I got a Commadore Vic 20 many, many years ago. 3.5k of RAM, and for the first 6 months I didnt have a tape drive, so I could spend hours programming, and then when I had to turn the thing off I lost everything! From there it was a series of computers but little
programming until I got to the age of about 18, doing computational physics, i found I was much better at the computational than the physics
2. What requirements do you need to have a position in this field?
Willingness to keep learning, for ever. The day you stop learning you start sinking in this industry. Personally I see that as a positive part of the job though!
3. What software programs do you need to know in this field?
Nothing specific. You need to be able to pick somthing up and find your way around it - thats a key skill!
4. Do you belong to any professional organizations?
No. Experience is the most important thing in this industry. If you intend to be doing microcontrollers or somthing then sure consider joining the IEEE but other wise I dont thing it matters.
5. What duties do you have during a typical day?
Typical is difficult. it can vary between 0% coding for days at a time to 100% coding for weeks! Maintenance of older systems is alwlays there on the back boiler even when working on new stuff, though...
6. What do you like the most about your job?
The fact that it makes you think. I have done brainless jobs (data entry) and that is the worst thing kind of work in the world.
7. What do you like the least about your job?
Repetitiveness - tometimes you need to do 100 things pretty much the same. Of course that starts you thinking about ways of not having to do that
8. What advice would you give to a student entering this field?
learning x or y programming language is not the key - learning to think in the right way is. If you can think logically you will do well.
9. Are there any perks with the job you have?
Not having a job I hate is quite a good perk! Oh I get free contact lenses but thats just because of the comapny I work for
10. How many hours per week do you work?
In theory 37.5. In practice usualy more like 40. On some occasions it has been 100 - but thats rare!
11. Do you get paid hourly, salary, or by project?
12. Any additional comments
Never assume that you know everything - there is allways someone who knows more - keep your ears open and learn!