Too old for software engineering

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (1 to 50 of 139)
Page:   1  2  3  Next »   Last »

Harold in Huntsville, Alabama

64 months ago

Software engineering and/or programming ain't what it used to be. I am in my 30's and I've been a professional developer now for about 3 years with a defense contractor at an engineering firm.

I realize that the BLS reports demand to be high and salaries to be in the 80's but this is not the case with me or anyone that I know of in the field. If you are just starting out, be prepared to make between 30K and 40K. If you have a lot of experience and you are a natural born programmer, than you may actually make the 80K that BLS talks about.

There are reasons for this. There is a LOT of foreign competition. Have you ever met an Indian computer programmer? They live and breath the stuff. They find nothing better than working 22 hours a day writing C++ code. (of course I may sound like I'm exaggerating, but I've met dozens of Indian programmers and I got the same impression from them all)

Also, you will be competing with people who have Software Engineering degrees, Electrical Engineering degrees, Aerospace engineering degrees, and kids who just graduated high school and are just kick-ass programmers who will work for date money while they live with their parents.

Degrees and Certifications do not matter at all - it only matters how good you are. And there are tons of people that are great.

If you are older, and you don't have a natural aptitude for mathematics, or you are having trouble grasping concepts of OOP - this may not be the field for you.

Of course, anything is possible - but you really have to ask yourself if you are able to do this type of work and compete with all the others who can.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (75) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

Jeff in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

59 months ago

If you MUST get into I.T. DO NOT BECOME A PROGRAMMER! The H1B's have taken over for the most part. Try networking,learn the Cisco IOS, the market for any I.T. sucks hard right now. If you wanna hear the unvarnished ruth hit the forums on the Dice board.
I think that may be the longest run on sentence ever!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (17) / No (8) Reply - Report abuse

Dave in NY in Lagrangeville, New York

58 months ago

Been in IT for 20+ years.
Only suggestions I can offer from experience in trenches,and a few scars
- Get to know a particular field really, really well.
In technology, anything related to the web and mobile devices, hot. Networking, applications for mobile (Ipad,iphone) great.
On business side, anything related to health care, like claims processing, PAC systems, a particular healthcare product, like Sieman's technology, etc.
HL7 protocol knowledge is a BIG plus! The IT healthcare market will be very interesting the next few years. Any other business OK, i.e. insurance, retail,definitely finance,but get to know a growing sector in the particular area real well, you'll get known as an 'expert' and make a living if you stay on top by studying, upgrading skills in area, and letting specialized recriuters know who you are and want.
- Age: If you're a more 'senior' fellow (50+ like me), think, act and believe you're young during interview, showing energy, but let the years of wisdom shine through with professionalism and in depth knowledge reflected in answers to questions. The job world I have experienced SO FAR seems to respect that combination.
-Use professional recruiters who also have been in the trenches- Find SPECIFIC (very important for it to work) recruiters who specialize in a particular technology and/or business, stick with them. Especially ones who work on retainer,relize that tends to be 100K and up jobs. Everyone else on contigency, but check them out that they have been in field for awhile. One way of knowing by seeing if they have exclusive clients and can prove it. Ask them how they go about dealing with a client request. A few questions, you can have another great set of eyes,ears for you capturing opportunities EARLY. -Networking:GIVE, GIVE expecting NOTHING in return. Ask me at bellachcoaching at live dot com questions on resumes, cover letters, how to respond to ads, how to focus job search, etc. I'll try to get back ASAP.Paying it forward.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (47) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

andru in Lexington, Kentucky

47 months ago

meshhat in Media, Pennsylvania said: Hello, I have two questions:

I'm 31 years old (ugh) and living in the USA. I am thinking of becoming a software engineer, but I was wondering if I would be perceived as too old by companies. Do companies really hire new engineers in their 30's?

I currently work in a technical field as Director of Instructional Technology (Masters degree) so technology isn't new to me, it's just I would like to become more "technical." Let's assume a company WOULD hire a 30+ year old, what's the best way to get my foot in the door to become an SE?

Thanks

A simple job search on Simplyhired.com for "Software Engineer" turns up more than 500,000 results. There is a difference between Software Engineers and Programmers. Programming does not equal software engineering. It amazes me how experienced professionals don't understand this distinction.

People need to stop whining about outsourcing and instead upgrade thier skills. Simple, repetitive jobs are the ones that are outsourced. Highly skilled positioned are much more difficult to send away.

Tech fields require people who are willing to be constantly updating and improving to keep up. If you're still trying to do 90's level programming, don't be surprised if your job gets sent to India. And please everyone, stop moaning about "greedy" corporate America. It's not Microsoft's job to keep you employed. Innovation moves fast. Keep up or get out.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (16) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

Ha in Gaithersburg, Maryland

46 months ago

> the market for any I.T. sucks hard right now. you wanna hear the unvarnished truth hit the forums on the Dice board.

