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Im getting a bit tired of programming.

I have been struggling for years regarding programming. I did have some moments of perceived success, but most of the time it has been depressing.

I’m not sure if I dislike programming. But there are some aspects of it that make me feel not as passionate about it.

First of, programs are invisible. No one sees your program or you (assuming we’re talking about a non artistic dev job).

People can’t see lines of code executing, but even if they did it would be gibberish to them.

Users can only become aware of bad software and that kind of breaks my heart a bit.

You could write fast, stable, secure, easy to read, easy to update software. People won’t notice. Hell, even your boss/coworkers might not notice.

In fact, sometimes you try to do the good thing, you try to become a better dev, you try to write tests first, you try to i18n, and what do you get? “Uhh, that’s taking too much time and I don’t see the benefit”.

I know some people will say that people noticing bad service happens on every job.

But programming is the ultimate isolation job. No client has ever told me “hey that code you wrote was pretty good”. They can’t even read code.

I don’t know the users, the users don’t know me, and the users can only judge my program by the result, they can only judge the visual interface.

Let’s say you write a cool project at github. The code is great. Guess what, every language’s ecosystem out there is saturated. Everything is already written. GitHub is saturated. Your best project ends up being a just for yourself enjoyment.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t enjoy code for yourself. That’s how I bet most prolific coders start. I’ve been doing that for many years now. But at some point you want to be part of something with humans.

Imagine I’m stranded on an island with nothing no humans, just food, water and a computer. Would I write code just for myself, just for fun? I think I would off myself 3 months in.

Maybe I should do develop a more social talent...

Comments
  • 18
    Seems like you seek external validation for your work more than you enjoy building stuff. Sure, you usually hear mostly bad feedback because if things work no one feels the need to tell you. But if you write software that loads of people are using and hardly ever talk about that's success in itself.

    Personally I enjoy designing and building, and one of the coolest things I've built only has a handful of users (but they needed the software really bad). 5 active users? Blah, doesn't worry me. It was still a $$$$ project where we needed to solve complex issues with cutting edge technology. Loved it.
  • 5
    I'm not sure what exactly you develop, you seem to be a frontend dev. I think what you might be missing (apart from what @devdiddydog said) is an environment with people passionate about their work. This is probably very hard to find, but I think frontend is the field witht the least passionate developers (I might be wrong though). I think backend (excluding js, php and other languages with a low entry barrier) might be a bit better in that regard, AI stuff might be better too, but those are just wild guesses.
  • 7
    @neeno why can't a php dev be passionate?

    I think @devdiddydog hit the nail on the head though, you seem to need external validation for your work, be proud of what you've built, even if no one else will appreciate the time and energy needed to make a button do a thousand things but all the user sees is "email sent".

    I am the only person who can enjoy my Google Voice TV Remote but damn do I enjoy changing the channel by voice - my TV isn't highly sophisticated 🤣
  • 7
    @C0D4 not saying js and php devs can't be passionate, I also didn't mean it as an insult to devs that use those languages (I use js myself). I meant to say that languages with lower barriers of entry are more inviting to people that write garbage code and have no intent to improve their abilities.
  • 2
    @neeno I am a front end dev and you’re right, it’s awful
  • 0
    Nope. Being a part of something with humans is the last thing I'd want.
  • 0
    @jesustricks frontend is probably just awful and uninteresting. Try something else.
  • 4
    @jesustricks maybe you should try something else then? It could be something really radical in terms of magnitude of the change as well, or you could just shift your focus toward the backend, or whatever else could pique your interest in the field of software, or why not outside it. We’re not forced to do programming for the rest of our lives, if we lose interest.

    That being said, I totally get it. Somehow, for some reason frontend development is neither interesting nor satisfying on the long run. When I started out, I was pretty happy to do anything. But after a while, frontend becomes a chore. I even tried to go about it in alternative manners whenever possible to try and keep it at least a little bit interesting, but I think it’s a forlorn hope. The thing is, once you go backend and venture into the world of actually good programming languages, you just never want to go back to frontend and JS. You’ll know what I mean when you’ve written something in, let’s say Rust or F#...
  • 5
    Welcome to the club :)

    Move up then. Go to management if you want to be noticed. Clients do deal with managers. Managers represent the company, so whenever a manager makes something happen (using devs' hands) right, he is appreciated. Even better - the client trusts the company because of that manager and believes they can do things right.

    Or open your own company ;) gotta be quite a challenge, but that would definitely stir up your grey routine. And you would be as visible as much effort you put in.
  • 3
    @jesustricks As others said, you seem to rely too much on external feedback and if you have an internal locus, you should take some time off and work on things *you* are interested in and enjoy.

    It seems that you are doing what you don't enjoy and should try other things. Assuming you are a frontend dev, you could try:
    - Backend development
    - UI/UX design
    - DevOps
    - Software Quality Assurance
    - Software Architecture/Design
  • 3
    There is some satisfaction in well crafted work. But it's broadly unappreciated; indeed, it can be seen as just slowing down development.

    That well crafted code tends to be more maintainable rarely gets a mention.

    And then, you have to deal with other hacks and dodginess committed to the code base by others with a different set of priorities.

    There is stress in these conflicts; I have sympathy. I'm lucky in that my work gives me a lot of leeway, allowing me to invest time in good solutions over quick ones.
  • 0
    Been there, but I kept going.

    I started programming for myself and while it's often kind of a bummer that only few use the stuff I make, I mostly have stopped to care.

    sure, there are some things that a lot of people use but nobody cares about who actually made it but I program for myself.

    People can join in on my projects if they want (which would be nice) but it's not like them not doing so is gonna make me not do my thing.

    It's their loss.
  • 0
    frontend dev for 5+ years here, never had a dull moment until I got into company where everybody gives zero fks about anything, weird parts and hacks on backend, spaghetti code, hacks, quick patches all over the place, whenever you look. My job is to be garbage cleaner as I inherited legacy-related full of hacks app. So much frustration.

    Being paid to hunt bizarre bugs and to "deliver value for customers" is just bad company that prefers shitty product for fast cash.

    Surround yourself with "it works" people and you will get miserable pretty fast. Also a lot of folks said it in the comments before me - if nobody complains/reports a bug - means you did good job.

    When you get surrounded with passionate people that enjoy what they do, you will have fun instead of frustration and it will make you feel better about this whole programming thing. I've been there and will be again. You can be there too!
  • 3
    Hmm, part of why I like being a backend dev is specifically so that people don't see my work xD I like building cool stuff that makes someones (or mine) life easier. I couldn't care less if someone sees how good or bad the code is...

    That being said, someone mentioned passionate environment and with that I agree. The only people that can actually appreciate code is other programmers, and having someone in your team you can challenge or show something cool you made or found is pretty fun experience too.
  • 1
    How many years do you spent in programming world?

    Try to build a quality code with user friendly interface. Be a part of your product
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