How would you explain your level in one/two sentences max?
Early 30s, spending days staring at computer screens is a nice way to waste your life, the whole RoR to Node.js to Go and React hype cycle made me realize I'm too old for this shit.
Finding a job where I'm above of all that madness would be great but middle management is even worse and it's not in me. Maybe self-sufficiency farming would be a better route.
Also, when you have a mostly physical demanding job, you can easily socialize with your friends afterwards, with dev work you're brain dead by the end of the day.
Wow, are you me? When people ask me if I feel like programming is what I want to do the rest of my life I often reply with "No, I think one day I'll just drop it all and move on the country side". Nice to know I am not the only one :)
There are billions are people trying to get out of self sufficiency farming because it's suffering.
To make it bearable you need tons capital intensive machinery, and extensive skills. You have to do it on industrial scale.
Farming is not such fun, but rural living is pretty cool.
Keep in mind that companies are happy to pay you more than twice as much to do that than they'd pay somebody to do anything else. Than means you can spend less than half your life staring at that screen each year and still come out ahead compared to the average joe.
Save your money and you can take 6 months vacation each year, or a 2 year sabbatical every 4. Certainly that would improve your quality of life a bit, no?
Compare to "self-sufficiency farming" where instead of a screen, you're staring at potato plants all day every day. Plants, I might add, that don't give you the opportunity to take half the year off each year and the money to travel the world while doing so. To an outsider, it would seem that trading one for the other is kind of a silly idea. At least I'm sure you could find no shortage of farm hands who would happily hold on to your seat in front of that screen if you wanted to switch places.
Don't mean to sound condescending or anything. It's just I know a lot of people that LOVED start ups post-college and are now feeling the exact same way as you, and kind of forget that there's super cushy jobs out there without a lot of the startup stupidity.
That's why they are always hiring and firing :)
This worries me, happens to me lately also. It's probably a pattern that our brain learns from programming, to optimise and simplify everything and actually ignore what does not matter. Probably this translates into our behaviour outside work, where your socialisation skills suffer. What I noticed is that the brain can be resurrected (partially) by exercising. Perhaps we could use the experience of more socialising jobs every once in a while but ... we have our golden-handcuffs.
i think the same!
> Finding a job where I'm above of all that madness would be great [...]
I think the problem is your assuming that programming is limited to cranking
out dynamic websites ("web applications" they call them nowadays) all day.
There are plenty of problems out there -- even internal ones! IT tools that
are missing -- that need solving that don't even come close to have web
interface or where web interface is only a superficial part.
I spend part of my free time learning math, distributed systems, and other subjects in hopes of moving to another area one day.
I was going to reply to the parent, but I couldn't have said it better myself. I am not unhappy, but the constant switch from framework to framework that my coworkers push has jaded me. Maybe I am just getting too old (relative to them)
I too dream of homesteading, but I don't think it is a valid option.
This! I tend to think the same way. I can drain my brain so much that by 5pm I'll be a ghost. I've found helpful to divide my tasks into smaller composable units and if I can't reach that point then I try to think that I'm doing something wrong and I'll poke someone else in the team looking for some help. It's hard when you don't have anyone you can talk to.
My biggest challenge is stop thinking about work. It's not always like that but when it gets rainy and dark and there is something interesting going on at work I can get 100% absorbed. Not healthy at all but it's hard to overcome it. I'll wake up in the middle of the night thinking about something I'm working on. It's kind of scary but I also enjoy it. Do you feel like that at all?
Socializing is also really helpful for me, but it's hard to make quality friends - I am an immigrant which doesn't help at all.
and the follow-up
Tech side: 10. I love programming, I love the language and framework we use, and I love having the ability to make the decisions we need to make without too much interference from above. I'm able to give back to the community in my spare time, which is great.
Product side: 6ish. The problem space isn't particularly fascinating, but some of the issues we run into I can get pretty fired up about. All in all, I'd rather work on my own projects than my company projects, but them's the breaks.
Office: 8. We're a 100% remote company. The flexibility is incredible and all my friends are jealous, but the main downside is that I've learned that I'm a fairly social creature, and I get really, really lonely working from home all the time. I got a new puppy a month ago, which seems to make things better. We'll see how it goes from here on out.
And what's that if you don't mind me asking?
