Is it worth to start an IT career in 2021?


We are close to the end of a crazy year, with a pandemy that changed the way we were used to live. I am writing this article on a very serious note, with a different theme than my previous posts. Pandemic crisis has not only made us keep distance from each other and wear masks, but it has also affected a lot of people on their professional plan.

Here are the reasons to check if it's worth to start or not an IT career in 2021:

Pandemic Context

A lot of industries were affected by the current situation and most of them are close to collapse. Restaurants, hotels, car rental companies, airline companies, offline merchandise shops are components of the society that were destroyed by SARS-COV2.

There is no doubt that the tourism industry was the most affected by the lockdowns and pandemic restrictions. You can't really blame anyone for having a bad management that caused this situation, because most of the companies mentioned above didn't have any control over the situation.

Tourists were essential for the businesses to live!

It's a very simple equation: if there are no tourists, there is no income for the company. On the other hand there are situations where the operational part could be migrated to online and adapt to the current state of the society. I am mainly mentioning the restaurants and coffee shops that could very easily switch to a delivery business model.

I totally understand the owners that have chosen to value the experience offered by their location instead of delivering food and keeping their business alive.

Analyze of IT companies

However, not everyone was affected by the pandemic crisis and there is an industry that exploded over this year. Most of the IT companies revenue have skyrocketed when other industries were struggling with a major increase of unemployment rate.

Let's take a closer look at the series of events!

Social distancing has led to a game changing approach considered by most management boards as a bad decision.

Work from home, the new normal!

Work from home became the new normal routine for everyone that could do their job in front of an office. It has been proved that WFH has reduced the costs while increasing the productivity of the employees. It's much easier to work in an environment where you are feeling comfortable and efficient than wasting time in traffic and risk breaking your mind before starting the working hours.

There was a viral picture going on on the social media platforms with the potential earned income if someone would have invested 10.000$ in one of the top tier technology companies or trends. In the mentioned scenario the investor could get back a profit of minimum 500%. The truth is that nobody could have predicted this situation, but the results are true. Stocks prices of the IT companies have grown with a significant percentage.

Misleading Information

I am pretty sure that you are quite familiar with what I'm about to tell you right now, but this happened to me too many times to be just an isolated thing. When I tell people what I do for a living I get replied with the following question:

Ok, you must be very good at math!

This is not true at all! This statement it's not only incorrect but also proves that people have the wrong idea about what a job in IT means.

Working in the IT industry is not limited to software development.

This industry is so diversified that it could fit any personality and any mindset. I'm going to enumerate a list of positions from a team that requires a very different set of skills: support desk, UI/UX designers, system administrators, business analysts, manager, scrum master, sales person, human resources, network administrator, and the list goes on...

The list I have described above proves that if you have a creative personality or a more pragmatic character, an IT job would definitely suit you.

Going back to the first statement where I started this section, I'm going to describe what it takes to be a developer. Being good at math it's a strong point but I would say it's not mandatory.

What does it take to be a developer?

Before getting started I want to mention that just like any other domain it's very important to do what you like and enjoy the moments while working. The purpose of a career is to advance and do the best to become better. If you think that there is no spark of attraction between you and being a developer, then I'd suggest you stop here. That doesn't mean you couldn't be a developer, but I guarantee that you'll reach a point where you'll hate it. If that's the case I strongly recommend to look for another role that suits you from the IT industry.

Ok, so if you haven't stopped reading... Let's get it started!

1. The first step is to set up your algorithmic thinking and ability to solve problems. From my point of view this is the most important asset of a developer. If you manage to solve problems and structure them in a well defined set of steps, you will be able to solve most of your developer tasks.

2. Most of the issues that you will encounter as a developer were already solved by the community in the past.

Google is your friend: You should know what to search!

Understanding your tasks will reduce the solving time by a significant amount of time. Don't hesitate to ask questions, ask your colleagues or friends depending on the situation so you could have a clear view.

3. Choose a programming language that is relevant and fits what you like. You could always check the most used programming language on TIOBE index. Do your research and check which one suits you.

4. Be very careful! The most used programming languages are not necessarily having the greatest number of open positions. There are a lot of companies that are using products with legacy code that it's very expensive to be rewritten in a modern approach. Always check this on recruitment platforms.

5. Never stop learning! Being a developer is a path that never ends. You'll have to keep up with the latest technologies and be very proactive if your goal is to be relevant. I guess this principle applies to any career path.

Pros and Cons

- Pros: attractive salary package, lots of benefits, work from home and remotely, combine vacations with working if your company policy allows that.

- Cons: risk of sedentary lifestyle, stressing (depending on the working environment), a lot of effort for minor changes (there will be cases where you could spend hours just to change a line of code and make things work).

Please note that this was my personal opinion on this topic. You are free to think otherwise.

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