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I feel the same way. Pay is good, work can be interesting, work-life balance and job security are relatively good, but being a developer never gave me any sense of real fulfillment. I'm not making any serious difference in anyone's life, and my six figure salary could be replaced with a team of eastern Europeans who could probably get more done at a fraction of the cost. If I were to die tomorrow, it wouldn't really make any difference aside from friends/family. My company might be inconvenienced for a couple weeks, but would easily find a replacement.

I can put up with unfulfilling work (at least for a little bit). What I can't stand is the Kool-Aid culture surrounding it where you have to put this big smile on your face at all times and pretend like gluing Javascript is your life-calling, mentally stimulates you, and gives you a deep sense of fulfillment. That CNBC article describing Facebook's work culture as "cult-like" is basically every job and job interview I've ever partaken in in the tech industry.


The modern software engineer is a glorified factory worker, except instead of making cars and computer parts we're making apps that help rich people get a little richer or get people to buy sh*t they don't need.

I envy people with actually meaningful jobs - doctors who save lives, journalists exposing the world's atrocities, politicians, anyone working on the cutting edge of anything, etc.

Doctors and journalists use a lot of software. Everyone uses computers all the time. Making software better can be a very high leverage activity. Sometimes fixing one bug can save hours of work for a whole bunch of people. Right? So it basically just depends on what you’re working on. And there are also doctors, journalists, and perhaps especially politicians whose daily work doesn’t contribute very meaningfully to a better world.

Absolutely. But selfishly speaking I hardly ever get to hear about successes of my code.

The thing that amazes me is that so many people feel the same way, yet this "way of life" is still the norm.

That is, why is there no way to innovate a new structure, given the degree of intrinsic support that would seem to exist?

And, software engineers in particular would seem well-suited to this task. If software is eating the world and we write software, then...

It is usually some form of entities with the means are not interested/enjoying the current status quo.

well put. I recently had this thought that dev is no difference from production line worker. There are only small fraction of dev sitting on top of pyramid designing blueprint and managing production line.

Except that once a dev builts a product once, it can be duplicated for free an infinite amount of times.

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