> and I get really, really lonely working from home all the time.
look up co-working spaces in your area! If you find a good one with private booths you might be able to stay productive but also have the benefit of having people to chat with if you want to. (and a good mix of startup people with seniors also does not hurt I guess..)
My current company is good, but I have no idea what I'll do when I realize I can't pretend I like what I do anymore and quit or get fired.
I'm a junior, so my dev work is very mentally draining. However I am well supported and respected by all.
Part of it is golden handcuffs, okay income, okay workload. Everything is fine.
Fine isn't interesting though.
Keeping that aside, I am working with node, React and Redux because my boss loves those new things. It is really annoying to use technologies that don't last a few months and break in every minor update.
Worked at an 8 or 9 a few years ago, architecting large parts of a startup's backend and really enjoyed the creative freedom. Then changed jobs and hopped on the new technology hype train and burned myself out down to probably a 2 or 3. As other people are mentioning, that can be a quick way to kill happiness. I'm all for learning new things, but in balance with productive, creative work, not as my primary job.
Just recently changed jobs and the new company has gone above and beyond to make me feel welcome, which really contributes to job happiness. And it's a better blend of established and newer tech, so less turmoil.
For context, I'm a senior web engineer.
OK company but underpaid, pretty good team, and the technical bits are really interesting.
The project is a 10 year boondoggle (still dogglin' strong), I've been here for four and there's been basically no progress since my first year when the only good manager left and nobody else would sign off on anything big enough to actually make a difference. It's incredibly frustrating to spend so much time and energy to go nowhere.
Also the team is distributed over four locations, we work weird hours because of the nature of the project, and we travel reasonably often but flexible hours or working from home are disallowed "to make management easier".
T minus three weeks till I'm out.
The explanation is that I haven't figured when to use the rounding function.
But seriously, I love what I do. Hope I can keep doing it forever.
I'm in my late 20's, working for the same company for the past 5 years (worked on 3-5 projects in total, though), C, C++, Qt, VTK, ITK... it's very interesting and also my preferred stack to work with, I also learn(ed) a lot here, so no complains. But currently I'm bored and also the financial situation on the company isn't helping. So yeah... 5.
10, starting my own business
After my 9-5 work and at weekends, I work on my own company (mobile security consulting). I'm full steam on this because everything non-technical is new to me, and I'm very excited to see where this is going.
What i'm doing, i enjoy enough, i have somewhat enough freedom but often enough you bump into your cage wall out of glass. Than you realize, that what you are doing is just a job and the only reason you are doing it, is because of the money.
Of course you could have a job in a factory with low wage, standing and working all day long instead of having a high payed job sitting in front of a computer and doing what you enjoy doing somehow.
But after all it is a job. It is a non fulfilling thing. Something to spend your time with, something the society approved of and appreciated it enough thru good money.
But one day you realize that and still go to work because why would you write code all day long for some software which doesn't solve a problem?
And with problem i mean something meaningful. But it doesn't help. Our society could be perfect but it doesn't want to be and you only look at it from a distance while walking home from your job and feeling more or less entertained from what you did 8-10 hours long.
I don't hate my job, its easy enough, enjoyable enough but that is basically it. And that is with all whats happening in a lifetime anyway.
Early 30s. I love deep learning. Every day I'm challenged by my work, and inspired by the papers I read.
I love helping people bring this tech into their business, and making sure real problems get solved
The only thing that would change if I won the lottery would be I would have a larger GPU cluster
I'm the founder of my own startup. I love being able to work on interesting technical challenges while solving tangible problems for companies.
Mid 30s, Senior, Independent consultant, Generalist. Take on projects I find fun. Took 1 point off simply because income isn't steady and predictable.
Working at a ~20 person startup. Paid a little more than my market value, very flexible work-from-home/time off to do errands, unlimited PTO, interesting and intelligent coworkers, very little bureaucratic BS, nice boss that I'm learning a lot from, 15 minute motorcycle ride from home in a city I love (San Francisco), and I'm working on a product I genuinely believe can make a huge impact in our industry. 2 points off because I wish there were more people in the office, it feels lonely at times. And while my boss the CTO is extremely smart and hard working, we're all in somewhat uncharted territory as far as our code base which he inherited from a less skilled CTO, as well as there not being much devops talent on our team.
