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Little Upside to Career in Software Today

August 08, 2004

I was a programmer for nearly 20 years, during the 1980s and '90s ("Tech Bust Zaps Interest in Computer Careers," July 20).

Virtually no one I know from that era is still working as a software developer. They've either been driven out by the ever- increasing intensity of the work, by foreign outsourcing or by age discrimination.

Knowing what I know now, I can't imagine recommending software development as a career.

The work is mind-numbingly intense, the salaries peak fairly quickly, and you're essentially washed up by your mid-40s.

Few other professional career paths offer such significant negatives.

Steven Meloan

Sonoma, Calif.

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