[SATLUG] Burned out programmer
Donald L Wilcox
dwilcox at neonnightrider.com
Fri Aug 12 12:49:52 CDT 2011
Thanks, everyone for your responses.
Mike, to respond to your comment, yes, I try new technologies when I can. The reason I didn't mention it is because the nature of my position and positions I've had in the past.
I've changed my major now 3 times since I was 18, took two years off, etc., so when I first programming professionally at 20, my first gig was a front-end dev at a "startup"/SEO firm where I wore a lot of hats and was all I could get with no hard experience, and I changed to another agency after that until 2.5 years ago where I started where I currently am now.
That said, the company I work for now is fairly large and has a complete IT department; however, I'm part of a different department because of organizational issues in the past that required an in-house developer outside of IT, so I in essence work in the same capacity as I did when I was at the startups.
What contributes to my dissatisfaction most is that dynamic. It makes me the only programmer, or, at a more practical level, the only person who can do [insert task here], coupled with the reality that I work with and under people with 0 technical experience (e.g. "I need you to code this up real quick.") but call all the shots. Getting to use a new technology that I want to use (key phrase) is rare because the VPs and Directors are swooning over the next iGadget, mobile-this, and app-that that we "should" be doing until we shouldn't be doing it. Then I tried to go to school and do competitions, write more code that I don't want to do (UTSA teaches nothing on new technologies, and hardly anything I think is important as a developer, like problem-solving and good coding practices.) and the same thing happened where we'd have projects where, you guessed it, I was the sole developer.
5 years isn't that long, but long enough for me to question the future. So far, I've never worked in a true development team, and at the moment I feel stretched thin, so I worry that I wouldn't be as effective even if I did work regularly with other devs. Certainly the position I'm in has brought valuable experience, but being the sole developer in a department of marketing and comm professionals means nobody "gets it." To them a dev is just a liability who better understand our work, but we don't need to understand his/hers.
Phone: (210) 651-2087
Cell: (313) 478-6323
From: "Kernel Architect" <kernel.architect at gmail.com>
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2011 12:01
To: "The San Antonio Linux User's Group Mailing List" <satlug at satlug.org>
Subject: Re: [SATLUG] Burned out programmer
I'm about to run out the door, so I'll send a more detailed response later,
but I know of a few roles where you would probably shine and you should
love. I deal with many clients a year from SMB to F500 and know about every
position from the entry level MIS assistant up through CTO. You definitely
have some skills and education that could put you solidly in a higher-level
architecture/solutions role that would be both challenging and rewarding.
I'll speak to this when I respond later.
Don't despair. IT is an awesome industry with just a hair over 3%
unemployment (which is considered just about full employment). There are no
shortage of jobs (excellent paying as well) for well qualified candidates.
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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