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Is it worth getting into the tech field at my age?

itouchyou

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It boggles my mind the kinds of compensation these tech people are making. Double digit bonuses, double digit sign on bonuses, RSUs, massive salaries, etc.

I've been in the power engineering field for nearly 12 years now and turning 36 this year, I don't see much more upside. I am currently making $144k base with 6-9% bonus on top of ESPP which puts my total compensation at around $160,000 on the higher end. Adding the profit I make from my HYSA and active investing, I can say I'm pulling in $170k/year. This is for a 100% remote job where most days I'd be lucky to put in a solid 4 hours.

Problem is, the field bores me, and there isn't much upside. Tech seems interesting and I'd be willing to code for 6-12 months and start interview prep if the opportunity is there. Ideally I would like to make $200k total comp.

Right now I live in NYC and my salary isn't adjusted for that cost of living.. which is partly why tech interests me. I see people with less than five years experience making my compensation in non MAANG companies.

Anyone in the field have suggestions or advice?
 

BackInTheGame78

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It boggles my mind the kinds of compensation these tech people are making. Double digit bonuses, double digit sign on bonuses, RSUs, massive salaries, etc.

I've been in the power engineering field for nearly 12 years now and turning 36 this year, I don't see much more upside. I am currently making $144k base with 6-9% bonus on top of ESPP which puts my total compensation at around $160,000 on the higher end. Adding the profit I make from my HYSA and active investing, I can say I'm pulling in $170k/year. This is for a 100% remote job where most days I'd be lucky to put in a solid 4 hours.

Problem is, the field bores me, and there isn't much upside. Tech seems interesting and I'd be willing to code for 6-12 months and start interview prep if the opportunity is there. Ideally I would like to make $200k total comp.

Right now I live in NYC and my salary isn't adjusted for that cost of living.. which is partly why tech interests me. I see people with less than five years experience making my compensation in non MAANG companies.

Anyone in the field have suggestions or advice?
There is near 0 chance you get a job out the gate at 200K. You'd likely need to work for 5+ years to get that type of compensation.

I'd be surprised if you got a job over 100K starting out. Likely would need to have 2+ years in the field first and likely a job switch and promotion from junior to mid level dev.

After 6-12 months you would barely be competent at best professionally as a programmer/software engineer and in most cases not very competent at all. There is a massive difference in skill levels required between doing something as a hobby and doing something professionally. Akin to playing pickup basketball at the local park versus playing in the NBA. Lots of people are very good locally at the park. Not very many of them could go play in the NBA, or even other professional leagues around the world.

Also you would be competing against people who eat this stuff for breakfast, lunch and dinner so if you don't really love it and are passionate about it(as in, you'd do it for free on your own time because you love it so much), you will have a rough time trying to get new jobs/promotions against them.

Not a job you should get into simply for the money. The learning is never ending and you will never be able to know enough with how rapidly it changes and advances.
 
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itouchyou

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There is near 0 chance you get a job out the gate at 200K. You'd likely need to work for 5+ years to get that type of compensation.

I'd be surprised if you got a job over 100K starting out. Likely would need to have 2+ years in the field first and likely a job switch and promotion from junior to mid level dev.
I didn't say I was expecting $200k starting.

That, and in NYC $100k starting is fairly standard. With a few good moves I could be where I am now in 2-3 years.

I enjoy the subject, not doing it purely for money.

Are bootcamps still useful?
 

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BackInTheGame78

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I didn't say I was expecting $200k starting.

That, and in NYC $100k starting is fairly standard. With a few good moves I could be where I am now in 2-3 years.

I enjoy the subject, not doing it purely for money.

Are bootcamps still useful?
IMHO bootcamps are overrated. You could learn more on your own if you were disciplined and it would cost a lot less.

Giving someone that much information all at once leads to them having no idea how to assimilate it all and then causes confusion once you are doing it at a job and not knowing how to apply all the random stuff you'd remember.
 

NoBiscuits

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I can say I'm pulling in $170k/year. This is for a 100% remote job where most days I'd be lucky to put in a solid 4 hours.
Leaving this job for the expired lottery ticket of the tech industry would likely be the worst decision you've ever made in your life.
You're operating on advice that is at least 10-15 years outdated.
 

itouchyou

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Leaving this job for the expired lottery ticket of the tech industry would likely be the worst decision you've ever made in your life.
You're operating on advice that is at least 10-15 years outdated.
Staying in an industry which I have no interest in at all is also a bad decision. I have 20 years left in my career, and I'm simply not the type of person who is happy rotting it away just because I am getting paid well to do very little work. I seek work that is interesting, and my job is not it.

