[SATLUG] Burned out programmer

Rabie Khabouze rabie at rabie.net
Fri Aug 12 11:56:48 CDT 2011


  Hi All,

I worked as a LAMP developer / Linux Admin for 8 Years, I enjoyed mixing 
the two of them together.

most of my scripting and programming are server side which involved 
installing and managing the right system packages, I have done it by 
myself. so for me to troubleshoot any application I have to know exactly 
what is running on my servers.
As Lance was stating, most of the company outsourced their Network and 
System management to the third company, and as a programmer you will 
have a hard time getting your hands on systems and hardware etc....

I guess combining your programming skills with System/Network 
Administration will give more chance to have a better career and I guess 
you will have fun and not get bored with one thing.

Good luck.


On 08/12/2011 11:05 AM, Lance Schneider wrote:
> I shall share a different perspective and see if it helps shed any light.
>
> I have been/had been in IT for nearly 30 years. Most of my experience was in
> developing technologies we all are quite familiar with at this time. Lots of
> start-ups and Fortune 100 companies alike  - but I was mostly
> hardware/infrastructure. I have had a hand in everything from mainframes
> down to digital surveillance. In addition to design; for a part of my career
> I was field support, then network administration, and supervisory/management
> positions. I loved all of it - with my favorite, least monotonous work being
> network engineering, LAN Administration and that ilk.
>
> What I regret and am trying to change is that I did not focus more on
> programming. One of the observations I have made over the past three decades
> is that it has been easier to be Bill Gates than to be Michael Dell. By
> that, I mean that the hardware by which data is exchanged is becoming
> second-tier to the dynamic possibilities through software development.
> Software has a brighter future less ardurous than hardware development.
> Virtualization, distributed processing, cloud computing . . . are only going
> to increase. Software, more than hardware is going to provide the vehicle
> for that growth and the better job opportunities as well. Many companies are
> tiring of being whatever the core business is AND also an IT company to
> sustain their enterprise. The outsourcing of network management and
> maintenance will continue to shift to third-party instead of in-house
> support.
>
> Personally, I think your B.S. in Mathematics coupled with your professional
> experience as a programmer has positioned you for many options others would
> be less likely to "snag." As someone now displaced and unable to find hire
> for four years despite my experience I would consider looking to get out of
> programming as professional suicide. There is the other side of the coin
> that if you are unhappy in the work you should find your place elsewhere. In
> this economy? Not the time to allow dissatisfaction to guide such decisions.
> It is far better to be unhappy while able to feed yourself. Beleive me.
>
> Of the other postions you mentioned, I imagine that database administration
> would be the better of the choices. There will still be monotony, but there
> will be plenty to keep you occupied. There will not be a lot of down time.
> That, in itself, is something else to consider. Programming is mostly
> analagous to a foot race - you run at your best pace and it is an individual
> effort even running in a group. DBA's are more in an Iron Man competition.
> Databases and programming have strong, ongoing usefulness as other things
> fluctuate. In any event, my twenties were spent jumping from one exciting
> position to another. I can understand your current sentiments. The
> difference is market and maturity of the IT field from when I was 25 to now
> when you are 25. Pursue what it would take to certify and obtain a DBA
> position but do so from the relative safety and comfort of your programming
> career.
>
> On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 10:32 AM, Donald L Wilcox<
> dwilcox at neonnightrider.com>  wrote:
>
>> Hi everyone,
>>
>> I've been thinking about this for over a year now, and I thought I should
>> ask around and get some ideas.
>>
>> I'm 25, in school currently finishing (as of last week) a B.S. in Math, and
>> I have thought about a few paths to take after that. Before last week, I was
>> a CS major because I work full-time as a developer, big interest in
>> computers, etc. etc. I've been a professional developer for over 5 years
>> now, and I have to say, I'm burned out with programming--so much so that I
>> don't enjoy it anymore, and I can't think of any other career paths to
>> transition into.
>>
>> I've tried writing in new languages just to see if I need to code in
>> something other than HTML, CSS, JS, Java, and PHP, but to no avail, and at
>> this point in my career, the work always turns dull, monotonous, and
>> mundane, and I have accepted that no matter what I try to do, I can't keep
>> the interest going.
>>
>> What I do enjoy is more sysadmin and systems programming stuff (command
>> line stuff, DB systems, server administration) and a little bit of security
>> (although programming security applications is not my cup of tea), but I
>> don't know if moving into a sysadmin role is the right step or if it's even
>> possible since I don't have any certs and not sure my current job will let
>> me get any, and I'm not sure yet if the biz dev roles are my thing either
>> since I've never worked in that realm.
>>
>> Has anybody ever had a similar situation?
>>
>> Donald Wilcox
>> Web Developer
>> --
>> Phone: (210) 651-2087
>> Cell: (313) 478-6323
>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/donaldwilcoxjr
>>
>> --
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