The dice.com forums are ridiculous. Everyone there is obviously bitter that they can't find a job. Things may not be great, but there ARE jobs out there. I suspect those people posting on dice.com are incompetent workers.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (10) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

neha in Hyderabad, India

44 months ago

hi i completed my engineering 8 yrs ago.i got married soon after completing my studies and could not start my career. Now i want to get into job field. can anyone suggest me how can i enter in job field as i have nil experience

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

Eric in Trenton, New Jersey

44 months ago

You can't measure your ability to get into a field based solely on age. That's a ridiculous measure. You need to think: do I want to cram my brain full of concepts? Am I open enough to learn programming? For those answers: books. 'Code Complete' is a good one because it is rich in bibliography references. If you get bored with the book, forget a career in software engineering.
But, if you are certain you want in: do it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Jane McDyes in Los Angeles, California

43 months ago

Eric in Trenton, New Jersey said: You can't measure your ability to get into a field based solely on age. That's a ridiculous measure.

I totally agree with this. As for someone who has been working with software developers and generally working on the world of developers, you just can't measure your ability based on your age even with where you were educated.

According to <a href="www.timedoctor.com/biz3.0/why-100k-developers-are-dead/">this article</a>, which is actually a good read about software developers, it says "The reality is that if you have a computer and an Internet connection, education is truly open source."

Having that said, don't make it a hindrance to your career. Just show your skill and prove to them what you can do. If you have this attitude, it will get you far.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Rob H in Wallingford, Pennsylvania

40 months ago

Great comments - very encouraging. After 4 years as a P/A and 4 years as a software engineer (no CS degree, mind you), the company I was with went bust at the height of the dot com-bubble debacle. So I went back to teaching - at first, just math, now math & CS. Looking to get back into the field at 54(!). Loved designing/programming education-related apps. Now want to focus on web programming (Javascript, PHP, Java). Strong OOP/C++ skills. Any advice?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

ami wald in Polska, Poland

40 months ago

Jesus,
I am 65 old Professional Electrical Enginer and I am looking for a job worldwide. When I read the 31 old baby about of finding job and his frustration. What I can say. I am Licensed Professional ~Engineer made many projectr in Oil, Gas, power, hydro, high rise buildings an muh more. Do I find one person who will want to use my professional knowledge and givr mr something to do and spend time on work instead to be bored whole days. I do not care which country, which continent or city. It can be on desert, ot in jungle or somewhere.

Ami Wald

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Yikes in Watertown, Massachusetts

40 months ago

Another old hand in Ellicott City, Maryland said: I am a 47 year old woman working in this field.... tough. All the "kids" coming out of school these days grew up with computers, while when I was in school, we were using punch cards. Which these "kids" have no clue what I am talking about!! So I do agree, it is one of those professions where us "old people" are feeling pretty old!! I can't retire yet (wish I could!) but changing professions would be out the question. So, it's hard all around..

Hi there, I have a computer degree which I got many years ago. I worked
as a programmer for 10 years (c, cshell, sql etc.) I took time off to stay home with my kids and am looking to get back into the work force....(picked a great time to do it :| Anyway, I'm 46 and I really wonder some new languages and trying to get back into it is going to work...?? As you said there are so many young people who live and breathe this stuff.... I would love to know your thoughts?
thanks,
Yikes.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

Token American in Santa Cruz, California

40 months ago

Go for it. If you can find a job. There are so many H1s and they mostly hire their own. For example, Cisco engineering is about 80% Indian and Chinese immigrants.
Also, have you tried to bid on Elance for a SW project? Expect to get about US$10/hr.

Also, a young kid of 23 will make just as much $ as a 20-year seasoned veteran, as long as they both know the latest whiz-bang technology. It's disheartening when your Indian manager and your manager's manager who is also fresh from India tells you that you need to carry the same workload as your H1 co-workers who work 60 hours/week because they are afraid of losing their jobs and hence their visa. And then there are the cultural differences such as more vertical social hierarchies and saving face like you wouldn't believe.

I would stick to a profession that cannot easily be affected by out-sourcing or H1 in-sourcing. Like a patent analyst, doctor, tax attorney, government job w/clearance or something like that. This is only going to get worse.
BTW, I am 40 and have 18 years of SW Engineering experience.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (17) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Token American in Santa Cruz, California

40 months ago

Go for it. If you can find a job. There are so many H1s and they mostly hire their own. For example, Cisco engineering is about 80% Indian and Chinese H1s or green-card holders.
Also, have you tried to bid on Elance for a SW project? Expect to get about US$10/hr.

Also, a young kid of 23 will make just as much $ as a 20-year seasoned veteran, as long as they both know the latest whiz-bang technology. It's disheartening when your Indian manager and your manager's manager who is also fresh from India tells you that you need to carry the same workload as your H1 co-workers who work 60 hours/week because they are afraid of losing their jobs and hence their visa. And then there are the cultural differences such as more vertical social hierarchies and saving face like you wouldn't believe.

