Perhaps it applies to graduates of all fields, but more so to the more creative fields such as programming, that being the existence of what can often be a serious gulf between expectation and reality in terms of what to expect when you enter the workplace. The romantic idea of assuming more of a creative design role is often met with a different reality for fresh graduates in that they end up finding themselves doing something completely different to what they imagined.
Programmers, software engineers and others who qualified in the broader field of IT with a programming focus were taught to be critical in their thinking during their years spent in college and to apply the set of tools they’re given to specific problems in a creative manner. So you’re taught to design programmes, essentially, but once you land your first job you may never even reach that stage where you’re the one tasked with applying your own creative juices to the overall design of the projects you work on.
It’s more like a series of assignments which need to be submitted within a specific timeframe and at times you aren’t even aware of the details of the bigger project the company you work for is working on.
Let’s say you work for a huge software development firm which you can tell is huge based on the number of employees it has and based on the salary package you’re happy to collect each week or each month. Some of the biggest of these software development firms don’t even have their names featured on the final products and solutions they develop, which of course has its pros and cons. For one, I mean wouldn’t it be nice if even yourself as a mere coder were credited with having contributed to the development of a popular software solution which is used throughout the world?
That’s the reality of it though — the fact that your software development firm could be handed a project to discreetly complete just a comparatively small portion of a much larger software solution, for which the company who paid for it takes all the credit. This does mean your firm gets more money out of such deals however, but does it mean you also get more?
So, what I’m getting at here is if you take the time to check out some online casinos as an example — more here, you get an idea of the more creative side of what it would mean to be a newly graduated programmer in terms of the projects you’d be working on.
It would however take a lot to get to a stage where you can go it alone and develop a live online casino platform as in the example above, but that’s the path you’d have to take if you want to maintain the creative design aspect of the application of your professional programming skills.
It’s a bit of a catch-22 situation nevertheless since you probably have a student loan to pay back or you need to start making money immediately, but that’s the reality.