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Would you recommend a career in software engineering to a young person?

52% (456 votes)
29% (256 votes)
Not Sure
19% (172 votes)
Total votes: 884


Optimistic, "Yes", Otherwise, "No"

The problem with today's situation is that everyone claims to be a software engineer, even ones who just bought a book on how to program XYZ and put together a "Hello World" program claim they are software engineers. What happens when everyone starts to write software? Disasters! I always claim this to be one of the primary reasons why software projects fail. It's not because of processes, technology, etc. It's the people who are not qualified to do the job. Poor design, bad code all lead to un-maintainable system which eventually collapses. What happens when you a truly a good software engineer? You can't stand these things. Then, you clean up the mess. How many messes do you think you can clean up? Maybe there a a couple of you on the team that are really good and spend your time cleaning up the mess, but there a dozens waiting to screw it up again. It's tought being a software engineer, you have ethical issues that you must adhere by, keeping up with technology, and all the while, clean up someone's elses mess. The good news is that this industry is still very new. Hopefully things will change. I hope things will change not just professionally, but also academically. Not many schools offer a decent software engineering program. Believe me, I have seen people in their senior year that can't put together a decent design for a project. Hope for the best that things will change and become more mature, then this field is good. If it continues down this current road, software engineers become more like Code Garbage Collector! I hope no one will find my post offending.

There is no way out

There is absolutely no way out of it. You have to stay late if you work in a software firm. Reasons: Your Clients work mostly in US and even if you have to attend one call you need to wait till they come to office. Normally we have such calls 1 per day. In an onsite offshore model, a lot of time is spent in co-ordination between the onsite and offshore resources for which either the onsite has to stay late or the offshore person has to stay back if the discussion is in the night. After all this if you are working in a bombay your life is a hell. You would leave the office at around 9- 10 pm and reach home by 10:30 - 11 pm. After that there is no time left for anything cos you have to sleep so that you are back in the office again at 9 am. But there is no way out. If you want to be successfull then you have to do all this otherwise person sitting next to you is going to do that and will have a better appraisal as the manager would say that he was more proactive, took ownership of the project, led project from the front and you did nothing. You know that all it is BULLSHIT but thats they way it works. I am also going to do the same with my subordinates once I am a manager. My life's already screwed, so why others should be happy. UNLESS..... I go back to where I grew up. Stay with my parents, work in a core company from 9 to 5, give my wife and children more attention, read some good books. Do some thinking other than how to impress the client.May be I can develop some interesting process to improve not only my life but someone else's too. May be I will develop an interest in politics and may be I will vote for the first time and may be if all the software professionals in this country do that we can have a good government and might not have to run to US thinking that its a better place to live. I know all this is very hard but soon will have to come up with some better idea otherwise I will just be a part of the very big Matrix of people who towards the end of their life will not be able to think of one good reason why they are alive till then.

in the current market? No

Outside of developing countries (mainly Asia and eastern Europe) there just is no market for junior people (all those jobs have already been offshored) and the market for senior people is dwindling (those people are now being offshored).
In developing countries many people have appalling work conditions (plus why should I encourage people there to start competing with me over in Europe?) from what I heard (though possibly better than the average person in those countries).

"NO" for any service sector jobs in India.

