Developers have a wide array of specialties to enter into. Programs follow courses intended for software, iOS, or mobile app developing. They spend their days creating applications and whole systems for computers and mobile devices. iOS developers focus strictly on Apple products, while mobile app developers create applications strictly for mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets. And then there are web developers, who create and design websites, as well as making sure systems and applications work across the web. As with any career path, there are definite pros and cons to consider in the developer discipline.
Pro: Variety of Job Possibilities
With such varied fields of interest, being a developer opens you up to really doing what you love. Just because you enjoy creating small applications for use on mobile devices doesn’t mean you’re gung-ho to make an entire operating system to run the entire device. On the other hand, you might be more inclined to work on the big picture, and find creating applications to track your sleep beneath you.
Con: High Competition
With so many companies trying to come out on top, it’s an extremely competitive field. Most of the time, you’re going to need - at the very least - an associate’s degree, but more often a bachelor’s degree, and to have gone through very rigorous studying and sometimes particular licensing or certification programs. You also need to have a very generous knowledge of all the different aspects of developing, as well as a strong background in computer science.
Pro: Growth Potential and Good Pay
The upswing of this is that not only do all of these jobs have great suspected growth potential, but they come with excellent pay - a median of $65,000-$100,000 a year, depending on your specialty. Some developers (especially web developers) also do very well working on a freelance basis, which can be nice for someone who likes to make their own work schedule - although you have to be extremely self-disciplined. Working for yourself can often be much harder to get off the ground, so it’s usually a good idea to get experience with a company before branching out on your own.
Con: Dealing With the Public’s Needs
Although you don’t have to deal with people face-to-face as often as a lot of professions, you do have to know what the public needs - before they need it. Sometimes you might get a direct request, but often you and your team have to brainstorm to come up with new apps and redo systems so that the public suddenly realizes that, yes, they do need to be able to poke tiny pieces of virtual candy with their fingers for hours on end. There’s a definite creative aspect to being a developer. You also have to be a good problem solver, which isn’t necessarily a con - unless you aren’t one. And some of those projects can get monotonous.
Pro: Combination of Team and Individual Work
However, if you’re going into web or app development because you don’t like dealing with people, you’re going into it for the wrong reasons. Although you aren’t dealing with people, you’re still, well, dealing with people. But instead of dealing with a lot of strangers on a day-to-day basis, lodging their complaints and fawning over them to convince them to buy your wares, you’re still creating something for the public to use. And while you won’t always be working with clients or customers every day, you are generally going to be working with a team of people. Usually face to face, although since it is a technology field, there’s a lot of electronic communication as well; which is not to say that there aren’t times when you’re alone. Many aspects of developing can be a pro or a con, depending on which way you spin them, and how and what you like to work on.
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