I am 16 and whenever at school i get asked what i want to be i say computer programmer! However looking at the median pay for a programmer is 90,000....which in the small town i live in that is a fair amount of cash BUT these jobs are in big cities(real estate is very high) I want to be a programmer but also don't want to work for peanuts. Advice from people already in the feild would be great. Is there companies that pay better? are they the same? too much unknown for me
that depends where you live and what kind of programming you do for what type of software industry. And it also depends if your a sucker and take anything just to be in that industry, or if you have some self-respect and wait until good opportunity comes.
Here, where I live, there are some small independent game companies that pay only 40k a year, EA games had a dozen job posting last month all around 95k a year and when it comes to business software companies, I've seen anything from 50k to 90k.
You'll probrably get paid crap 40k or so like what Oria said if you are a tools programmer, gui programmer, or scripter. If you can code physics, ai, graphics and so on then you might make a decent salary because those skills are deemed more valuable in the market since there are less technical professionals. Game programming for a big corporation like EA is probrably shit because you are a small fish in a big pond, which is why I think making your own game studio or working for someone like id tech, valve, bethesda or maybe rockstar would be better since they probrably care more about their talent.
And of course if you ARE a sucker and willing to work for nothing just to get into the game industry, then it would be your own fault. Most don't pay over time since they'll assume you enjoy what you do. You are only as valuable as the sum of your knowledge and if there are hundreds of people who apply every year with your skill set then you will get the average rate of pay.
Thats why I'm going through college normally and coding my own software (gaming enabled) library. Basically coding my own small version of the stl, from the bottom up. If I don't spawn my own company then I'll be at least a bit more distinguished then someone without experience and even someone who makes games since I make my own library and tools.
Google, "The law of demand". When there is a large supply of programmers who want to work in the game industry, for example, then the demand is high but the pay is low because they are less valuable because there are so many of them. In other words, programming really IS easy, because there are so many programmers. However designing and developing good software libraries and having a deep technical expertise is NOT. There less people with a deep understanding in a specialized area and those people get higher pay because they are rarer, harder to find, and thus more valuable. There are programmers and then there are developers. developers know how to program AND design.
Are you in the industry? If so can you tell me how you got started to now? I have no clue what to do or how.
No I'm not. I just started studying programming on my own nearly 2.5 years ago. But I make more yearly then some friends of mine that do work as developers, so I am in no hurry to do so . To my understanding though, they all got into their jobs from providing good references and having a good portfolio.
I'm not sure where you are getting this information DeXecipher...
I read that information on a game developers blog one time so it stuck with me. And I did get Demand backwards for that example. I was thinking in terms of a good. Demand can be higher for a higher supply in certain situations.
I just noticed how this went from general programming to game programming. But it does depend upon what you want to do. I want to do software developing, but am I a developer, maybe. Only a developer? Not so.
Also if you think 40k is crap pay you guys need to live in the real world ;p
I do live in the real world and this really depends where you live. At that wage I would probably have to move to a cheaper apartment or probably a basement suite. Neither me or my wife would want to do so.
I hate doing sales/marketing/distribution, which is what I'm doing now. But I need to also live comfortably and I think everyone should get to do so as well. A 40k programming job is just not worth it IMO.
It's the company that is making you do late hours isn't it?
Companies choose to make you work late hours or not, based on their needs. however in some cities or region, people oppose this more then other locations. In Canada; Toronto is big on overtime and long stressful hours, while in Vancouver we just don't do it.