Just imagining myself at 55 years old looking back on the life I had and realizing I wasted my working life on something I hated just because it paid well is pretty terrible.

That, and my compensation right now is a fluke. My real market value is closer to $130k and if I lose this job, I likely won't reach the compensation I have now for a long time.
 

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BackInTheGame78

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Leaving this job for the expired lottery ticket of the tech industry would likely be the worst decision you've ever made in your life.
You're operating on advice that is at least 10-15 years outdated.
The "demise" of the tech industry is vastly overstated and mostly media hype by people who have no idea what they are talking about or how things actually work. The majority of the job losses over the past year were by companies that over hired by a LOT during pandemic times with easy money available to use.

Software engineering jobs are on pace to grow by 22% thru 2029. And no, AI isn't going to "replace" software engineers. They will help us work more efficiently in many tasks but there are a lot of things they aren't very good at that humans need to do still.

It's more realistic to say software engineers who don't use AI will be replaced by those who do.


.
 
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nicksaiz65

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It boggles my mind the kinds of compensation these tech people are making. Double digit bonuses, double digit sign on bonuses, RSUs, massive salaries, etc.

I've been in the power engineering field for nearly 12 years now and turning 36 this year, I don't see much more upside. I am currently making $144k base with 6-9% bonus on top of ESPP which puts my total compensation at around $160,000 on the higher end. Adding the profit I make from my HYSA and active investing, I can say I'm pulling in $170k/year. This is for a 100% remote job where most days I'd be lucky to put in a solid 4 hours.

Problem is, the field bores me, and there isn't much upside. Tech seems interesting and I'd be willing to code for 6-12 months and start interview prep if the opportunity is there. Ideally I would like to make $200k total comp.

Right now I live in NYC and my salary isn't adjusted for that cost of living.. which is partly why tech interests me. I see people with less than five years experience making my compensation in non MAANG companies.

Anyone in the field have suggestions or advice?
Wow, you’re living every tech person’s dream. Fully remote, a $170K total compensation, and a chill job? It sounds like you’ve already made it tbh
 

sangheilios

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Staying in an industry which I have no interest in at all is also a bad decision. I have 20 years left in my career, and I'm simply not the type of person who is happy rotting it away just because I am getting paid well to do very little work. I seek work that is interesting, and my job is not it.

Just imagining myself at 55 years old looking back on the life I had and realizing I wasted my working life on something I hated just because it paid well is pretty terrible.

That, and my compensation right now is a fluke. My real market value is closer to $130k and if I lose this job, I likely won't reach the compensation I have now for a long time.
Bro, why not try getting into some new hobbies or getting into investing or some sort of wealth building? Life isn't about the job you do that no one cares about. If you can do remote work, maybe go move some place totally different and have some new experiences?
 

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BillyPilgrim

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The "demise" of the tech industry is vastly overstated and mostly media hype by people who have no idea what they are talking about or how things actually work. The majority of the job losses over the past year were by companies that over hired by a LOT during pandemic times with easy money available to use.

Software engineering jobs are on pace to grow by 22% thru 2029. And no, AI isn't going to "replace" software engineers. They will help us work more efficiently in many tasks but there are a lot of things they aren't very good at that humans need to do still.

It's more realistic to say software engineers who don't use AI will be replaced by those who do.


.
How much more software does the world need though? Our species wasn't designed to be looking at screens as much as we do. Disco music was everywhere at one time too, and it died suddenly. Why? People's appetites get saturated, and tech is no exception.
 

BackInTheGame78

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How much more software does the world need though? Our species wasn't designed to be looking at screens as much as we do. Disco music was everywhere at one time too, and it died suddenly. Why? People's appetites get saturated, and tech is no exception.
Everything you use and everywhere you go to do anything involves software. So to answer that question, a lot.

Pretty much any new technology that comes out will be using software in some way.

You can't just "quit" technology. C'mon man...use some common sense.

Ever see what happens when electricity goes out in places? They shut down because they can't even use normal cash registers anymore, all of their systems are Point Of Sale systems that involve software.

Everything you do on a phone or computer is software based. So unless you plan on going back to the stone age, then you will have no choice but to consume it in ever increasing amounts as more and more things become "smart"
 

sangheilios

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The "demise" of the tech industry is vastly overstated and mostly media hype by people who have no idea what they are talking about or how things actually work. The majority of the job losses over the past year were by companies that over hired by a LOT during pandemic times with easy money available to use.