IT jobs in India are worst. Sorry its a big mail.... ----------------------------------------------------------------------- *Stress kills 6 IT geeks - By Suchitra Srinivas Chennai, March 28: Six software professionals under the age of 33 have died and two top executives from renowned software companies have become paralysed because of stress-related heart ailments in the last six months in Chennai, says a study by Mitran Foundation, a Bangalore-based voluntary association of practising doctors. "All the six who died, and the two who became invalid, had no family history of heart attacks or any pre-history of heart ailments or paralysis. They were all in their prime, between 27 and 33 years, and handled challenging projects at work in their respective companies. They worked long and continuous hours. The end struck them very suddenly, and it looked as if their hearts refused to take any more stress," said Dr Dwarakanath, director of Mitran Foundation, who has studied stress components in 40 software companies in Chennai during the last six months. This study was a follow-up of Mitran Foundations four-year detailed national study on stress-related ailments for working professionals. It concludes that software professionals have pushed doctors to second position in being prone to stress-related disorders. At present, there are over one lakh software professionals employed in the information technology sector in and around Chennai. With the expansions and consolidations planned by IT majors, this figure is expected to grow by another 50,000 this year. The Tamil Nadu government has given clearance for 40 more IT parks in and around Chennai. This means jobs for another 75,000 professionals. IT investment in the state has risen from Rs 1,100 crores in 2001 to Rs 6,500 crores today. But the question of whether there has been a simultaneous improvement in the quality of life of software professionals remains unanswered. The study, conducted at a cost of Rs 45 lakhs, covered more than 4,000 software professionals from 80 companies who were in service for a minimum of three years. The email responses were scientifically tabulated and the findings were ready in 2002. Dr Dwarakanath, who was the late Dhirubhai Ambanis personal stress management consultant, said questionnaires extracting every minute detail were sent to the respondents. The personal background, family history and personal characteristics of these individuals were assessed and it was found that the stress in these professionals was only due to work pressure. All other factors were eliminated. "Our study confirmed that the number of suicides, divorces, heart ailments, BP and diabetes patients and mental depression are the highest in the software industry. The fancy salaries of software professionals are no longer something to rejoice about," Dr Dwarakanath said. "We found that the software industry has simply no routine. Deadlines hang before them and every day they chase new problems. During weekends more than 60 per cent of the vehicles are found parked in the office complexes. There is no physical exercise and new food habits favoured by pizza culture fuel the problem. Cervical spondilitis and wrist problems due to uncomfortable handling of the computer mouse, eye problems and discomfort in bowel movements are common. The stress for couples where both are employed in the IT industry is the worst. The simple step of taking time off from work for three months allowed an IT couple wanting a child for years to conceive one," Dr Dwarakanath said. M.T.R. Venukopalan, senior training coordinator, Covansys India, acknowledged that IT professionals were the most stressed individuals. "Even if the company sponsors a movie or self-care lecture, not many attend them," he said. Jyothsana, a travel coordinator for Temenos India Pvt Ltd, expressed concern for the young employees who complain of back and knee pains. She acknowledged that IT professionals require a specific eating and physical exercise routine to ease their stress. "Our lives are becoming mechanical, guided only by deadlines," she said. So think again if you are staying late in the office regularly. Think again about your family. Think again about your social life and health. What you should do? Work is essential. Your contribution to the goal should be great. But, please don't make it a habit to stay late. Don't skip your Break Fast/Lunch/Dinner. None of these are equated by Pizza, Biscuits/Wafers/Chat items. Avoid rich masala foods. Be Indian, Eat Indian Let your food regularly have 1) Ginger,Onion (small), Garlic, Mint leaves 2) Apple,Mosambi/Orange, Water Melon 3) Honey -- Anand Philip

Teles Computer Systems India (P) Ltd

"NO" for any service sector jobs in India.

Way to teach a dog infected with love and enjoyment of the people around them is dog training.

No recommendations

Funny, I wouldn’t recommend any occupation to anybody. Due to the fact that people spend most their life at an occupation, I think someone needs to find what the love and enjoy over any other driving factor.

more of a hobby than a profession

I'd recommend it as a hobby first. If you happen to make a career out of it, congratulations.

Thankless job

Software is a thankless occupation, its just not worth it.

RE: Thankless job

Sounds like you need to look for a better employer.

You think software is bad, try teaching. Come on.. software people are the most pampered of the world!! (I assume you work for a software company.. if you don't .. that's the reason)

Finally, if you want to feel like you've given something to the world, your hobby/job is not the way to do it (unless you're a nurse,doctor,teacher or something). Get some extra-curricular activities:

  • Help out at a charity or your religious group
  • Tutor some kids
  • See your own kids once in a while
  • etc..

A lot of software types are not naturally inclided to such things, but I've found that when I force myself to do such things I feel a lot more satisfied with myself. Service to others brings happiness.... not software, not even Java, etc..

Depends on location

This poll can be misleading because it doesn't differentiate the locations the users are in. For example, most users from the U.S. will vote "no" whereas users from India will vote "yes".

RE:Depends on location

or example, most users from the U.S. will vote "no" whereas users from India will vote "yes" Aha? People in india will note a Big NO for the crappy, low quality work that's pushed here from elsewhere.