By October 17, 2019

You DON’T Want To Become A SOFTWARE ENGINEER – Here’s Why

When I was a kid there was nothing more exciting to me than playing around with the old broken computers and dreaming about building my own computer game.

However, things have changed and I quit programming.

One of the reasons why I decided to quit programming is the reason why I'll tell you in this video.

Software development is definitely a LUCRATIVE field. A lot. And it can really make you lazy and lose ambition in life.

There is nothing wrong with taking this path in life, but it's like not waking up from The Matrix.

In today's video, I'm going to share why you SHOULDN'T become a software engineer.

Transcript Of The Video:

John Sonmez: In this video, I am going to tell you why you shouldn't become a software engineer. Why would you even say that? I'm not a software engineer anymore. I'm not a software developer anymore. I used to be, but I'm going to tell you why you might not want to go down this path, that you might want to stop it before you get in too deep.

I'm John from Simple On this channel, we teach you how to develop soft skills, how to advance your career, how to negotiate your salary, get a raise, deal with your coworkers, all that kind of stuff that no one else talks about. You want some cool, interesting content, not just some boring tutorials and shit like that.

I like software development. I love programming, okay? It's fun. It's extremely enjoyable. One of the best things that I did in my life. It's pretty … playing World of Warcraft and writing some damn good code, those are pretty on par there. It's pretty damn close.

I haven't done either of those in a long time and I'll tell you why. The biggest negative I can say about becoming a software engineer is that it's lucrative.

The Joker:
Why so serious?

Here's the problem, because I coach a lot of guys… I coach a lot of people on their careers and on becoming entrepreneurs and things like that, and one of the hardest people to coach is someone who is a software engineer who has a really good job. When I try to help them to start a business, a business that could make a lot more than $200,000 a year, that could make $500,000, $1 million a year. With all my business stuff, I make around $1 million a year from business-related activity.

But the problem is, it's called the golden handcuffs. When you get a good job, when you're a software engineer especially, you tend to not want to do something else and it doesn't seem quite that lucrative. If you're a software engineer and you're making really good money, and now we start a side business, and you start making a couple thousand dollars a month, until you get that side of business up to $15,000, $20,000 a month, you're not even going to consider quitting your job. Then, a lot of times, even some of my coaching clients that I've helped that have gotten to that point, they still don't want to quit their job because they're like, “Well, I can make $200,000 a year from the side business and $200,000 from my career as a software engineer,” and that might seem like a good choice. It's actually a bad choice because if you quit the job and devote all the time to the side business, you can grow that sucker even further and faster.

It is totally fine if you just want to live a normal mediocre life, and I'm not insulting you. If you want to live that kind of life, that's fine. You can have a nice life. You can get married, have some kids, have a nice car, have a nice house, but you're not going to retire, you're not going to retire young. You're going to go till you're 65 or 67 or whatever it is. Then you're going to retire, and you'll have some fun on the weekends, maybe play a little World of Warcraft, have a couple of beers, watch some Netflix, whatever-

Alexa stop. Seriously? That stupid thing, spying on me.

But if you want to retire young, I retired at 33. If you want to retire young, if you want to build your own business, if you want to travel the world, if you want to be able to take off and have a couple of months where you just travel Europe like I do pretty much every year for three months. If you want to be able to do amazing things and buy whatever you want and not care and all… And again, I'm not very materialistic, but to have your time back, like to be able to really do some amazing shit in the world, then you're going to have to make a lot more money than $200,000 a year.

But if you go down this path, just realize that one of the biggest dangers is because it's such a lucrative… You'll be complacently happy. It's like being in the Matrix. That's the best way I can describe it. It's great. It's awesome. You have a great life in the Matrix. Why would you want to leave the Matrix if you have a great life in the Matrix?

A lot of times the people who really fucking make it in business who really become wealthy, financially independent, are people who have a shitty life in the Matrix. They unplug because they have a shitty life, right? Just like the movie. Part of the reason why I'm saying this is not to discourage you from becoming a software engineer, but to encourage you that if you become a software engineer, maybe consider becoming one as an entrepreneur and building your own product from the very beginning, like as a SAS product or a software product.

Or maybe consider becoming a software engineer, getting a job, making a lot of money initially, taking that money, investing that money. Investing that money in real estate, investing that money into building a business that you'll eventually quit your job and run, investing that money in some other way besides the traditional 401k crap. That's not going to get you rich, not going to make you… You can run the compound interest calculator and you can see this for yourself. You can see how much you can, you'd have to invest to make millions of dollars. It's just not going to happen. I've run the numbers many, many times.

That's the biggest thing. That's the biggest thing. That's why you might not want to be a software engineer is because the golden handcuffs. Whereas other professions, other jobs, you know, especially a lot of times you can get lulled into the software engineering job because once you're good at it, it's fun. It doesn't even feel like work and you can get into a cush position where you don't even have to work much. You just working like 20 hours a week, you're making like 150 grand a year and you're like, “Ah.” And you lose motivation. You lose ambition in life.

Check out Simple If you're not making six figures already, you need to buy How to Market Yourself as a Software Developer. If you're going to go down this path, you need to be making some serious money as a software developer otherwise it doesn't make any sense at all. Talk to you next time, take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."