I would stick to a profession that cannot easily be affected by out-sourcing or H1 in-sourcing. Like a patent analyst, doctor, tax attorney, government job w/clearance or something like that. This is only going to get worse.
BTW, I am 40 and have 18 years of SW Engineering experience.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No Reply - Report abuse

c14 in Bronx, New York

40 months ago

Personally I don't think you are ever too old to do what you want to do. There is a saying "a man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams" and it's very true. For everyone who thinks younger people or a foreigner or anyone for that matter can do better work than they can need to build their self confidence up. There will always be people better than you in something and worst than you as well. For those that are better, learn from them or learn what they know. I can say first hand that I have seen the sloppy outsource work from India. For that reason the company I work for will only hire Americans, and local at that, no telecommuting. I'm 29 and going back to school to be a software engineer and I commend anyone who won't accept what the world wants to give them and are going for what they want. It's inevitable that we age, so you will be 4 years older, 4 years from now anyway. You want to reach that 4 year mark and still not have the career of your choice? Imagine Kevin Garnet stop playing basketball when Lebron came into the league because Lebron was younger and could play better, he would have never reached "HIS" goal of obtaining a ring. Bottom line you can't worry about what someone else is doing or saying you have to do your thing.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (32) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

bigballer23 in Clarksville, Tennessee

40 months ago

get r done

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (8) Reply - Report abuse

Alp in Columbus, Ohio

39 months ago

"Big difference between software engineering and programming"... meh, this is the age old debate. A "software engineer" is just someone who has programmed long enough to learn foresight and planning. It's nothing magical. My dad still calls himself a programmer and makes 90k after 20 years in the field. I think since entry into software is so easy (it's not like engineering where you can't even work certain places without a certificate), some group of snooty good programmers got annoyed with the legions of bad ones, and thus the term "software engineer" was invented.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

jay ratner in Cleveland, Ohio

39 months ago

This is really encouraging. I am 35 and looking to get into information systems. I am currently working for a <a href="www.mathmadeeasy.com/">Math Software</a> company, but I am looking to move on.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

charlie's dad in Loveland, Ohio

39 months ago

First off, the #1 tip I can give for searching for jobs online is- post your resumes on sites like Dice, etc., don't just search for jobs. I graduated in 2008 with a BS in CS and spent a great deal of time searching job boards and submitting resumes with little luck and never got past the first interview or two. Then I posted my resume and I was flooded with offers for jobs that weren't even posted on the site, and I scored multiple interviews and got hired about 3 months after posting my resume.

Second, I work for an Indian software outsourcing company with 200k+ employees, and let me share my 2 cents on writing code all day and on offshore developers.

At my company, writing code all day is for entry-level American employees, or outsourced employees. If you are getting into the software development field now, don't aim to just code all day for the rest of your life. The more experience you get, the more of a leader you should become. Of course you will still write code and be expected to produce comparatively higher quality code and assist others and solve the harder coding problems, but you will be more valuable if you can also spend a good deal of your time advising and leading others. Plus there's a ton of boring projects in the business world, and you will burn out if you only code all day.

As for offshore developers, yeah they're cheaper and sometimes good or sometimes bad, but onshore jobs will never go away- you need people onshore that work during American business hours, to travel to American offices, to speak to American clients, be the communication liaison between onshore and offshore resources, etc.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No (5) Reply - Report abuse

c707961 in Calexico, California

38 months ago

Hello, I'm currently in the military and I'm getting out soon, but to get down to the specific question that i have. I currently love computers as i have always have but I'm curious I would like to get a degree as a computer software engineer and i was curious if their are any tips that anyone who might have any tips for me on this topic. Also i really enjoy programming in general if there are any specific degrees that might be a better choice that anyone can offer advise about i would greatly appraicate it (sorry for the grammer mistakes) and thank you again for the comments/help on this topic

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Jon C. in San Gwann, Malta

38 months ago

I am also looking for opportunities.

Jonathan
mt.linkedin.com/in/jonathancamilleri

Professional experience of 4 years in customer facing roles, and, 5 years technical support and software development roles, working for the Financial Services industry.

Specialties
SQL, .NET, Java, Accounting, Management, Leadership, Negotiation, Soft skills, C++, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Usability

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (11) Reply - Report abuse

wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota

37 months ago

To all saying that 30 is too late to learn programming, you have no idea what you are talking about. I'm 30. I finished my AAIT in programming over a year ago, and will be finishing my BSIT in Software Engineering with the next 12 months. I work as a programmer, and have been since the day I finished my associates. I work with brilliant programmers that not only respect my skills, but are blown away at how fast I pick up everything. I went from no programming knowledge to writing complex encryption programs, and SAAS based document management & Social Media applications in a matter of months. Your career, and you life are what YOU make of it. I also increased my salary by 50% inside of a year in this field. Some in this thread have said if you're still learning programming at 30, your not respected... A completely ignorant remark. Programmers learn new concepts every day, and if you don't, you become obsolete. Also, if a co-worker doesn't respect you skills, don't pout about it, but instead prove them wrong in every way possible... Maybe even show them up at their won game.

