The 5 Biggest Career Challenges Programmers Face
Programming is one of the safest and most desirable career paths of the future. But, you can’t have the good without the bad. In the tech arena, there will always be work-related obstacles that must be overcome.
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Because programming is such a desirable field to enter, it can also be an extremely competitive space. This means that programmers must constantly build high-quality products for their company or clients.
If you aren’t able to produce quality products, then there will always be a looming feeling that someone else may take your position, and perform your job better than you can.
Luckily, for the time being, there is such a strong demand for good programmers, that the threat of being replaced isn’t a major concern for most people just yet.
But, some programmers definitely know what it’s like to “feel the heat” in the workplace. It’s not always a pleasant thing to deal with. However, it is a reality that must be acknowledged.
The good news is that you can always improve your programming skills, and make yourself as indispensable as possible.
Should you learn Swift? Should you learn Ruby on Rails? Or how about the tens of other popular programming languages that are constantly being compared?
Figuring out which programming language or skill to learn next can be one of the most difficult decisions that you have to make.
This can be extremely difficult, because no one can predict exactly which programming language or skill will best suit your interests, and the interests of your employer or customers.
At the end of the day, you do have access to an abundance of solid data, free information, and expert guidance on the pros vs. cons of different programming languages.
But, you are the only person who can choose the best programming language or skill for your future.
Challenge 3. Coping with business policies and rules
If you work for a software or IT company, then you might be lucky enough to have business policies and rules that are specifically catered to technology professionals.
But, many programmers work for multinationals, banks, governments, or other “ordinary” institutions that might not fully understand how programmers prefer to live and work.
If you find yourself in this situation, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But, it can force you to deal with office politics, seemingly irrelevant meetings, and other obstacles that probably distract you from programming.
So, if you must cope with business policies and rules, then it probably isn’t the end of the world. But, this is something that might put a slight damper on your day, and possibly even incentivize you to search for ideal programming careers.
Challenge 4. Scheduling and completing projects
This challenge is two-fold.
First of all, scheduling a project can be difficult, because the timeframe for programming is often vague. You can set milestones and deadlines, but there will always be some uncertainty about the exact time in which your project will be ready.
Secondly, completing projects can be difficult as well, because programming is a job that’s never truly over. Iterations will likely need to be made, and bugs will always need to be fixed.
But, you will eventually develop a better sense for scheduling projects. And, you’ll eventually learn how to provide clients with software that they love the first time around. These skills just require some time and patience to develop.
When you’re a relatively new programmer, you actually have some room for error. You can get away with being young and naive for a number of years.
But, once you’ve built and shipped a few products, you’ll eventually have an important decision to make:
- Do you want to stay on your current path?
- Or, do you want to start taking charge of projects, and lead a team of your own
Acquiring a leadership role in your organization is one of the most challenging tasks that a programmer can face, because at this point, you are no longer responsible for only yourself anymore. This is the point when you also become responsible for other people as well.
As a project leader, you’ll be responsible for making sure that projects are successfully completed by a certain deadline. And, your team will look to you for guidance along every step of the way.
If you do decide to pursue a leadership role, it can be a very rewarding time in your life. But, it’s also a challenge that must be carefully considered.
Overall, programming is still one of the most desirable career paths available to you.
But, programming is also a highly-competitive career with many challenges that must be overcome.
However, If you think that you can handle the 5 biggest career challenges listed in this article, then you should be able to handle just about any challenge that your programming career throws your way.