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How did you determine which career path to choose in software engineering?

Hi, I recently joined the community and I would like to ask for your thoughts on this question. I would like to introduce my background a little bit more to help you understand the question better. I graduated in 2016 and I decided to explore different software engineering path in 3-4 years, I started as DevOps engineer where I did CI/CD, containerization and automation, then after 1 year and 4 months I did Data Engineering where I developed ETL pipeline with Hadoop, Yarn, Spark, Scala and Oozie. After 6 month, I quit the company for some reason and joined a medium startup consultancy where I am doing full-stack development. Now I feel very confused on which career path I really want to go since I enjoyed DevOps, I enjoyed Data Engineering and I am enjoying full-stack development as well since all of them are creating huge values introduce challenges in different ways.

I heard a lot of words saying that you should not be a generalist, you should be specializing generalist or generalizing specialist in order to get competitive enough to get you a better job and more promising future. So I have been thinking about which career path I really want to go, but how could I approach this decision? Is my decision of exploring different path after graduation correct or wrong? What kind of company I truly fit in?

In my heart, I want to do data engineering since I feel the role is much more challenging and complicated because it is challenging to deal with large volume of collecting, storing, transforming and analyzing data, thus I feel more thrilled about it. But is it the right voice in my heart, what piece is missing?

I would like to hear answers from you who struggled with it before and who have determined on which path you want to go.

Any answers or feedbacks will be greatly appreciated :)

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13 answers

the more and more brands are available to the home depot survey customers, which makes the potential customer focus a little more on the service than the real product.

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Which path in Software engineering - I shall explain, but let me tell you one small incident. My father wanted me to join engineering, and joining Information Technology is decided by one of my cousin brother who is Mechanical Engineer. When i asked why not ME why IT he told me that you will get more opportunity in IT. No further question ! And i ended up joining IT. After completing my 4 years of engineering degree my family came-up with different set of requirement, that was so called "Government Job". And i was thinking, then why they asked me to join engineering is this just to have a tag, Bullshit.

Zhongshi Xi : As you are changing your domain so frequently you are getting different taste which is nice to have but in long run its your call. I can add only one point here,

If you really like experimenting too much you should stick with DevOps.

You can evaluate the current demand as well.

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I chose a path that is ripe with opportunity. More specifically, I chose a path wherein there is tons of room for improvement and innovation.

Cutting Edge: I really enjoy being on the cutting edge of technology, so I gravitated to Blockchain tech. Primarily being a Javascript developer, one of the things I noticed immediately after I started working in this field, is that the javascript libraries in this field is rather messy. I think this is because Blockchain related libraries are relatively new and haven't had the opportunity to be refined by programmers that have a high expectation for quality code that conforms to a recognized style.

Job Demand: I chose a path that has a high job demand. Blockchain related programming jobs are plentiful in todays job ecosystem. I see Blockchain as a blooming industry, meaning its in its beginning stages, and will be around for years to come. I see this as an excellent opportunity to start my career and even make a name for myself.

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The thing about this for me was that I didn't choose it - it chose me.

I chose to get into programming, the rest was history and experience and trial/error. Basically, I naturally found that I gravitated towards security-related programming and code analysis. This drew me to go to security-related events, conferences, meetings, and also apply for security-related coding jobs.

I never really struggled with what I wanted to do in computer science. I love it all but my "why" is helping to keep other people and their data safe.

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The first time I went online in an internet cafe, I was fascinated by it. I wanted to know how it worked. When I learned HTML in high school, I didn't know I would end up being a Full Stack Developer. But the thrill of finding out was there. It was still there when I wanted to switch fields when I didn't think I had enough motivation to pursue a career in Electronics Engineering after about a year of working in the field (studied Electronics and Communication in college).

So I turned to what interested me and it was the web. So I started refreshing my knowledge. Years later, the internet still fascinates me. I find the web intriguing. The same way that I found data science intriguing recently. Web and data science, both capture my attention and I love working in both fields. Granted that I'm still a beginner in data science and I've a lot to explore. I'm also planning to switch fields to a job in data science. That's because I want industry experience. Tutorials and courses can only take you so far.

This doesn't mean that my love for the web will go away. Moreover, I have a goal I'm working towards. My goals need me to be an expert in the web and data science.

Conventional wisdom says a lot of things. Things that were relevant 2 decades ago are no longer relevant. The notion that you should "find your passion" is bullshit. How will you find it if you don't build up enough experience in it? Reading about a field you're interested in is not enough. What if you found out later that what seemed interesting on the surface is not what you want to continue with.

If you feel that you want to work in data engineering, then do that. It seems like you like a good challenge. This is the era of data and there's still so much that's yet to come. But IF you don't feel like continuing in the field after a few years, you have skills in full stack and devops to fall back on, if that's your cup of tea. If not find something else. Don't let anyone tell you different.

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