If you are a well-compensated tech worker, you probably have some measure of control over what you work on, even if that occasionally means voting with your feet. And you are probably able to save enough to leave and arbitrarily pursue your passions at least once a decade, whether that means going back to school, trying to start a business, getting more involved with your family, or just escaping a toxic environment.
It's easy to lose sight of the fact that not everyone has those sorts of choices available to them.
You're reply is basically an example of survivorship bias.
You can take a similar path in retail, manufacturing, construction, or any other number of industries that don't even require degrees.
But you can't just do the minimum and do it poorly and expect to advance. It's not a bad thing that the system works that way. Rewarding hard work, and smart work, is what we want in an economic system.
There's such a thing as affordance.
You're a qsort implementation who wasn't so unlucky as to be spammed with only pathological inputs. There are heapsorts who will fare worse for no other reason than being matched up with workloads that would've choked you, too.
If you have a job, you have something to be grateful for, first if all. Secondly, you always have free agency in a free country. If you don't like it, move on, but don't project your own self loathing or dissatisfaction onto other people. Plenty of people get a lot of satisfaction out of their jobs and provide for their families from 9-5s and don't look at it from this pessimistic angle.
Those patterns of thought are either great if they inspire you to move onto other industries or toxic and bad for you if they cause you to become cynical.
I was actually disagreeing with the idea that 9-5 jobs need to be soul-sucking, and speaking from the perspective of someone who is able to decide what I work on.
But it's important to understand why some people hate their situations and feel unable to escape them. Poverty traps are real, especially in the United States, and we should be doing more as a society to help people escape them.
Also, I disagree that having a job is inherently something to be grateful for. Having a job is something to be paid for.