Regarding SE not being a booming career... LOL! I put my resume on Monster to see what kind of traffic I got, and I had 10 calls a week with offers. I removed my resume from public view, and I still get calls every day. Don't let pessimistic people tell you what you can't do. Programming, and math come so easy to me, I may get a Masters in Physics after I graduate with my BSIT SE from a from one of the local colleges. Watch, I'm sure a bunch of pessimistic old way of thinking people will have an issue with that too. To the originator of this thread, don't listen to any negative comment in this thread... They are probably just mad about something else. If I listened to people telling me I could start programming at 28, while being a single dad... Well, I wouldn't be a programmer like I am today.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (38) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota

37 months ago

If the you think I'm lying, then you can think what you want.

I DO work as a programmer writing document management software, social media anaylticss, and file encryption programs. I use C#, VB.Net, along with many client side web languages. No, I'm not writing WORM storage compilers, or some other Nobel prize winning projects, but I am a programmer writing software for many users.

Brilliant programmers are not defined by the language they use. I would say the impact of their software or projects are far more important. No, I don't work with famous programmers, but they have accomplished great things in there own respect.

I am well aware the ten calls a week are from recruiters. Each of them offering various .NET programming positions. I DO understand they are not job offers, but instead opportunities to gain employment though an interview.

"If you are over 25 then you are severly handicapped in getting a software engineering job." <--- my point is this statement is purely opinion. In my opinion, You sir are wrong.

You may be right, in order to work for Google or Yahoo, you may need a Comp sci degree from a top 10 school... Something I don't, and won't have. I guess it's a good thing moguls like these aren't the only software companies in existence that are good to work for.

Thank you for your opinion though sir. Without people like you telling me it can't be done, I may not be where I am today. BELIEVE that not even one word in my posts is a lie. I would like to ask why you believe I'm severely handicapt for starting my SE career at 29... I enjoy my work... I get to develop new products... And my work is utilized my people every day... Whether you want to believe it or not. Maybe it took me a little longer to figure out what I wanted to do, but it doesn't mean I'm handicapt. Quite the opposite sir. You don't know me from a hole in the wall, so try not to be so bold as to tell people what is fact or fiction in their lives.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (21) / No Reply - Report abuse

wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota

37 months ago

I had never used Moster before, so maybe some calls/emails where because I was a new name, but I did get a total of 10 calls/emails a week for the two weeks I left my resume up as public. I now get at least 2 calls and or emails a week even though I removed it from public view. I went from zero IT experience before my AAIT, making $37,200/year to making $55,0000/year.. In a timespan of one year. I finished my associates in 1 year flat at the University of Phoenix... A school I'm sure doesn't fall within your standards. Is this specific enough for you?

Why are you so bent on degrading me here? I'm not bashing people. I'm trying to tell people that, IF you want to do it, it is possible. *shakes head*

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No Reply - Report abuse

Token American in Santa Cruz, California

37 months ago

It sounds like you need to have a little talk with HR :)

Seriously, as long as you know the latest tech...if you have 5 years of experience or 20 years, then you will get the same job with the same pay. For developer jobs, years of experience in a non-related technology means nothing to most managers that I've come across. And, these managers bring in H1s or outsource so that they save a few bucks and keep the U.S citizens unemployed.
In the last company that I worked for just 2 months ago, I wrote their engineering management website and then my contract ran out. Around the same time, they let go of much of their engineering workforce and all of the contractors so that they could outsource everything to India.

Also, many of the recruiting agencies are outsourcing as well. How many Indian housewives have you had call you for employment, only to counter-offer you 50% less than what you are asking?

I don't particularly like where this profession is headed and has headed since 2000, but I can't think of anything else to pay my mortgage. That is, when I can find a job nowadays. In the 90s, I was a scarse commodity that everyone wanted. Now, I am an expendable code monkey.

Also, all of these headhunters calling you is meaningless. There may be 20 of them from different agencies trying to fill one position. Some of them are unemployed people themselves trying to get a hiring bonus from the agency who is closest to the hiring manager. That Indian soccer mom, or should I say cricket mom, is not going to get you that job offer.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota

37 months ago

I wasn't boasting, I was being honest. I know I don't make a lot of $, and thanks for pointing that out. I also know University of Phonix's degrees aren't worth the paper they're printed on... But it's better than nothing. Maybe some people had tragedies in their life that didn't allow for the perfect path like yours.

