Why to choose a professional career in software development (hint: tons o’ fun, pays well)

by Sam Lightstone

in Careers

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Sam Lightstone

Sam Lightstone

Distinguished Engineer at IBM
BIO: Sam Lightstone is Distinguished Engineer for relational Cloud Data repositories as well as co-founder of IBM's technology incubation initiative.He is author or several books, papers, and patents on computer science, careers, and data engineering.
Sam Lightstone

Software is an amazing place to build a professional career. In few other domains can you have so much fun with so much positive potential to change the world, while pulling down a decent living to boot. Software has made complex technology accessible, and allowed us to control systems and processes in a way that manual operators could once only dream about. Making it Big in Software has become the industry leading career guide for software professionals, but many people considering but undecided about software will legitimately ask “Why should I choose THAT career?”

Through software we’ve shrunken the world, brought people and societies to greater common understanding, and allowed families and friends to connect when they are apart. Business and researchers have faster and more accurate access to strategic business information, historical records, data analysis, and mathematical optimization. The world is creating nearly 15 petabytes of digital information daily, and by 2011 an estimated 2 billion people will be connected to the Internet. Almost everything that has an electrical power source, from handheld phones to refrigerators, is running software. That’s what I call demand.

All that demand means a world of opportunity for software professionals. With all that potential, it’s worth knowing what it takes to evolve your career to its highest possible potential for impact, leadership, innovation, freedom, financial compensation, and fun. Through software innovation people are finding ways to truly change the world at a global scale. We’ve all seen that through great technology like Google, Facebook, advances in supercomputing, mobile computing and more. Through software we’ve created more leadership roles within companies and across industries and academia that any other field in the past 30 years. Software professionals are among the highest paid professionals in both developed and emerging economies all over the world. Freedom? Yes, real professional freedom. The freedom to work on what you want, when you want, and where you want is a hallmark of the most successful poersonalities in the software industries. These are just some of the things that have made software a dyanmic, impactful, ethical and fun career choice.

Besides, where else can you enjoy the professional stability of an accountant and still get to dress like a rock star?

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