Software engineering jobs are on pace to grow by 22% thru 2029. And no, AI isn't going to "replace" software engineers. They will help us work more efficiently in many tasks but there are a lot of things they aren't very good at that humans need to do still.

It's more realistic to say software engineers who don't use AI will be replaced by those who do.


.
If a software engineer is using AI what exactly would that look like? What would he/she be using the technology to help with, etc.?
 

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sangheilios

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Usually with a lot of tedious boilerplate code and unit tests. It's also pretty good at writing SQL code
I was figuring it would be incredibly helpful with very repetitive tasks that require a massive attention to detail.
 

BackInTheGame78

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I was figuring it would be incredibly helpful with very repetitive tasks that require a massive attention to detail.
Repetitive tasks for sure...detail oriented stuff not so great at usually.

I always say it's great at giving you general directions across country from New York to Seattle but terrible at giving you directions once inside the city to get somewhere specific.
 

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JoyDivision1990

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OP, have you considered keeping your current job at only 20 hours per week and $160K-$170K U.S dollars per year and finding something more meaningful and interesting the other 20 hours, or more?

Currently you are in a very fortunate place of working very few hours and raking in significant $$$!

I would not advise giving that up. Keep it and supplement with something that adds value to your life.

That's what I'm doing! Which makes the less meaningful job more tolerable and even enjoyable at times!
 
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BackInTheGame78

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OP, have you considered keeping your current job at only 20 hours per week and $160K-$170K U.S dollars per year and finding something more meaningful and interesting the other 20 hours, or more?

Currently you are in a very fortunate place of working very few hours and raking in significant $$$!

I would not advise giving that up. Keep it and supplement with something that adds value to your life.

That's what I'm doing! Which makes the less meaningful job more tolerable and even enjoyable at times!
I've been thinking about pulling double duty as a remote worker since I can likely whittle my current job down to 25ish hours a week and basically work 2 full time jobs, get paid fully for both but only work like 50 hours total or less between the two.
 

FlirtLife

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I didn't say I was expecting $200k starting.

That, and in NYC $100k starting is fairly standard. With a few good moves I could be where I am now in 2-3 years.

I enjoy the subject, not doing it purely for money.

Are bootcamps still useful?
Software is written in one of various computer languages. What effort have you made at starting to learn a computer language?

My take, as a software engineer, is that you need to figure out how hard that is for you and if you enjoy it. It is promising that you studied engineering in another field.

In India students need to score in the top 2% to study engineering. Some outside that top 2% fly to the United States and obtain a master's degree in computer science, then get a job with that degree. What do you think of getting a master's degree in computer science?
 

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RickTheToad

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It boggles my mind the kinds of compensation these tech people are making. Double digit bonuses, double digit sign on bonuses, RSUs, massive salaries, etc.

I've been in the power engineering field for nearly 12 years now and turning 36 this year, I don't see much more upside. I am currently making $144k base with 6-9% bonus on top of ESPP which puts my total compensation at around $160,000 on the higher end. Adding the profit I make from my HYSA and active investing, I can say I'm pulling in $170k/year. This is for a 100% remote job where most days I'd be lucky to put in a solid 4 hours.

Problem is, the field bores me, and there isn't much upside. Tech seems interesting and I'd be willing to code for 6-12 months and start interview prep if the opportunity is there. Ideally I would like to make $200k total comp.

Right now I live in NYC and my salary isn't adjusted for that cost of living.. which is partly why tech interests me. I see people with less than five years experience making my compensation in non MAANG companies.

Anyone in the field have suggestions or advice?
Prob. not. You will, most likely, receive the notice that you are then, "over qualified" for the post. Usually, because older people cost more in terms of insurance and benefits. They can pay less for someone near half you age and can do more work for less.

Now, if you were a transgendered male who thinks they are multiple people who all identify as female (except on Tuesdays); then you may have a shot.
 

FlirtLife

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How much more software does the world need though? Our species wasn't designed to be looking at screens as much as we do. Disco music was everywhere at one time too, and it died suddenly. Why? People's appetites get saturated, and tech is no exception.
I guess since "our species wasn't designed" to use cars, we should stop that too. Disco lasted a decade... have you been predicting people will get bored of cars for the past 80 years or so? How many large companies ran on Disco in the 1970s, and how many run on software today?
 
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