Sometimes life takes unexpected turns:

I studied mechanical engineering and did some "computer stuff" in my free time, you know, "programming" with Java, toyed around with HTML/CSS/PHP a few years ago, some local server stuff with a raspberry pi, nothing fancy.

Half a year ago i got hired as engineer first but they said they needed an "IT Guy" also.

What i did since then
*Researching, Testing and Planning the introduction of an ERP software
*Planning, coordinating and (partially) setting up a new server for the company (actually two cause redundancy (heavy lifting got done by our IT partner, its not like i suddenly know how to do the entire windows server administration)
*Writing 3 minor tools for some guys in the company in java
*Creating numereous excel vba scripts that make work a lot easier
*doing all the day to day business that comes up when absolutly noone know how to use a pc in the company
*consulting the boss about webshops and websites in general and finding a decent partner
*and some engineering

Did i mentioned that i studied mechanical engineering? I know nothing about all this, or rather, i know enough to know that i know not enough.

My current side project is creating a small intranet, so creating a new VM in Hyper V, setting up some OS (probably slim CentOS), getting a Webserver running and making it somewhat secure. Then i need to create some content, i am very close to just install a mediawiki and call it a day. If i write anything in PHP i fear that i make way to many erros or just reinvent the wheel, on the other hand, i couldnt find anything resembling what i need. I also had to create the front end side, i knew CSS around 2010, there is probably tons of stuff i dont know and i will make so many errors.

This is frustrating, everything i touch feels like i am venturing the beaten path but noone ever showed me the ropes so everything i do feels like childs play. I need an adult. Also the biggest Question remains: What i am?

  • 6
    Hey man, greetings from a fellow mechanical engineer. I have a bit of the same background knowledge as you. And now in my day-to-day job I am mostly coding Firmware.

    I am also confused about what I am, just like you. And [most devrant users please look away now] spending all my day coding feels kind of empty to me. I learned so much about engineering during my studies and the coding I am doing now is so basic (C++, but no template magic and other shenanigans). The only reason I'm good at coding is logical thinking and my hang for creating a super tidy code base following all the google style guides and stuff.

    But actually, I want to do something different with my life than "just" coding stuff I don't care about. So, bro, I feel you but I have no suggestion for fixing the situation :/
    If you are happy with what you are doing, I would say stick to it and you'll get the hang pretty fast. One thing I learned is that software architects are not necessarily a whole lot more knwledgeable.
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