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Just this month, I completed two years in the industry. Two years that have given me a mixed bag of experiences. It’s been good fun.

Having come this way, my juniors from college do ask me advice from time to time about which domain to choose. They find it a bit daunting to specialize and restrict oneself (so to say) to one particular field. And inevitably the aspect that clinches the field they want to enter, is the money + job opportunities aspect. The frequent questions to me start like “does telecom software have enough job opportunities?” or “do Java programmers get more salary than C programmers?”. Sometimes, the field quality aspect also bounces in – “Is GUI work better than backend systems work?”

I try to be honest in such scenarios. I try to give them my opinion on things, coz lets face it, two years is hardly enough experience advantage to start giving advice to people. Rather, I need frequent advice myself from my senior colleagues. But quite frankly, these questions are illogical to me. My only answer to such questions is a question to them – “What would you love to do?” And the answer invariably is a blank face.

Funny how most of my juniors never seem to put their liking above matters like money. I started my career at the age of 22 and would be working atleast till I am 60 years old. Thats almost 40 years of my life! Shouldn’t I be doing what I like, no, what I love, for these 40 years? Most would be engineers seem to miss this simple equation.

When you do something you love, you don’t need an external force to drive you. You never get tired of it. You just enjoy every moment of it. And naturally, you tend to be the best at something you like, no doubt about it. And if you are the best in something, money will surely follow. In any case, money is just a small part of the whole game. It’s all about creative satisfaction in the end.

Everybody has different likes and tastes. Some people like to be involved in operating systems level programming. Some people get kicks out of writing device drivers. Some people enjoy grid computing, and some enjoy GUI programming. Being a developer is not in anyway better than being a tester. Doing development from scratch is just as good as doing maintenance. One has to identify what he/she likes the most.

Ultimately, you have just one thing to go by – in whatever you do, take care that you satisfy the only part of your body that will remain young all along – your mind!

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