None were from Indian recruiters... Btw.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No Reply - Report abuse

wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota

37 months ago

I was honestly posting on here because I stumbled across it looking at local college physics degrees, and figured I'd try to give some people a little hope, if they were passionate about programming. I had no idea of the onslaught of negativity I would receive.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (7) / No Reply - Report abuse

wakurth in Minneapolis, Minnesota

37 months ago

hoapres in San Jose, California said: Actually not having a degree might be better than having one from ANY for profit trade school. It's sad but privately many in tech will laugh privately at YOU for having an ITT Tech, Devry, Heald, Everest, University of Phoenix degree.

Your arrogance is baffling, but its all good. The world needs people like you, and the people you speak of.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No Reply - Report abuse

jeffreys in West Des Moines, Iowa

37 months ago

I'm glad you agree. To elaborate a little more on your point.. You can take classes all day and not accomplish or learn nearly as much as if your self directed with the desire to really get something down. I've your sitting in front of your computer, trying to solve a real world problem and you're searching for best practices (which may not always be the best way to go - depends on the situation - best practices are rules of thumb for specific situations) and alternative ways of doing things, you're digging and experimenting and developing something that is for real - NO CLASSROOM experience can equal that - I could not count the number of times in my career I've pulled 18 to 24 hour long sessions learning how best to apply a new technology or how to best design a new feature or module.

In defense of colleges and Universities. I remember my father asked me what I felt I learned after I finished my bachelors in Electrical Engineering - I replied, "I learned how to learn". They worked my ASS off and I learned how to bust it, and not be afraid of ANY challenge. Those are the basic tools you need to be able move ahead on your own - to self direct your learning. If you already have those basic skills by virtue of your desire - save yourself some money and learn on your own. If you're attending a school that is busting your chops to the point that you can't keep up, its seems like a waste of time because all you're doing is jumping from one exam to another and learning nothing - guess what - you're learning more than you have any idea. If on the other hand you're in a school that leaves you time for partying and goofing off, getting by with half hearted efforts - you are definitely wasting your time and money.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (8) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

jeffreys in West Des Moines, Iowa

37 months ago

I know I may be sending a mixed signal but read again, what I am saying is this. The specific skills needed to be a good developer are best learned on your own. The basic skills of good work ethic, desire to do a great job, to achieve and not be afraid of anything can be taught in a good DEMANDING school whether it be ITT OR MIT.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No Reply - Report abuse

cm2012 in Southampton, United Kingdom

37 months ago

I am 46 years old and had been working in multi national companies as a Principle Systems Engineer. After my redundancy, I became a contractor and working as a systems engineer.
Now, I feel, with my experience I should apply for a permanent role and work as a team leader or project leader. I don't know whether it is possible or not

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Jon C. in Msida, Malta

37 months ago

I agree

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Wayne Farmer in Winona, Minnesota

37 months ago

Check out my profile and you'll find I've been programming embedded systems for about 25 years. I still enjoy it, and I can still find opportunities in the workforce; my experience has given me skills that employers value. But as others have said, you have to be prepared to relocate to take advantage of opportunities as they come along; I've taken jobs 1900 miles away on less than a week's notice.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Wayne Farmer in Winona, Minnesota

36 months ago

Jungleboi, I suggest that if do choose a new direction, you make good use of your innate and acquired understanding of music, rhythm, and the recording industry. The application of technology toward entertainment is a growing trend; look at any smartphone. After establishing yourself with a solid foundation of understanding the principles of software development, you could market your skills as one who understands both the technology and the music. There are individual developers that possibly take a shortcut and directly begin to develop programs for Android or Apple smartphone platforms, but I think that understanding the concepts first will make you more productive. You might become a consultant in the entertainment industry, a position that could be more lucrative than a programmer. And, you already have the network in place to find those opportunities.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

darkfader in Minneapolis, Minnesota

36 months ago

hey guys came across this thread and figured I'd ask for some advice. In short, I'm 30, female, been in construction for 8 years and my hatred for it grows stronger everyday. I've been contemplating getting into software engineering (which I was supposed to do when I was in college) but I'm not sure where to start. I don't exactly have any experience but I'm pretty good with computers and I've been frequenting this site called codecademy.com and it's been going pretty well. I know writing code isn't everything and I know javascript isn't everything I should/could know. But on a positive note, I've been picking it up pretty quick. But I know it's NOTHING compared to what's out there. I kind of just wanted a taste of what the field is about. Anything I could do or any intro training classes I could take to see if it's really for me? I mean at this point I'd rather make balloon animals while riding a treadmill than have the job I have. I'm grateful to be working, don't get me wrong. I just need something more challenging, in the tech field, temperature-controlled...and involving a normal bathroom. Thanks for letting me vent!