Full disclosure: I'm only 24 and have been working as an engineer for only a year, so I'm not as jaded as a lot of people here seem.
Senior level, parttime independent. I'd give a 10 because when not working for a couple of weeks I really start to miss programming, but -2 because working with other developers and working with users is not always sunshine&happiness and because I mostly like to do lower level detailed stuff, debugging nasty stuff, ... but I cannot do that all of the time.
Most of what I do is pumping out new features and tracking down and fixing bugs that never should have been there in the first place. As a domain, Web Development just isn't hard enough to challenge me anymore. My focus for the last 5 years has been figuring out ways to increase new feature throughput on whatever the latest framework is. That's largely because that's what my employer has valued.
I had a brief stint (3 years) in video game development as well. I find the problems in game dev to be challenging, but I also like personal time and sleep, so I went back to web dev.
I'm working on a few more ambitious side projects that aren't related to web dev and have me excited, but I don't have enough experience with it to jump fields. Also, it's slow going because I can only sit in a chair for so many hours a day and paid work takes priority.
I work at a mid-sized startup operating in the eCommerce space. We're well funded (Series D, recently acquired another company) and have lots of clients so it's a good place to be at. Honestly, since we got bigger, I miss the joys of being able to code more engg driven features, and actually innovate, as opposed to be driven by what the clients want (which are usually fancier dashboards or more reliability).
But being at a good work place at a stable time means I have time to take it easy at work and actually work on stuff that I'm more passionate about outside of work while not having to worry about financial stability.Currently doing a deep dive on Deep learning/LSTMs etc., reading like crazy, planning travel as well.
I have good work-life balance, and I'm making sure I grow as an individual/developer while also contributing to the company so I'm in a pretty good place! :)
- A high pay
- Working with open source
- Option to work less: either 4 day weeks or <8 hour days
The only downside to always working with my brain is that I get less enjoyment out of puzzle games and critical thinking in my free time. I'd rather have it this way than the other way around, though.
I have coworkers and a boss I like, a (mostly informal) project that I own, and usually get asked rather than told if there's another project someone wants to borrow me for.
OTOH anything relating to HR borders on the kafkaesque, and the processes around any project that's formal enough to be "on the radar" are almost as bad.
office 4 - open office is the worst thing ever invented
people 7 - mostly good people, few bad
general happiness 6 - i need to stop working for others and choose my own path
Employment: 5. I am in consulting...I don't think it is for me. My opinion is often ignored. I don't get to explore what I want, and am often considered "staff aug". I have nearly a decade in start-ups. I miss that.
I think my next gig will be a remote one - start-up or not. I was on a contract where I was able to work remote for a year. It was the best schedule for me. Being able to eat lunch with my family, start/finish early, no traffic. It was great.
Did I mention there was no traffic! :)
Would be a solid 10 as I love the actual work I do but being so busy at the moment means I am basically sat on my ass 12 hours a day - one of the downsides of working at home is not even getting your "Morning stroll to work" - not great for the waistline!
I often do mine on a mountain bike. Fortunately, my home office complex has shower facilities.
This is a picture of my office setup. I did it this way, so I could alternate between sitting and walking. It's the best!
Already working on making an small goat cheese operation. Goats are amazingly cost efficient and reliable.
To all the other jaded developers: I intend to create an small haven of freedom, but need smart people to do it. Something self-organized, self-sustainable and anarchic.
Who is up for it?
I also miss my artistic side (I don't do web design as part of my job) and I would easily switch jobs if I could work for a more art-oriented or creative tech startup. The reason I often doubt whether software development is my true calling is because I don't like concentrating on just one thing in my life. Work-life balance could be better, for that matter :)
3/4points Pay feels fair
1/3points surrounding people are funny, interesting, or mentors
1.5/2points difficulty of work is matched to me
0.5/0.5points purpose of work is meaningful
0/0.5points I exercise creativity
I wish I did more than just sit in my chair all day and look at incorrect printf statements and compiler errors. I want to try fun things that I have to be creative about, like marketing or sales or video editing. I don't want to be a programmer my whole life. But I don't even know where to start. It would be nice to be paid to learn at other places too.
