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35 is probably the age where you have accepted the fact that you are just a cog in the machine, and the output will benefit someone other than yourself. For years leading up to it you already know youre just trading your life's precious hours away for money - which seems to have less and less purchasing power by the year. Once you realize the job is just a means of keeping yourself going, the perpetual cycle dawns on you as a sea of misery and despair. Friends fall by the sidelines, opinions shaped into concrete paths, the 35 year old you finds it difficult to see meaning in the never-ending cycle of slavery that we call work.

We as software engineers make a damn good amount of money for literally sitting down all day and basically bossing computers around. It is not slavery.

I enjoy what I do and am making decent money doing it. If I won the lottery with FU money, yeah, I'd be done working for others.

I think around 35 is when you may see through any illusions employers have with buying into their grand mission statements or whatever to get you to work more for them with no more reward. You realize working for someone else is what the gig is and accept that.

When I get home from work sometimes I want to continue on the problem I was working on all day. Most of the time I stop myself and do other things I enjoy - relaxing things, hobbies, etc. Sometimes I will work on work stuff but that is up to me (unless it is some outage or emergency type thing).

Software engineers / developers live in their own bubbles. It takes a certain amount of willfulness to want to get into that type of work, so it is no wonder a handful (or more than a handful) of well paid engineers actually enjoy their work. Of course that goes for other professions but I imagine the majority of the population does not live in your reality.

Is the hate of the job just general hate for any job? If that is the case, it won't matter what profession you choose if someone doesn't like the way humans have structured society.

One option is to go work a different job for a day like volunteering for Habitat for Humanity building houses. It puts things into perspective about how physically easy working with software is when compared.

Assumption: everyone here is a software engineer

So just anecdotal but I've definitely realized the cog in the machine bit since like age 24, and honestly I still think life is pretty great, definitely not a sea of misery and despair.

I can enjoy the lifestyle my work provides even if I see the work as 'meaningless' ( I don't, or only insofar as everything is meaningless ).

I’ve hit this realization at 30. But exactly this.

Sounds like you have never had a job outside the office. Go dig ditches for a construction company for six months and you'll run back to your 9-5 "slavery".

A part of me misses blue collar work. I'm a software engineer now and love my job but I'm often mentally exhausted, have less time to think, and find it much harder to stay in good physical condition. Besides, in a lot of meaningful ways, it isn't so different. I work for a great company but that doesn't change the fact that I'm giving up a certain amount of practical free will and allowing others to profit off of my work. It's not slavery but it doesn't always feel so great. I've never understood the mentality you're exhibiting. Someone else has it worse so nobody should complain? That's nonsense. Everyone should strive for better. Whether they're at the bottom or the top. That has always been the way of humanity.

There is no mention of 9-5 in the parent comment. What made you get so aggressive at the statement above?

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