LD

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Wayne Farmer in Winona, Minnesota

36 months ago

darkfader in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: hey guys came across this thread and figured I'd ask for some advice. In short, I'm 30, female, been in construction for 8 years and my hatred for it grows stronger everyday. I've been contemplating getting into software engineering (which I was supposed to do when I was in college) but I'm not sure where to start. I don't exactly have any experience but I'm pretty good with computers and I've been frequenting this site called codecademy.com and it's been going pretty well. I know writing code isn't everything and I know javascript isn't everything I should/could know. But on a positive note, I've been picking it up pretty quick. But I know it's NOTHING compared to what's out there. I kind of just wanted a taste of what the field is about. Anything I could do or any intro training classes I could take to see if it's really for me? I mean at this point I'd rather make balloon animals while riding a treadmill than have the job I have. I'm grateful to be working, don't get me wrong. I just need something more challenging, in the tech field, temperature-controlled...and involving a normal bathroom. Thanks for letting me vent!

LD

LD, I'd be happy to have a discussion with you to talk about the field. I work in the "embedded" branch of software engineering, which deals more closely with electronic circuits than does, for example, Web programming. Contact me, or just read my LinkedIn profile to see the types of work I've done over the years.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Rick in Bradenton, Florida

36 months ago

Hi I am 34 years old and in my first year back in college. My major is computer science, but I am thinking of changing my major due to this message board. I do have a technology backround and have done computer repair, network admin, and DBA until they shipped my job overseas. I was wondering if I should change my major from computer science to something else? I wanted to become a software developer because I liked programing forms for my sql database when I had that job. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to change my major to? Possibly MIS? Any suggestion would help me greatly. Thanks

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Token American in Santa Cruz, California

36 months ago

Rick in Bradenton, Florida said: Hi I am 34 years old and in my first year back in college. My major is computer science, but I am thinking of changing my major due to this message board. I do have a technology backround and have done computer repair, network admin, and DBA until they shipped my job overseas. I was wondering if I should change my major from computer science to something else? I wanted to become a software developer because I liked programing forms for my sql database when I had that job. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to change my major to? Possibly MIS? Any suggestion would help me greatly. Thanks

You could go for Bioinformatics, get a CCIE Wireless, or just move to Bangalore.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Rick in Bradenton, Florida

36 months ago

Token American in Santa Cruz, California said: You could go for Bioinformatics, get a CCIE Wireless, or just move to Bangalore.

Thanks Token Bangalore sounds great! I think I'll open a 7-11 over there. Free slurpies for all Americans at grand opening. LOL Thanks for the info I will look into the Bioinfomatics. That sounds cool. Do you know what degree path that is in? MIS or CS?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Epoe in New York, New York

36 months ago

Rick in Bradenton, Florida said: Hi I am 34 years old and in my first year back in college. My major is computer science, but I am thinking of changing my major due to this message board. I do have a technology backround and have done computer repair, network admin, and DBA until they shipped my job overseas. I was wondering if I should change my major from computer science to something else? I wanted to become a software developer because I liked programing forms for my sql database when I had that job. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what to change my major to? Possibly MIS? Any suggestion would help me greatly. Thanks

Don't quit! Even if you don't make it as an engineer, you'll develop necessary analytic/computer skills. You can do so much more with a CS degree than just engineering.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Rick in Bradenton, Florida

36 months ago

Epoe in New York, New York said: Don't quit! Even if you don't make it as an engineer, you'll develop necessary analytic/computer skills. You can do so much more with a CS degree than just engineering.

Thanks I am confussed. I have a friend that is a project manager at a company in Tampa Fl. He was trying to talk me out of CS too. He said the average person in his software department is 24. Epoe do you think 34 is too old? I will be 38 when I get out of school. Do you have any old timers in your department?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Yosep Kim in Suwanee, Georgia

36 months ago

I've been doing SE stuff for more than 6 years now, and I cannot believe some of the posts here. I live in Atlanta, and software development is thriving, hiring many SEs. With 6 years of experience, I make 6 figures easy. IT IS AN AWESOME JOB, if you are OK with sitting down for a long time writing out code. But, it's more like playing games or solving puzzles. If you are good with math and science in general, I definitely recommend anyone to check software development out. Also, I am not sure why one would recommend someone to bid on Elance, when the person is just considering the field. If you are new to this field, the best way to take a peak is getting involved in Open Source projects. They are many projects out there that need help. Also, by helping them out, you will learn a lot because you actually get to see real code in real actions. And, also, open source developers are usually real hackers, meaning, they usually follow "good" practices.

Also, don't be afraid of H1 in-sourcing or outsourcing. Yes, there are many Indian or Chinese developers in US, but there are as equal amount of companies out there that hire US developers. Here is the deal. If you are an awesome developer, you will keep your job no matter how many non-US developers are around. You may be expensive to hire, but they will keep you.

