Money-wise, should you choose programming as a career?

Programmers, even without diplomas, usually earn more than PhD holders in many other fields (yes, even in Cameroon). But they aren’t overpaid. 1 reason is that there’s this unexplainable thing about programmers: they care about programming and nothing else (including food, girls, clubbing, dressing, latest trends, etc), so much that they grow their skills faster than most other people and consequently get paid accordingly.

The argument that programmers get paid highly because they’re scarce makes no sense. First, they’re not scarce. Second, many scarce professions receive laughable wages, including International Relations which my friends graduated with from IRIC.

Why is it always easy to identify a programmer when you see one? Because they carry and do their jobs everywhere they go. You invite one of them to the club, don’t be surprised to see them with their laptops, wondering why some function didn’t throw an exception, instead of holding, I don’t know, three expensive phones and thinking of the best one-liners for chicks. And trust me if they think of a solution to that programming issue on their mind, they’ll rather switch on their laptop in the bar and try that solution than risk ridicule.

Because they spend so much time on one thing, programmers develop their skills faster. Anyone would develop equal superhuman skills if they did the same at their trade. As a matter of fact, things like deciding what to wear kill time for most programmers. Zuckerberg admitted to this.

But would you ever see an accountant or teacher or banker or even GM at a bar with a laptop switched on doing their job?

Anyone passionate about their job to that extent shouldn’t be paid less than people who can afford time with 2 side chicks or know the trendiest songs, looks, and slang.

So next time you criticize your programmer friend’s social skills, don’t forget to criticize your paycheck. And if you’re scared chicks will laugh at your laptop bag, frail look, and sleeping disorders, programming is not for you, at least not “overpaid” programming.

Telecommunications Engineer,Web Developer, Tech Entrepreneur