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If your job is very 'real world engineering'y, work on projects that tickle theoretical itch. Try to implement a y combinator in a language you like without looking it up. Or learn physics and do simulations to help you.

The real question is why should you keep your programming motivation up if its not something you're enjoying? Find something you enjoy and do that! Programming is a means to an end. If you want to enjoy the means more, find a more inspiring end!

It's a bull market right now, you can try working in a very different kind of programming.




I'm starting to wish I went to school solely for the potential to get into research if I wanted. Unfortunately, although it seems like it would be more interesting and fulfilling, it also seems like financial suicide.

> you can try working in a very different kind of programming.

On that note, how do you manage to work in X when all your years of experience are in Y? I'd love to try different things, but I just don't know how to pivot




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