I hope people would not get discouraged by reading some of negative comments here. It is not that bad, really.

And, for those of you who left somewhat depressing comments, if you don't like your boss, look for a new opportunity or pick up a book about Ruby on Rails or something and keep your knives sharp. I truly believe U.S.'s only hope of getting the "best" country to live for is through advanced technologies, patents, and "being innovative".

Go, Hackers!!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (11) / No Reply - Report abuse

Yosep Kim in Suwanee, Georgia

36 months ago

Yosep Kim in Suwanee, Georgia said: With 6 years of experience, I make 6 figures easy.

6 figures from multiple projects, that is. Perhaps with two, three gigs at a time. Over weekends and whatnot.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Yosep Kim in Suwanee, Georgia

36 months ago

We do have some old timers (early 40s+) at the current company I worked for. I also worked with a gentleman who was well over 50 before. He chose to stay as a software developer instead of climbing the ladder because that's what made him happy.

Rick, you are not too old. If you really want to do it and know that your brain can hold up, GO FOR IT. But, please, don't go in with an attitude of "I may not survive". I hope you don't quit, because that would hurt your ego more than anything else. And, let me tell you "ego" is something you must have in order to be a hacker. I truly believe that. If you don't believe in your game, you won't succeed.

Since you are starting kinda late, I would recommend you to pick up either .Net (Microsoft) or Ruby on Rails (for web development).

Go, Hackers!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

jungleboi in Hendersonville, Tennessee

36 months ago

Wayne Farmer in Winona, Minnesota said: Jungleboi, I suggest that if do choose a new direction, you make good use of your innate and acquired understanding of music, rhythm, and the recording industry. The application of technology toward entertainment is a growing trend; look at any smartphone...

Wayne... wow... wow! Thank you for that! how true! hmmm, may indeed just have to gear my thoughts in that direction! I've been a little apprehensive about the whole CS field, wheather or not just "doing that" change, either for the $, for the "fun of programming", or whatever reason, would indeed make the swap fulfilling in life to warrant it, especially at THIS stage of life for me. But ya know, I "feel" (and still SORTA look/act) 25 (yet maturely! lol), so why not try?! Yet, *sigh*, time IS ticking away in life. I just have SO much interest in life!! It's.. HUGE! Another passion of mine has become, over the past decade+, the whoooole God vs. evolution thing. I also somehow feel compelled toward looking at information sciences, which implies computing etc, and how that all plays into the discussion of "intelligent design", etc. (HUGE field of studies implied in all THAT!). But to me these days, there IS no bigger, more important issue in life than if God exists, and we are part of that "God plan", or if we're merely an insignificant, temporal blip in a universe vastly beyond (in MANY MANY ways) our comprehension. The implications to whichever side is "right" are STAGGERING!! It's a passion I have these days, deeply. Lots could be said.. no time/space on this site now. By the way.. we're both "Farmer"s! hey cuz!(?) :) (Steve Farmer here). Even though it's "just a name", it's one of those little "coincidences" that make me go hmmmm about "life things". Hope things are well in your (and everyone on here's!) life! :) ~Steve (GOTTA say... John 3:16-21)

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Epoe in New York, New York

36 months ago

hoapres in San Mateo, California said: Like what ??

CS degrees "type cast" the graduate. Try getting a NON CS job with a CS degree.

While moving out of CS is usually the best option due to the extremely grim job prospects, it is hard to do.

Well, I just hired a bunch of CS people to do Business Intelligence and Web Analytics. They have to know how to program, but they're definitely not software engineers. And, last time I checked analytics seemed to be a hot topic/field.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Epoe in New York, New York

36 months ago

I hired 5 people total - 3 do BI and 2 do web analytics. None of them are from a top 10 school in CS...actually, probably not top 25 (although I have no idea what the top 10 schools are outside of CMU, MIT and Stanford).

2 are intro - relatively new out of college. One gentleman is in his 30's and received his CS degree years ago. One woman is in her late 20's has a degree in information systems with a minor in CS.

Right, i never said they had no experience. Their experience varies. Some of them have hands on BI/analytics experience at previous positions, but some of them volunteered and did things on their own to gain experience along with their degrees.

And, no I'm not a recruiter...I work for a media/digital company.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Rick in Bradenton, Florida

36 months ago

Yosep Kim in Suwanee, Georgia said: We do have some old timers (early 40s+) at the current company I worked for. I also worked with a gentleman who was well over 50 before. He chose to stay as a software developer instead of climbing the ladder because that's what made him happy.

Rick, you are not too old. If you really want to do it and know that your brain can hold up, GO FOR IT. But, please, don't go in with an attitude of "I may not survive". I hope you don't quit, because that would hurt your ego more than anything else. And, let me tell you "ego" is something you must have in order to be a hacker. I truly believe that. If you don't believe in your game, you won't succeed.

