Job Title: Principal QA Engineer
Type of Company: My company's primary business is designing the software that other companies use to develop their own in-house software. In short, we develop application development tools.
Education: BS, Computer Science
Previous Experience: I worked in IT for 10+ years before going into software development.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is that I do not have to commute. Without traffic, my commute is 50 minutes; with traffic it can easily exceed an hour and a half. That's three hours a day extra spent "working" if I go into the office.
Working from home has its drawbacks, however. I am not physically around my co-workers and interacting on a personal level. I am also "out-of-the-loop" more (not that I am high enough in the chain of command to ever be "in the loop.")
I do like software, but it is very competitive and sitting in front of a computer all day can be a drag. A lot of software is now becoming "open source," which means people download it for free and companies try and make money in support and services.
Job Tips: It is difficult for me to recommend or not recommend the software industry to you. With open source and the state of the economy right now, there aren't a lot of jobs. But longer term, I think many baby boomers will be retiring, which should create openings for software professionals.
Unless you are a superstar, you may have to start off in software support. If you get a job in support you need to make a commitment to do the best job possible. But at the same time you need to go the extra effort not to wind up in support forever, unless you decide that you like it.
I always committed to a job for two years (unless it was unbearable), but after one year, if the opportunity presents itself to get what you consider a better job you should probably go for it.
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