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Programmer Quits Job To Sell Street Food


Few would argue, especially in California or other technology hot beds, that if you want a good career with a high salary, you should go into tech. Whether that be as a system administrator, programmer, or web developer, if you like to create stuff and potentially make a lot of money, then few areas of expertise will compete with these career paths. But these types of jobs are not for everyone. More importantly, not all the gritty little details are explained to students graduating before they go into the industry. Today an article describes the case of one particular programmer who found out that selling food at a street stand turned out to be better for his health and finances.

The story is about a video game programmer who worked on some of the most well known titles in China, creating software that would bring fun to thousands of people. However, one thing he was not prepared for is the toll it would take on his health. As he describes it, being a programmer in the gaming industry involves a lot of overtime. Any time a game is about to launch, there is the crunch time, or a period of a few weeks or even months when everyone working on the project is expected to work many hours, often full evenings and weekends, to ensure the product ships on time and with as few bugs as possible. And because nothing is sold until the game actually hits the market, that means salaries don't go up to meet this higher work expectancy.

In this man's case, his body could not cope and he had to drop out due to health issues. Instead, he looked at something simpler, and found out that a particular type of food called shaobing was becoming very popular in tourist areas. So instead, he decided to start his own street cart selling this type of food in some of the higher end Chinese districts, and to his amazement, made more money selling food on the streets than working with high tech computer systems. Of course, his story doesn't mean all programmers should head out to the food sector, but it's a tale showing that making money through good ideas can be done in any sector. It's not because tech happens to be the hot thing right now that any inventor who wants to make something useful has to go there.

Jul 23, 2013
by Anonymous

A) Would be nice to know his

A) Would be nice to know his take-home, before and after. He is, after all, in China, not California

B) Another downside of these supposedly "promising" career paths is that once you hit 50 years old, normal corporations don't want you (not true of worker coops, tho', or any other business owned by its worker/s). When you're 20, you think you're immortal, and this job path will last forever, and the sky's the limit. When you hit 50, and have a good 15-30 years left in you (depending on your health), but you get the boot anyway, it's not exactly the ideal "career path" anymore.