI-89 and cross-platform ones in Java. My next challenge is writing a cross-platform game in pure Python.

    EDIT: To be more on topic, I think programming definitely can be a serious job - it all depends on what you put into getting it right and getting it done.
     
  12. weazbert macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Location:
    MI
    #12


    wow, i am incidentally stepping on toes all over here. i was offering an explanation, i was in no way trying to over generalize.
     
  13. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
  14. jeremy.king macrumors 603

    jeremy.king

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    #14
    If you have to deal with people, you can still have a might tough day at work :)

    Probably because the bar is lowered every year in US schools.
     

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