Why a Career in Web Development?

A short essay written for the Greater Sum Software Apprenticeship.

Photo by vedanti from Pexels
Photo by vedanti from Pexels

I’ve always been a builder, creator, tinkerer. From legos and computers to companies and software, I’ve just about built and destroyed them all. But in dealing with physical products come limitations which can (and do) hamper the fun, often making our ideas unrealistic to manifest.

Software knows no such bounds, and where they do exist, are an order of magnitude smaller. In a world where processing power is cheaper than clean water, and knowledge is virtually free, the only limits we are truly bound by are our imaginations and Father Time.

This makes for a sandbox unlike any I have encountered, where we can literally build anything. I am basically a 24 year old — 4 year old, and the child in me has never been happier.

The discipline itself is also limitless in regards to the number of languages, frameworks, techniques, deployment vehicles, et al, that exist. It is elusive, ever moving, faster and faster towards a future that no one can predict nor fully prepare for.

Example: Who would’ve guessed that JavaScript would become the Swiss army knife of the modern web, or that Flash would be dead virtually overnight? Because of this, one can never “master” development. The best one can do is stay curious, be malleable, and constantly learn.

Building software is akin to playing a game which can never be won; making it the most intriguing of all to play.

Artwork by RocaN64 from DeviantArt
Artwork by RocaN64 from DeviantArt

A career in software provides an opportunity to continuously learn and build to our heart’s content. We’re encouraged to think big, and can scale with relative ease to accommodate that thinking. A plethora of fields: art, design, science, and technology, all converge to create the perfect storm. Everyone claims that “software is eating the world” — who wouldn’t want a seat at that table?

originally written + published in 2016 via xavierduncan.com (do it yourself!).

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