Since you are starting kinda late, I would recommend you to pick up either .Net (Microsoft) or Ruby on Rails (for web development).

Go, Hackers!

Thanks for the advice, I'll do that. I know I'll be good at it. As I've been back in school I have been helping the math teachers teaching the math and suprise even myself at it. LOL

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Wayne Farmer in Winona, Minnesota

36 months ago

guest in San Jose, California said: Best of Luck

As you will need it.

Americans are prerejected for employment in software engineering due to H1B infestation and offshoring.

"guest", since you're in San Jose, I expect you're not seeing the whole picture. The Bay Area has a HUGE Asian presence; when I worked for Cisco Systems there in 2000, I was one of two older whites in a department of about 50 young (Asian) Indians, including my managers. That was 12 years ago, but I wouldn't expect the situation has changed much since.

Get out of the Bay Area and into the Midwest, where people say reg'-is-ter, not re-gis'-ter. You'll lower your cost of living, and you'll find the situation quite different. I do embedded software engineering for manufacturers, mostly C and Assembly in real-time systems, and have been able to find that employment in the South and Midwest for the last 25 years.

As I said in an earlier post in this thread, if you're willing to immediately relocate to a new job anywhere in the US, you greatly expand your job possibilities. Use Indeed.com and Dice.com where you can selectively target the opportunities that have the best matches for your education and experience. You'll still find competition; you need to be in the top 1% or 2% of applicants to get hired, but your resume will stand out if you are a great match for the job.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Wayne Farmer in Winona, Minnesota

36 months ago

jungleboi in Hendersonville, Tennessee said: Wayne... wow... wow! Thank you for that! how true! hmmm, may indeed just have to gear my thoughts in that direction! I've been a little apprehensive about the whole CS field, wheather or not just "doing that" change, either for the $, for the "fun of programming", or whatever reason, would indeed make the swap fulfilling in life to warrant it, especially at THIS stage of life for me. But ya know, I "feel" (and still SORTA look/act) 25 (yet maturely! lol), so why not try?! Yet, *sigh*, time IS ticking away in life. I just have SO much interest in life!! It's.. HUGE! Another passion of mine has become, over the past decade+, the whoooole God vs. evolution thing. I also somehow feel compelled toward looking at information sciences, which implies computing etc, and how that all plays into the discussion of "intelligent design", etc. (HUGE field of studies implied in all THAT!). But to me these days, there IS no bigger, more important issue in life than if God exists, and we are part of that "God plan", or if we're merely an insignificant, temporal blip in a universe vastly beyond (in MANY MANY ways) our comprehension. The implications to whichever side is "right" are STAGGERING!! It's a passion I have these days, deeply. Lots could be said.. no time/space on this site now. By the way.. we're both "Farmer"s! hey cuz!(?) :) (Steve Farmer here). Even though it's "just a name", it's one of those little "coincidences" that make me go hmmmm about "life things". Hope things are well in your (and everyone on here's!) life! :) ~Steve (GOTTA say... John 3:16-21)

Steve, even with so much on your mind, you're surely aware that success in the direction you choose is more likely if you focus your thoughts and activities on that goal. Take some time off. Travel if you can. And while you do, form a plan for the next five years of your life. When you get home, put that plan into action, and keep working on it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Wayne Farmer in Winona, Minnesota

36 months ago

hoapres in San Mateo, California said: >> Steve, even with so much on your mind, you're surely aware that success in the direction you choose is more likely if you focus your thoughts and activities on that goal. Take some time off. Travel if you can. And while you do, form a plan for the next five years of your life. When you get home, put that plan into action, and keep working on it. <<

May not work.

Using your definition of "...need to be in the top 1%..." then what happens in the case that YOU are not in the top 1%. Just by definition then you have 99% that are NOT in the top 1%. Being optimistic and pursuing your goal is fine but a good healthy dose of realism never hurts.

That's why a job search can take months. You have to hit the right opportunity with the right skills, and then pass the phone interviews and the in-person interviews, and you have to score better on all those than the other applicants who have made it that far _at_that_time_. If you hit it right, the best and the brightest of your competition may be looking elsewhere then, preferring to work in California rather than a gritty town in the Rust Belt with lake-effect snow, for example.

Expect to have to take a contract or temporary position at first, and don't be greedy; know what is the minimum hourly rate that will buy you food and housing in your new location, and then accept anything that's not below that. If they ask you on Tuesday to start work next Monday in a city 2000 miles away, say YES, no problem, then pack your car and go. (Being single and a renter helps. You're mobile and available. If you're married and your wife doesn't want to move away from her family, so that you have to keep your job search local, then your job search will take much longer.)

And _network_! There are lots of recruiters out there looking to make money by getting you hired. Get them working for you.

Use LinkedIn heavily. Get connections and NETWORK.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Page:   1  2  3  Next »   Last »

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.