Role Models




Contract Programmer/Software Consultant


Ever since I was a senior in high school, I knew I wanted to be a computer programmer. When I first graduated from college, I wanted to work for a software company so I was able to get my foot in the door applying for an entry level position as a software support representative. I was able to learn the software fairly quickly and the company knew that my real interest was in computer programming, they gave me a chance when a position opened up. After working in the programming department for over a year, I was given a chance to become Project Manager for the programming department, where I was in charge of all releases of new software versions and coordinated all programming work to be done by the one full time programmer and 4 contract programmers. After becoming proficient in the computer language I write in, I decided to try it on my own. At 10 years from graduation, I left my company and decided to be self-employed and do contract programming for other companys. My former employer liked my work enough, that I am one of their main contract programmers they hire to work on their software products. It is too early to tell if I will be able to make a go of it on my own, but so far so good!


I recommend taking a few different computer programming courses, to take advantage of any mentor programs you find available, and to attend user group meetings for the industry you are interested in if possible. My city has user group meetings that don't cost anything for all types of programming languages and give you the ability to talk to people that are already doing the types of jobs you are interested in. There are also job shadowing programs offered by many schools in my area, and your school counselor may know of any available to you in your area.
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