I've been working with the same company for about 11 out of the last 17 years. Obviously there's a long history there and there's been a lot of ups and downs along the way. It is a small company and these days I am the only software developer in the company.
Currently I would say the job is fine. Neither overly exciting nor overly vexing, not quite boring. But at this stage in my life this is perfect for me. I currently am working part-time (three days per week) and entirely remotely from home.
The part-time started about five years ago by mutual agreement (they suggested it, I agreed to it, wife went back to work full-time which she had wanted to do for ages) working one day a week in the office. About a year later it became entirely remote as my daughter had increasing issues with anxiety and being unable to go to school.
So yes, nothing exciting with the job, which has been a godsend given the huge amount of stress there has been at home with a kid who didn't go to school for two years. Who some days couldn't get outside her bedroom. With myriad appointments with medical professionals and with many days where you get up in the morning and walk on eggshells wondering what you're going to face that day.
We've been fortunate that my work situation was flexible enough to allow me to do what needed to be done. But whenever someone asks, "How's work?" I always give a shrug and say, "Work's there, it's ticking along." Which, at this stage, is exactly what I need it to be.
Paradoxically, I love working remotely, but miss working with other developers. We had a contractor in working on a project for us last year and I realised how much I miss the techie discussions. I'm hoping for the next job to be working with a 100% remote company.
But for now, we've got daughter in a much healthier place, and back at school and just starting Year 11 (which has been a rough transition but we're getting there). I'm hoping work will just be there, ticking along for the next few years, as that's what we need right now.
I know I went over the one/two sentences max stipulation, but sometimes you can't measure the happiness level at work in isolation to the rest of your life. Given my life at the moment, I'm very happy with work.
I do a lot of junk outside of actual coding, so coding skills have suffered because I write very little code (I do help desk, server maintenance, troubleshooting software outside of our code bases, project planning, tech. documentation, unnecessary meetings). Uncertainly about the technical direction of projects we may be doing and the company itself, so it's difficult to figure out what new skills would be needed and to invest in or whether I should stick around.
I wish I could just make my own sw and make money that way, but 1) I don't know what my product would be and 2) it's risky with kids and all. It'd be great to pick the technologies and environment and tools that I prefer.
Greenfield project, techs of my choosing(Elm + Elixir), work from home (in different country), lots of say in direction of product, so yeah, pretty darn good.
I'm an Android Developer. 2 years in this job. Absolutely love it as over time I've expanded from just core coding all the way to being the bridge between design teams, business interests and server/backend/api teams.
I think biggest contribution to my happiness of the job are the people i'm working with. They make it a place to go with a smile in the morning.
70% of my time is doing the same data analysis tasks I've already done a dozen time using models that are pretty much 'done', and that stuff is a 5-6.
The other 30% is developing and improving new models and techniques and that 's an 8-10.
I hate bad requirements, trade offs that lead to even more unmaintainable code written by me, outdated... everything and design choice that make me throw up.
Thus I will rate with 6/10 and part of that mediocre score comes from the relatively high income and benefits.
Office 10 - Full-time WFH for over 3 years.
People 8 - Generally a lot of good, smart people.
General Happiness 9 - Good job, well respected, good pay, no crunch time, educational assistance, it's really a great gig.
I work mid-management part time, software part time (lead a team of ~5). The management part is awful, not managing my team but interfacing with other teams is unbearable. The egos of other managers are sickening.
Currently trying to figure out a way to give up the management part without being fired.
Late 20s, working remotely for an american company. work is not that stressful, i earn good money, i have unlimited vacation time (that i 100% use. just spent a week in london with my wife because we found cheap tickets).
all in all, would recommend :)
I get to look for interesting patterns in real estate data. I can do some interesting tech(to me), so I'm pleased with my job.
I was misled to think this was a .net developer role when in fact it is ETL with SSIS. The only reason I have 2 instead of 1 is that the people I work with are friendly
I'm <20, working as a free software developer from home, and contributing to the future of container runtimes. What isn't there to love about that?
10 years experience, freelancing as a front-end dev. Working remote for a start-up, it pays well and I don't have to meet people on a daily basis.
Isn't my dream job, but it pays the bills, has interesting enough work, and I don't feel like shit going in to work each day.
Only because I would like a few more benefits with my job (health insurance, free gym)