Computer science/software design/programming/systems analyst

Computer programmers typically get requirements from a business unit and figure out how to create a solution to meet those requirements or change the existing software to meet them.

Pros:

  • Good pay.
  • Using technology.
  • Forces you to develop social skills to communicate with many different people.
  • Very small minority of companies will let you work from home.

Cons:

  • Stressful – If things go wrong with something you’re responsible for, it’s on your head. You’ll work around the clock to fix it with people breathing down your back until it’s fixed. This depends upon the type of company and criticality of the process that’s broken.
  • No life – The trade off for being paid well is that you have to work whenever needed, typically providing 24/7 coverage. So you have to be on-call, like a doctor, work some weekends and you frequently feel like you’re giving your life to this corporation, who thinks they own you because they pay you a salary. There is no concept of 9-5 (there is, but it’s not the norm).
  • Doesn’t matter – When you’re not affecting the bottom line of a company, it feels like what you’re doing doesn’t really matter. In fact, even if you do affect the bottom line, you probably grow to feel the company itself doesn’t matter, unless they are saving baby seals or something. But that’s not the majority of the jobs out there. Typically, you’re working for large corporations and financial firms who operate with process and bureaucracy and don’t care about your needs, health, happiness, etc.
  • Being fake – Wearing a button-down shirt every day (feels like a costume), being afraid to say the wrong thing to the wrong person, trying to force yourself to be talkative and authoritative.
  • Not finishing things – Sometimes you get really poor managers who ask you to switch from thing to thing. You, being a people-pleaser say yes to all of these things. The manager then asks you about the first thing he asked you and you have to say “uhhhh, I don’t know, I stopped to do the other 7 things.” This has an effect on your self-esteem. It’s bad news. You must learn to manage your tasks and tell your manager that you’re going to stop one thing for the next thing.
  • Very competitive – You have to sell yourself to get the best jobs. Actually, this is probably a pro, because you SHOULD learn to sell yourself. It’s the only way you can get anywhere in the world outside of your head.

If you have any insight into this profession, please leave a comment below!

4 thoughts on “Computer science/software design/programming/systems analyst”

  1. Hello Mike,

    I’m an INFP that’s considering computer science. I’ve been looking into the career field for a while now, and I get excited at the thought of it. It’s just, I’ve noticed a few things when it comes to INFP’s and computer science. The people I’ve talked to say they just hate it and would like to get out of it. Granted, that’s the first comment on here. I’m curious, why is that? Why do INFP’s …not dislike computer science, but just want to get away? Is computer science really not meant for INFPs?

    Reply
  2. Hi there!

    I’ve found this website while searching for more information on INFPs, and it warmed by heart! While looking over the career list though, I just came across Computer Science. This is what I do. I’m a software engineer. The stress, lack of ’cause’, bureaucracy, impersonality, etc… all of it adds up to my discontentment. I can see how I can use my trade skills in technology in order to further my personal goals, but I really don’t see myself writing meaningless code for the rest of my life. If I were doing it for a good cause, maybe, but the way I find myself right now, I’m contributing to that which I hate most: helping a corporation continue to make money off of modern slavery.

    Please, if you know anyone in the same career, who is also INFP, I need some guidance. I’m dying to quit. Many alternative careers have come to mind, but in the end, I also want to be successful financially (can’t help anyone in a capitalistic world, if you don’t have capital. You also can’t experience the many sides of life in a capitalistic world, without capital). I thought about starting some kind of business, and use my technical background to have an edge, but I don’t feel prepared to leave my job and pursue what I’m describing.

    Sincerely,
    -Ben

    Reply
    • Hey Ben!
      I agree! I’m also a programmer. I’m a database developer to be exact.
      The good side is it teaches you a little more about how the real-world works and gives you an outlet for your dreams.

      The bad side is that you feel like a slave, companies think they own you and can push you to work around the clock, the job becomes mundane unless you’re learning new technologies constantly (which you usually aren’t) and it’s super stressful.

      Oh, and you become addicted to the money 😉 But that’s actually a good thing. It’s good to see what the good side of life is. I think a lot of INFPs try to pretend they don’t care about money. But more than likely they’ve never had it, so they don’t know the good parts of life it can open you up to.

      Maybe start considering doing something on the Internet? Also, most Internet-entrepreneurs don’t just quit their jobs to start a business. They usually start it on the side and try to juggle both until they get a hang of running the business, can see it as a viable way to make money, etc.

      There’s a new world out there and luckily we have the skills and imagination to get there. We just need the balls to seek it out, start something good and weather the ups and downs.

      Reply
    • I’m a software engineer and a text book INFP so I can relate. The number one thing for me to become successful in this job was to find a platform I was passionate about and allowed me to use the creative side of my personality. For me this was SharePoint because I get to design interfaces, make the system do things it typically wouldn’t and I get a lot of respect from my peers. The social skills took a long time but most INFP have some level of a fake persona that they use to hide themselves. For me that’s the talkative jokester I am at work and the pragmatic leader I can be when I need something done.

      The nice thing about many IT shops when it comes to INFP is that it’s not the typical corporate environment. Creative, autonomy, values are all seen a plus. As INFP you have to learn how to deal with people and I realize it’s hard. What I did was use the exploration part of my brain and put myself into other social situations. Go up meet people, learn to dance, learn to sing in a band, join a astronomy club and get into astrophotography. All of these things will help you deal with with social aspect.

      The career is perfect for an INFP though because it lets you work with a lot of freedom of you can get into a good company.

      Reply

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