Why I love working in tech
The internet is littered with posts describing the unique and awesome corporate culture of the tech industry: the incredible office spaces, the massive and constantly increasing demand for IT professionals and, of course, the good salaries. Then there's the added bonus of being able to work (and play) with some really cool toys and gadgets; all while creating things that help people.
These perks definitely kept me motivated through all-nighters and difficult lab sessions during my four years at university. I studied computer science and have been working as a software developer at Bloomberg L.P. for just under three years now. That short time has taught me a lot and while not all the internet stereotypes ring true (it's not all ping pong and pizza - though admittedly there is a lot of pizza), I've discovered even more reasons to love working in tech. Here are just three of them:
1. I learn something new every day
What do Twitter, YouTube and the first generation iPhone have in common? All are used by millions each day and all were developed within the last decade. Technology is a remarkably dynamic industry. New languages, tools and paradigms are being introduced every day and old technologies are constantly evolving and finding new applications. Yes, it can be intimidating trying to keep up with the next big thing, but it's also what makes the job endlessly interesting. No matter how long you've been in the industry, you can't run out of things to explore.
2. It's flexible
These days, technology is a core part of almost every industry. As clichéd as it sounds, the career opportunities are endless. I have great examples of very successful women around me, all using their skills as technologists in different ways. Some are great, innovative developers, some are designers and some have moved on to different things, like project management or being incredible leaders. As a relative newbie in the industry, this sense of opportunity is really important to me. I know I'm not tied to a single path.
This holds true of work style as well. The role of a developer allows me to be able to work remotely and to work flexible hours if I wish. I have seen equally successful contractors, freelancers, consultants, full time employees, and so on. As long as I get the job done, it's all good.
As a recent graduate, I also appreciate how easy it is in the industry to move horizontally. I can change my specialisation without having to do another university degree. I can teach myself and work on projects in my spare time. In fact, a recent survey of developers on stack overflow showed the biggest majority (41%) were self-taught. Experience is valued over certifications and knowledge is usually free and open. There are also a host of experienced and clever people waiting to help you out!
3. I'm part of an awesome, open community
What I love most about being a programmer is I get to be a part of an incredible community. I am spoilt by a very open work environment where I can just walk up to very smart people and ask questions.
The same rule applies outside the office as well. Whenever a new bit of tech comes out, a meet up group will pop up to discuss it (living in London helps). People will organise hackathons to come up with unique ways of using it. There will be forums discussing it at length. Everybody has opinions and people love to express them. It's a slightly bizarre but beautiful community; one that I don't think can be replicated in any other sector.
I have really enjoyed my first few years of stepping into the world of software development. I'm looking forward to a long, happy career in the industry, and hope a lot more people (especially women) will join me.
Vedika Dalmia is a Software Developer at Bloomberg LP. She graduated from University of Surrey in 2012, completing a BSc. with honours in Computer Science. Since starting at Bloomberg she has contributed to their Fixed Income Trading and News platforms. Vedika is very passionate about encouraging more women to join STEM careers. She is currently a member on the WISE Young Women's Board and the co-organiser for Ladies Who Code London.