caejones (caejones) wrote,

Why I don't expect to get a programming job

(I typed this up, then left without posting it, and now LJ and NVDA are having issues and I decided to just post the bloody thing.)

The one skill I've sorta-kinda marketed is my modest programming ability.
I say modest. I've made a few games.
This is nowhere near skill enough to make money on (Ok, so I've made about $300 on it in the past approximately 1.5 years...).
No, seriously. Have you looked at job listings for programmers lately? 5 years of C++? Networking? Databases? Whatever the successor to mySQL is? VB.Net201x? Server management?

I can make invisible samurai do battle, and can reverse-engineer a relatively simple map format well enough to make an editor, and I can stack enough features until I have a noisy mud that people will actually pay for, and I can get java to do graphics tricks (though I usually don't, because I can't tell if they work in realtime).
I can't do Linux, or C++, or *shudder* objective C, I don't have my own servers, cannot stay awake long enough to make changes to the Windows Registry, and when I tried doing cross platform in Java, a good third of my entirely windows user base could not get it to launch and 2.5 years later no one has any idea why, including me.

I don't like the idea of sitting at a computer for 8 hours a day, working on something I don't care about--which is what professional programming would be. Which is what learning all of that advanced stuff would be training for--I can already do what I set out to do, so why bother learning something that would only marginally help?
And what in the world sort of tasks would someone pay me $30k or more a year to do any coding for that I'd actually care about? Oh, I'm sur there are such projects out there: they're almost definitely highly competitive and I'd not have anywhere near the qualifications that half the applicants would have, and honestly, my vision is always going to cost me lots of points when it comes to people's evaluation of my competence, ADA be damned. Oh, and I suck at getting things done when I do care about them.

So no, I don't think the fact that I can solve Fizzbuzz in a minute or so implies I should send an application to Google/Facebook/Twitter/Amazon any time soon. And honestly, Google seems like the only company that takes lots of programmers that would be any fun. The hell would I do at Amazon? "Here's one side class on our new mobile app for sorting user preferences that someone else wrote, but it has bugs. Fix them?" "Secure our network against attacks from Anonymous?" (I'd probably just walk out laughing at that one.)

I could try to learn more server-side type stuff, Ruby/Pearl/whatever this newfangled stuff does, if it was actually to my benefit--i.e, I'm setting up a website for my own business or something similar--but it'd probably get stuck in limbo if I tried that instead of desperately flailing around for money to hire someone who specialized in such stuff to do it instead. I do oldschool HTML/javascript. But both have evolved into monsters that eat the terrible CGI/PHP for breakfast, and I hardly ever met web standards anyway.
Also, I'm not doing CSS. It looks like describing fonts for every tag you'll ever use... which turns out to be largely redundant. No, pointless and boring, you do it.
Tags: career, life, programming, work
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