Is programming the right career?

The dress code for programmers in New York is very liberal. Almost every corporation has the dress code called “business casual “. Because of this, I did not purchase a new suit in about six years. I’ve had some before and did not realy need more. But… I work in Manhattan close to a large deparrtment store Saks Fifth Avenue. That day the weather was good, job market was stable, so I decided to treat myself to a new suit.

When I entered the store, I thought for a moment that I went to Wallmart by mistake – the store was crowded. No, it’s Saks. I went straight to the men’s suits section. There were men trying on suits, which did not surprise me, but then I started to look at the price tags…The prices varied from $1000 to $5000. No, I did not add an extra zero by mistake. And there were people trying them on. They did not look like software engineers. OK, I’m not going to buy these suits. The women’s floor, was croweded and most of them had a couple of pair of shoes in their baskets. I decided to check the prices…From $300 and up.These ladies did not look like software developers either. They did not even look like spouses of software engineers!

This is when I started to think about my career choice. I am a software developer with 25 years of experience in the industry and an impressive resume. My salary is pretty high… by programmers standards, but I can’t purchase a $5000 suit. Well, technically I can, but I won’t sleep well, if I do.

My question is what did I do wrong while selecting a trade? Who are all these people waiting in line to pay $500 for a pair of shoes?

On the other hand, young kids with software-related degrees get $55-$60K annual salary on their first jobs. My son has graduated last month with a degree in traditional animation. For him, $55K a year is an unrealistic dream. He’ll have an interesting job, but unless he gets Oscar, he won’t be able to purchase that suit either…

…stop whining, it’s getting late and it’s time to go to bed. Tomorrow is another day, another dollar…I’ll have time to decide if I should purchase a new car or a couple of suits with matching shoes at Saks.

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