Mentor Interview: Computer Programmer and Photographer

Hello, my name is Jacob F.. I am currently enrolled at Palm Beach State tending to my Associate in Arts degree and continuing from here to a university for completing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science with a minor in Photography.

My mentor’s name is Travis and he went to Palm Beach Atlantic College for his Computer Information Systems degree in 1997, and then earned a masters in Computer Systems from the University of Phoenix in 2003. He began his professional career as a Perl programmer and I have since been doing software development as well as fulfilling the role of Production Support Manager for the past fifteen years. I am currently employed by Revelex.

I believe that Travis F. will be a very good source of information for the field of computer programming, as well as the areas surrounding that career choice, and this is why I chose him as my mentor.

What made you realize you wanted to get into this career?

I took a BASIC programming course during my high school education, did extremely well during that course, and then I decided to pursue a degree in the field, and as a professional career.

If you had to do it again, would you enter this field? Why or why not?

Yes, I would continue a very similar course to what I did. The reason why I would is that the software development field is in very high demand, offers many challenges and is to me a very satisfying experience over all.

How do you see this profession changing or developing over time?

The software field is a very diverse career path and it offers many opportunities and challenges in a wide range of fields, from graphical interfaces to web programming and embedded development, and many other career choices.

Each one of these areas is constantly changing and improving on itself. As long as there is a demand for computer / internet applications, there will be a demand for software developers.

How do you stay current in the field and develop yourself professionally?

I stay current by attending PHP conferences, and following well-known developers in the PHP community on both Twitter as well as their personal blogs. I also stay current with the advances in my chosen language on their Wiki and their official websites.

What advice about the benefits or cautions about the difficulties

/ Hazards would you give to someone who is considering entering this field?

Software development is a very broad field and its easy to try to do everything. That is a trap. Find the niche that you like and that you’re good in and pursue it.

Every career has its aggravating moments, what are the main frustrations you encounter, and how do you deal with them?

The main challenge in developing software is working with people. That can range from other developers, project managers, customers and everyone in between. In order to succeed in software development you need to be as skilled in working with others as well as knowing how to program.

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