A career dilemma

In a perfect world, software developers would work only on interesting projects. But in a real life, people try to find a balance between interesting and well paid jobs. Often, the best paid jobs are the least interesting.

The job I enjoy the most is teaching software languages. I really like these moments when initially blank eyes of students (say, when I start explaining Java multi-threading) become again shiny and understanding. Students enjoy these moments as much as I do. Unfortunately, instructor-led training is not in favor these days.

During the 25 years of my software developer career, I had a chance to try and learn different things, and I do have something to say on the subject. So, what “s the problem, if you like doing it, and know how to do it, just go ahead and teach! Unfortunately I can “t. You may not like my reason, but it “s a pretty simple one: money. Instructors are not getting paid well. There is a perception that full-time instructors are people who just read slides in the classroom to a group of non-motivated developers whose employer sent them to class. Besides, there “s a catch 22 situation: full time instructors are not solving the real-world problems, while the real-world developers do not know or do not have time to teach. There “s always a compromise when professional developers teach part-time, and this is what I do now.

Being a college professor is also a nice optoin. As per Money Magazine, it’s a second best job in America.
The other interesting career to consider is Software Evangelist. These people believe in a particular software, and are traveling around trying to convince other people that this is THE software. This is a more challenging job that teaching a class with a written courseware and prepared examples. Software evangelists are usually preparing presentations themselves, and they are facing larger crowds of developers, which makes it more “dangerous rdquo; environment to be in, comparing to classrooms. You really need to know what you “re talking about. The audience won “t take any BS from you. This career is something that I “m still considering, but for now, I “ll keep my day job, hoping that the day will come hellip; If you “ve been evangelizing some software, please share you experience: pros and cons.

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