Is software development the only career in technology?

Technology is gaining many interests from all pillars due to its disruptive and transformative capacities. This also comes with lots of skills set and new career paths that are constantly emerging and evolving.
Technologies like Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Cryptocurrency etc. were obviously missing in the last decade but today they are trending.

Many firms around the globe are investing heavily on some of these emerging technologies. And no matter how sophisticated these innovations seem, they will never create or manage themselves. It is humans with the right set of skills that will do that. If you do not understand them or have must have certain requisite skills you are likely to struggle.

To put it more frontally, technology as a career path is extremely vast and the more you are decisive on a specific path to thread, the better. Even if you decided to delve further in other technology fields, just be choose one and specialize on it. In the next 10-15 years, you will be regarded as an industry expert.

No doubt, the average Nigerian tech-enthusiast sees technology as a goldmine. Certain technology companies never cease to host and sponsor many code hackathons.

Winners of these competitions in many occasions are a usually aided and connected to the industry big players. The likes of Andela, Google, Microsoft, IBM and many others are on the forefront of supporting software developers, you can call them coders you like.

In fact, many Nigerian developers through these companies have left the shores of Nigeria to either compete with others. Others for mentorship programs or conferences. It all varies and depends on the objective.

These are some of the goodies that comes with being a Software Developer which is just is an aspect of technology. The enjoyment galore will continue for at least in the next decade until countries like Nigeria becomes completely matured and ripe for technology.

If you ask me if technology as a career is worth pursuing, my answer will be yes. The critical question that remains unanswered is ”which aspect of technology is that? The answer to that question should be tailored to passion and interest. Financial rewards should never be prioritized over them.
The jerky idea of venturing into Software Development without evaluating and examining personal interest is completely ludicrous. This is a common mistake by many Nigerians who gaze firmly on things that do not matter in making a career decision.

A few times I had receive calls from folks who inquired from me when next would the big technology companies in Lagos host hackathons. And a follow up to that question is usually about my opinion on choosing Software Development as a career. My response is usually simple, “it’s all about interest and passion.” You don’t just wish and like it, you need to be zealous and passionate to succeed in the tech space, either Software Development or another field.

Emphatically, you must sit down and examine if you really want to delve into any aspect of technology. I had took a bold step in’t 2018 to learn the fundamentals of Python. It was still that same “wish and like” mindset that propelled me to register for the six weeks Python class. Here stood the red flag – I never sat down to ask myself critical questions. Do I really need this Python class even though they say no knowledge is a waste? You should be asking yourself that. I never did and prior to the end of the program, I had chickened out. Why did I even start? I liked Artificial Intelligence and Data Science, that wasn’t enough.

Just a reminder, Software Development aka coding isn’t technology no matter how melodic it sounds. That is not to discredit the advantages of becoming a developer. The massive demand for them in the layout market is increasing week in week out. However, you are also employable after learning certain technology skills aside from coding. There are jobs in the technology ecosystem that doesn’t require you to know how to code or develop a software. Such jobs are Design, UX or UI Specialist, Business Analyst, Project and Program Management, System Admin and General IT jobs, Technical Writing, Marketing and Sales, Tech Journalism, Blogging, and Media, Software and Games Testing etc.

Lately, I had a chat with Omowale David-Ashiru, Andela’s Country Director after her brilliant presentation on ”Digital Divide” at the last CodeNaija Hackaton in Lagos. I asked her if she knows how to code, she said no. I wasn’t surprised.

Think about this for a second – Andela is an African company that identifies and develops software developers. This firm is owned by Facebook Founder, Mark Zuckerberg, yet someone with zero coding skills overseas the operation in Nigeria. That should ring a bell.

Stеvе Jobs didn’t ever writе аnу line оf code in hiѕ days in Aррlе. Thе legendary Apple Fоundеr rеliеd оn hiѕ tеаm tо gеt tесhniсаl jobs dоnе. “He wasn’t аn еnginееr аnd he didn’t do аnу оriginаl dеѕign, but hе wаѕ tесhniсаl еnоugh tо аltеr аnd сhаngе and аdd tо оthеr dеѕignѕ,” ассоrding to Aррlе co-founder, Stеvе Wоzniаk.

There are many CEOs of technology companies who can’t write a line of code but they understand technology and how it works. They have many ideas conceptualized and all they need is to higher a developer to write the code. It is as simple as that.

Conclusively, technology is worth considering as a career. Critically and analytically choose a specific field and develop yourself. If you are passionate enough and willing to invest at least 3 hours every day, then, in the next 3 months, you won’t be a novice in the game.

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