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View Full Version : Software Engineering


Foxcow
12-08-2013, 09:16 AM
I went back to school part time at first to study Computer Science and Mathematics. The world runs on software and at the time, I was already pretty savvy.

I landed my first job as a developer before graduating this summer. Once graduating, it was refreshing to have lots of prospects and choose what I wanted. I currently work for a large company as a developer and enjoy it very much so far. Obviously, flying a cube might not be as enjoyable but I can walk around the office, home every night, a reliable lunch time, etc. I will admit that I do miss flying but am fortunate to have been able to fly at the airlines as long as I did.

If anyone is considering this route, I will answer any questions you may have.


CAtoUTJC83
12-08-2013, 04:02 PM
Foxcow,

I have pondered this path multiple times. No upgrade in sight, new rest rules and a growing family make me feel behind the 8 ball.

How long did your transition take and was there employment offers already lined up?

Online schooling?

Foxcow
12-08-2013, 04:24 PM
Foxcow,

I have pondered this path multiple times. No upgrade in sight, new rest rules and a growing family make me feel behind the 8 ball.

How long did your transition take and was there employment offers already lined up?

Online schooling?

If you can go to school full time and you have a previous science-ey degree, you can transition fairly quickly. It took me about 3 years because I wasn't always going full time. I also went to a state school which offered a fantastic education as well as the maximum affordability.

Online classes are great for the general/filler classes that you will need. However, the core classes will need to be in classroom for obvious reasons.

The job market is really good where I live. My last two semesters is when I got serious about job hunting and found that there are a ton of jobs available. Depending on what field you go into with whatever specific skillsets, you can do very well your first year. I get pinged on Monster and LinkedIn all the time with recruiters looking to fill a role that they have for whatever company. There are so many jobs out there all across the country.

I won't lie, the three years that it took me to transition were hard. The school stuff and familiy obligations were hard to juggle as well as the financial aspect but it can be done. Being out only a few months makes me feel that it is worth it. Being home every night, packing a lunch, and knowing rather than praying that your income will increase year after is a very good feeling.

edit:
People don't want to do science/math-ey things because they aren't easy. If you can handle the science and math, you're golden.


UASIT
12-09-2013, 06:29 AM
Federal government is looking for software engineers and everyone with IT experience.

Bottom line: STEM degree, military experience, security clearance - you're golden and feds want to talk to you...

Foxcow
12-09-2013, 05:14 PM
Security clearance is huge. When recruiters contact me, the first or second question asked is if I have a clearence. Its a huge plus from what I've witnessed and other in the industry have told me.

talldorknhansum
11-18-2015, 03:42 PM
Dang Foxcow...
I am nearly in the same position as you were when you posted this except in reverse. I was going to become an airline pilot in 2011 untill I read too many horror stories about the state of the industry. So I went and got my Masters Degree in Information Systems with an emphasis in software development. Currently, I am working for the state of Hawaii as an Applications Developer and I still cannot get flying out of my head. Especially when I can see the planes pass by the window after taking off from HNL.... I know I have kerosine in my veins. This is not a "what should I do?" post. I just want to know what it was about flying that made you go this other route. I am just interested to find out what the life style is like from someone who doesn't sound vitriolic and bitter. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

Foxcow
11-19-2015, 04:30 AM
Dang Foxcow...
I am nearly in the same position as you were when you posted this except in reverse. I was going to become an airline pilot in 2011 untill I read too many horror stories about the state of the industry. So I went and got my Masters Degree in Information Systems with an emphasis in software development. Currently, I am working for the state of Hawaii as an Applications Developer and I still cannot get flying out of my head. Especially when I can see the planes pass by the window after taking off from HNL.... I know I have kerosine in my veins. This is not a "what should I do?" post. I just want to know what it was about flying that made you go this other route. I am just interested to find out what the life style is like from someone who doesn't sound vitriolic and bitter. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks.

talldorknhansum,

Mostly, it was the volatility of the industry and the schedule. I left about a month before I became a father and was not sure how we would have coped with me being gone so much. In 08 things were looking good. I was in the left seat, gaining seniority until the end of the year. I was downgraded and displaced (lived in my initial base) but fortunately not furloughed (~ 150 from the axe). Commuting was not ideal but I was senior in the other domicile. I was able to bid back to my home domicile but I was super junior and was on reserve. I spent my last year and a half on reserve and my schedule was completely unreliable and folks on reserve are abused pretty badly, but I wasn't commuting anymore.

I had enough experience to go elsewhere but not enough left seat time to go where I wanted. I actually interviewed and was hired at another place but it would have been a lateral move at best. The most frustrating thing about the industry is your experience and seniority is tied to one company. As a captain at one airline, if I choose to go to another company, I would start over at the bottom of the seniority list and pay scale. Its another lever that management use against us.

As an engineer, I work 6:30 to 15:00. I'm home every night. I can work from home anytime I wish. I am well payed and experience is company agnostic. Also, my relationship with management is no adversarial which is quite a change and I'm still getting used to it.

That being said, I miss flying terribly but there is a lot of baggage thats tacked onto the job that I'm not willing to put up with for how little we are compensated. There is a reason why the industry is having an increasingly difficult time finding qualified candidates. I think managements are aware of the coming storm but will not start to address the problems until they have to (major impact to schedule).

