Win a copy of Head First Android this week in the Android forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other Pie Elite all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Paul Clapham
  • Ron McLeod
  • Tim Cooke
  • Junilu Lacar
Sheriffs:
  • Rob Spoor
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
Saloon Keepers:
  • Jesse Silverman
  • Stephan van Hulst
  • Tim Moores
  • Carey Brown
  • Tim Holloway
Bartenders:
  • Jj Roberts
  • Al Hobbs
  • Piet Souris

Looking for a programming branch allowing remote work, which won't change that much in the future

 
Greenhorn
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi!

I'm looking for a branch of programming to which I could devote myself for the next few years, and then slow down, and which wouldn't shift too much. By that I mean something, that will only require me to adjust, not to learn some new, very complex things from scratch. Ideally at the end I would work mostly remotely, for half-time or even less.

I'm currently finishing my first semester of Cognitive Science (we got mostly philosophy, psychology, math and a bit of computer science). I plan of becoming a psychotherapist in the long run, however I can begin this career only when I finish my Master's Degree in 4,5 years, and then I'll spend next 4 years in psychotherapy school. So, I got a lot of time until then, which I want to spend on acquiring software engineering skills and experience. Ideally I would continue to work even when I became a psychotherapist - I dream of a situation, in which I could code between therapy sessions, spending a couple of hours on programming each day in addition to psychotherapy practice.

I'm living in Poland. I've studied Computer Science for about 1,5 years (sadly it was very low quality, and I left it when I figured out that I could learn more computer science on my own while studying something much more interesting). I've dabbled a bit in C++, HTML, CSS and JavaScript (C++ in school and college, the rest when I was attempting to become a web developer), however I'm open to learning something completely new.

So, in which direction I could go? I'm not looking for ideal answers, as I acknowledge that nobody can guarantee me that something in IT won't unpredictably change rapidly in the future. I see, however, that I might avoid unnecessarily running into some doomed technology by asking much more experienced people. I'll be very grateful for any help.
 
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 24517
167
Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Welcome to the Ranch, Wiktor.

I'm afraid that programming is not the field to get into if you want to work with the same stuff day in and day out.

While it's true that ├Žons ago when I first started in the field, there were a few people who had a niche and could keep to it for their entire careers, both technology and job environments have changed too much for then.

In the 1990s, for example, CORBA was the big "must-have" skill. By 2005, you would find it hard to find any IT shop that used CORBA. It's effectively dead these days. Similarly, SOAP isn't nearly as popular as it was in 2005. On a wider scale, Big Data has been a thing, but I think that Artificial Intelligence would probably get more attention at the moment. Things change constantly at both the macro level and at the micro level. When I started, assembly language and COBOL were essentials, now almost nobody uses either one. The current vogue is scripting languages, but the "hot" language will vary for any given week. JavaScript has been a fairly safe bet, but JavaScript doesn't have the strong base functionalities that a language like Java does, so there are quite a few different JavaScript platforms and we probably haven't seen the end of new ones yet.

In the course of a given week, I myself am likely to employ Java, C, Python, Ruby, JavaScript and Perl (among others). Each of which has a complex ecosystem of their own.

Which brings me to the most serious problem of them all.

I like to say that the deadliest words in Information Technology are "All You Have To Do Is..." Because nothing in life is ever as simple as it seems and that's doubly so when you have to make a devil's deal with an idiot machine every time you program. To get professional-grade results, you have to spend a lot of time planning, learn a lot of tools and technologies, and usually are expected to master some business/industry discipline as well. Granted, a depressing amount of "professionally-created" software runs like it was designed and coded by chimpanzees, but that's the difference between settling for hack work that's cheap and quickly done and something that actually has value and quality.

Which means, very simply, that simply dipping into software at leisure doesn't work very well. You have to basically reset your brain to a different mindset, devote a long period of time to getting results, and really can't just "up tools" at an arbitrary time - software development is essentially a puzzle-solving process and solutions come on their own time, not on a clock. When you're in the groove, you don't want to stop. And getting jerked out of the groove by external forces is actually painful to some of us at least.

Remote work can be hard to find. Your best bet is some sort of exchange such as Guru.com, where you bid on projects and can work on them at your own speed (as much as the client will let you). However, you'll be bidding against the entire world, so unless you're used to a lot lower wages than Western Europe/US, that includes people who can eat for a week on what lunch alone costs some places. And these are per-project sites, so it's not like a steady job. You're constantly searching for new projects as the old ones wrap up and projects are usually of very short duration.
 
Wiktor Mroczkiewicz
Greenhorn
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you for your reply.

This vision looks much more grim than I thought then. I understand that in order to become a very good programmer I would have to devote much more time than I'll be able to. But maybe it would be possible to work in the industry at the entry-level jobs at least for the next few years, until I would begin my education as a therapist? For sure I won't get very far, but it still could be the best thing I can do at this moment. I want some kind of a backup plan in case I wouldn't pursue the career in psychotherapy - I don't want to wake up after finishing college realising that I have no work qualifications/experience and I have to learn something from scratch. In such case, if I had few years of experience in programming behind me, I could just continue doing that. The problem is the alternative career choices which I could pursue in my country are pretty bad, as earnings on these positions are about 2 times lower than those of an average junior web developer, and overall barely to live.

So, is there any hope? Or maybe I should abandon this altogether and look for something less demanding? At the moment I'm learning JavaScript with the perspective of landing a front-end developer job.
 
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper
Posts: 24517
167
Android Eclipse IDE Tomcat Server Redhat Java Linux
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I really can't say for certain relative to your location. In the USA, you wouldn't be considered as "entry level" if you'd worked more than 2 years full-time and part-time really isn't an option at that level. And they'd be expecting you to be constantly improving yourself. The idea of a "temporary career" in IT doesn't fly well. I've had people whine at me just for applying for jobs that I was over-qualified for because they didn't want to consider someone who might leave the first time that I got a better option. Ironic considering the lack of loyalty that companies have these days, but that's how it goes.

Traditionally you'd have a better chance part-time as a computer operator. A lot of programmers worked hanging tapes, loading printers and doing other stuff in the data center while putting themselves through school so that they could then become junior programmers. But that's another option mostly destroyed since these days the data center is likely to be an Amazon cloud or something.
 
author & internet detective
Posts: 40795
828
Eclipse IDE VI Editor Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Working for a help desk might be an option. That could easily be done remotely and doesn't change anywhere near as fast as programming. Entry level developers are expected to want to become non-entyr level programmers. You are competing with college students who are eager to learn new things and grow their responsibilities.

I got my masters degree while working. It's non-trivial. But it was in the same field so it wasn't competing for my attention anywhere near as much as your degree.

Can you describe what you like about the idea of working as a programmer for 4-8 years? Maybe that will help suggest another approach.
 
Wiktor Mroczkiewicz
Greenhorn
Posts: 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well, I think that I might be more interested in coding than in IT itself. So I probably wouldn't enjoy working at help desk. I just enjoy writing code, and that was probably the main reason why I wanted to work as programmer.
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 1067
2
IntelliJ IDE Spring Java
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Java
 
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic