[SATLUG] Burned out programmer

Curt Bryson (via Droid) curt.bryson at gmail.com
Tue Aug 16 11:53:29 CDT 2011


While you're exploring security, look into application security.  You might find it rekindles the creative aspects you liked about developing from a totally different perspective.

Sent from my Droid Charge on Verizon 4GLTE

Donald L Wilcox <dwilcox at neonnightrider.com> wrote:

>Thanks everyone for your input, again. I thought more on this for awhile, and I have started making changes towards getting that passion going. There is some truth that the other reason I feel burned out is because, while the company I work for makes medical devices, so their products do make a difference in someone's life, the work I do isn't directly tied to that, and it feels more like writing to make someone else rich and take three-week vacations every 4 months. But, that's been true everywhere I've been.
>
>Also, the work isn't challenging anymore--it's mostly just tedious, and my concern is that will be true of any company, so I've stayed here until I can really find something that fits in with my personal goals. I mean, how many times can you debug browser bugs or create a database (i.e., make a database-driven application that just captures records)?
>
>Part of how I've moved to minimize that was switch from pursuing a BS in CS to Math, because CS as a whole wasn't beneficial, the courses took up any possible space you could use to be a more well-rounded person or just find something to diversify your learning experience. And at this point in my degree plan and my career, Math is more important if I want to understand theory because I've already been a developer for some time.
>
>I've considered looking into security. I've also done some steganography applications before, so data hiding and security seem pretty interesting, and I may want to give it a try. I've considered going after Security+ and CISSP certs.
>
>
>
>Donald Wilcox
>Web Developer
>--
>Phone: (210) 651-2087
>Cell: (313) 478-6323
>LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/donaldwilcoxjr
>
>-----Original Message-----
>From: "Robert Pearson" <e2eiod at gmail.com>
>Sent: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 03:12
>To: "The San Antonio Linux User's Group Mailing List" <satlug at satlug.org>
>Subject: Re: [SATLUG] Burned out programmer
>
>On Fri, Aug 12, 2011 at 12:49 PM, Donald L Wilcox
><dwilcox at neonnightrider.com> wrote:
>> 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.
>>
>
>"No Respect" happens to all of us. Finding the right Management
>situation for "My Creativity" is important. Wayne Gretsky, the great
>hockey player, has some quotes that apply.
>"A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player
>plays where the puck is going to be."
>"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."
>
>Most Management only follow the puck. It is worse as the company gets larger.
>When interviewing it is helpful to determine where on the "Puck
>Continuum" you feel Management is.
>[Puck Continuum]
>"puck was here --- puck is here --- puck will be here"  Where am I?
>
>> 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.
>>
>
>Developers are like writers. They have to write or perish. For some,
>solving problems is where it is at and more fun.
>SysAdmin is typically about solving Lower Metric problems. Al
>Castanoli's reply is the type of problem most of us long for but
>seldom get.
>Here is an alternative to SysAdmin worth looking into with your background.
>There once was a career for Systems Analysts. One of the new careers
>is for SOA Analysts. Currently this is considered to be mostly Java
>programming. This may not be challenging or creative enough. Consider
>this excerpt from Kernel Architect's reply to the SATLUG thread
>"Choosing Virtualization technology"::
>[begin quote]
>"On a 'end-user' non-enterprise level, Type 2 (hosted on top of
>another OS) is probably the
>best way to go. These include VirtualBox, Parallels and VMware. Because
>there is more translation for a command in the guest to reach the actual
>hardware, the performance is slower than a bare-metal (Type 1) hypervisor.
>For 99% of users out there, Type 2 is where it's at and there is no reason
>to look at Type 1.
>
>Type 1 naturally gives you better performance (which enterprises want to get
>the most ROI) and the enterprise vendors such as VMware produce tools that
>make management of large environments easy. The hypervisor itself is
>commodity now a days, and all of the value is in the management stack built
>around the hypervisor. Having advanced features that allow you to move
>virtual machines from one host server to another (on-the-fly while running)
>or changing back-end datastores (on-the-fly while running), advanced
>snapshotting, integration with enterprise storage platforms (EMC, NetApp),
>etc. are what businesses are looking for."
>[end quote]
>
>Stack Management is a big coming thing. All of those requests and
>limited resources and worse, very limited access to those limited
>resources. It will take a combination of skills and broad knowledge of
>"hardware/OS/SOA/Systems Programming/Applications Layer" requirements
>to deal with this solution. Only the big shops are doing this now. One
>day it will live on your cell phone tablet. It could live on a good
>laptop now.
>
>>
>> Donald Wilcox
>> Web Developer
>> --
>> Phone: (210) 651-2087
>> Cell: (313) 478-6323
>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/donaldwilcoxjr
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> 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
>>
>> Donald,
>>
>> 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.
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Ernest
>>
>> 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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