Thats my .02

Jason5
11-19-2015, 04:34 PM
I'm working on becoming a developer. Wish there were more pilot to programmer stories out there. If anyone reads this, chime in.

talkdork: Are there any part-time/contract Caravan type jobs in Hawaii you could find to satisfy the flying bug? Airline flying is boring and easy. In my opinion, it'd be a lot more fun to do something like that on the side while working a more rewarding professional job.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Perezan
11-22-2015, 11:57 AM
I thought about studying Computer Science and move on but I can't find any college that has a 100% online degree.

Jason5
11-23-2015, 08:16 PM
I thought about studying Computer Science and move on but I can't find any college that has a 100% online degree.


If you already have a degree you can do CS through Oregon State online. Western Governors University has a Software Development degree online, and Arizona State offers a Software Engineering degree. Not CS, but something similar.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Flying Boxes
11-28-2015, 05:32 PM
MS in software engineering while military. 9/11 killed the hiring, so professional aviation was not an option at first. Part time military pilot only for a year and half before getting hired as an SE. Worked 3 years in industry, quite to fly for a living again. I enjoy flying for a living more, and working in software engineering has it's own headaches as well. It paid the bills and provided for my family during some tough times.

I was lucky to not play the RJ game. The Master in SE paid much better and quality of life is better than what I "think" the Regional life is like. (hard to judge what I don't know) I would rather be a SE then an RJ pilot. No offense meant to the Regional Pilots. It is all relative to where you are at. The future hiring at majors may open more doors than in years past. If you can get the SE while working....all the better. Then you have options. It can be VERY tedious work and dealing with costumers is usually frustrating. But, I would most likely get back into SE if I lost my ability to fly for a living.

bradthepilot
01-07-2016, 06:21 PM
I've had a great career in software development and am now thinking about going the other way. Still, it's a great field to be in and one where you can really make a great salary. There's lots of demand - in the MSP area, the unemployment rate for software developers is something like -2.3% for the most recently available numbers (the minus symbol is not a typo).

It's also one where everyone wants in on the lifestyle, so there are lots of folks who are mediocre at best. Be prepared to deal with them. Learn everything you can, and don't play favorites with the technology - instead, become knowledgable about the relative strengths and weaknesses and be able to speak to them with some level of expertise.

It pays well enough that you can still fly if you want to - I earned enough from writing an app on the side (not my day job) for Palm Pilots a while back to buy everything needed to build and fly my RV-6A which I fly about 20 hours a month on X/C trips and aerobatics. You won't need to give up flying to go this route...

Foxcow
01-07-2016, 06:33 PM
It's also one where everyone wants in on the lifestyle, so there are lots of folks who are mediocre at best. Be prepared to deal with them. Learn everything you can, and don't play favorites with the technology - instead, become knowledgable about the relative strengths and weaknesses and be able to speak to them with some level of expertise.



This is excellent advice. I am an almuni tutor for Computer Science students at the university from which I graduated and emphasize this heavily. In the few years I've been in the industry, I have seen a lot of people that are comfortable or too lazy to learn something else and they're essentially trapped.

Flying Boxes
01-08-2016, 03:54 PM
I've had a great career in software development and am now thinking about going the other way. Still, it's a great field to be in and one where you can really make a great salary. There's lots of demand - in the MSP area, the unemployment rate for software developers is something like -2.3% for the most recently available numbers (the minus symbol is not a typo).

It's also one where everyone wants in on the lifestyle, so there are lots of folks who are mediocre at best. Be prepared to deal with them. Learn everything you can, and don't play favorites with the technology - instead, become knowledgable about the relative strengths and weaknesses and be able to speak to them with some level of expertise.

It pays well enough that you can still fly if you want to - I earned enough from writing an app on the side (not my day job) for Palm Pilots a while back to buy everything needed to build and fly my RV-6A which I fly about 20 hours a month on X/C trips and aerobatics. You won't need to give up flying to go this route...

Are you professional pilots? I don't disagree with any of this, and my life was pretty good. And QOL for the kids and wife was great too! But I also enjoy putting my flight bag down and not worrying about deadlines, budgets, emails, phone calls from company, etc., for days (at all really, its all my time) to weeks at a time while making as much or more as a pilot. Just giving some insight into my life working in both industries.

bradthepilot
01-19-2016, 10:05 AM
Are you professional pilots? I don't disagree with any of this, and my life was pretty good. And QOL for the kids and wife was great too! But I also enjoy putting my flight bag down and not worrying about deadlines, budgets, emails, phone calls from company, etc., for days (at all really, its all my time) to weeks at a time while making as much or more as a pilot. Just giving some insight into my life working in both industries.

Nope, not yet anyway. Thinking heavily about it, especially since falling back on software is always an option. For that matter, I think I'd probably pick up some contract app development if I did change tracks and go the pilot route.

Flying Boxes
01-24-2016, 11:06 AM
Nope, not yet anyway. Thinking heavily about it, especially since falling back on software is always an option. For that matter, I think I'd probably pick up some contract app development if I did change tracks and go the pilot route.

I wish you good luck in your pursuit of aviation! Having SE work as a backup/additional income stream will certainly help. It is harder to be a pro pilot and pickup work later as SE without any experience. Going SE to pro pilot will still have challenges though! Again, good luck!!

Nu11us
03-05-2017, 05:29 PM
Bump.

Anyone out there working in avionics, automation, drones, etc.? Maybe for a manufacturer or one of the big contractors, or Amazon?



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