Hello there. I'm a junior frontend developer, and I'm starting to think that IT is not for me.

Okay, first things first. This story/rant might be a bit longer than I previously thought, but whatever... :p

I started working in frontend about a year ago.

Now the problem is, that I'm absolutely rubbish with coding, and I'm starting to think that it might have something to do with my personality. While I loved (and still do) doing HTML and CSS, and maybe some JS as well, when it comes to working with frameworks, build tools, TypeScript, and all this *****, I just want to stand up and carefully smash the keyboard through the display. I can't stand the constant cryptic error messages and gazillions of config files, and don't even get me started with TypeScript. This is not how I imagined what programming is like - I know it's my fault, I was a bit naive. I still love making simpler things in HTML/CSS/JS and playing around with Linux, but I lost my will to do any of these even in my spare time. I don't have the patience to feel incompetent all the time with the promise that in a few years, doing this rubbish 8 hours a day, I will get better at it. Some colleagues even talked about it being like Lego and getting into the "flow": yeah... not in my case. There's nothing creative in this, it all feels like a factory line where I have to do the line work but also configure the machines as well...

The funny thing is, I made about the same amount of money working in less prestigious jobs. Sure I didn't like any of them, they were tiring and boring as hell, but at least they were not stressful and frustrating. I'm seriously considering moving to Western Europe and working as a bicycle delivery guy in the Alps, a postman, a waiter, or literally anything else that has something to do with the real world, and leave programming to the actual software engineers (who I deeply respect by the way).

I'll probably add more to this, but I need to go now and meditate a bit. :D

  • 7
    Crazy question, but have you tried your hands in backend dev?

    It's just as creative, without the visuals and usually less effort then front end to get into these days.

    Frontend exploded into Godzilla because... well who knew overcomplicating something was going to be a good thing 😂
  • 1

    That's actually a solid idea. Just not Node+npm+TypeScript+Next.js cause that looks like the same kind of mess.

    Go and C# look like neat languages, but I don't know. I'm afraid of all of them now, and starting to think I'm a "special need" person. :D

    I'll look into it, though, cheers mate.
  • 1
    Keep in mind that a lot of things are hard when you start. It gets much better, when you master them.

    But also keep in mind that coding is evolving all the time, so you might need to learn a bit of new stuff along the way.

    You might be a bit burned out though.
    Try to take some time off coding, like taking 14 days of holiday. If you get your motivation back, coding is still for you.
    Also try to code something else for a change in your spare time. It that excites you, you should still keep at it.

    I've also had similar thoughts in my past. It turns out my crappy job was demotivating me big time. I'm much more motivated to work in my current work place.
  • 1
    I hated TypeScript at first. I felt like it was getting in the way of my productivity.
    Today I couldn’t do without it. It helps me develop and REFACTOR with confidence. The tools that come along with it such as intellisense, autocompletion etc are such a delight to work with and they definitely boost my productivity and even my "creative flow".
  • 5
    Hey, before you give up try doing anything else than frontend and JavaScript, web development is over complicated and build on shitty foundations.

    Try C#, Java, or any other language that actually compiles, maybe even Rust but learning curve is high.

    Hope this helps a bit
  • 1
    I read similar stuff a lot from web devs (almost always referring to just "frontend" 🙄).

    In your case, it might actually be true that programming is not your thing. And it would be ok. Don’t try to do what you dislike.
    But you might also want to try something else like backend or native frontend.
  • 2
    I am surprised how no one asked about your previous experiences or education. If you started frontend development 1 year ago without any education or experience what you are experiencing right know is completely normal. Most of us had been in your shoes multiple times maybe at school or maybe in professional life.
  • 0

    Non-tech college degree. Learned HTML, CSS, Bootstrap, and vanilla JS in my spare time for about two years before my first job. Also played around a very little bit with Svelte and React.
  • 4
    You could also look for work in web design, there are lots of companies that have developers that hate css and all that that could have use for a more visual designer so the ones that live js and typescript do not have to touch css ;)

    We have UX and UI that mainly work with the visual design of the site and then frontend dev’s that take those designs and add all the other interactivity and functionality behind.

    But if you want to actually learn more programming without the npm and such C# is a good language thats similar enough to js to be helpful (yes there are big differences but compared to Go its a lot more similar)

    Go have some constructs that are quite different.

    Another thing if you want good error messages is Rust thats supposed to have very detailed and precise errors.
  • 1
    I think your issue might be with web development. Which as someone else stated: it is a shitty mess. If i am honest with you: backend is far more fun to me than frontend, I usually leave that to people that have a solid passion in it, I respect it, but i don't like doing it even though I can.

    There might be other types of development that you could probably like, data science and ML, embedded development, game development, compiler design etc. Not getting web development is one thing, not **wanting** to is a completely different thing for which no one can fault you: it is a shitty landscape.

    I don't think you are dumb or not cut for IT or software development man, I think you just might not like working with web. Which again, is not an issue, try and find your niche! be it system programming, sys admin programming stuff, networking programming, devops whatever. You might find something you like.
  • 2
    "i don't have the patience to feel incompetent all the time"

    yeah, programming really might not be for you then.

    also, webdev is utter shitshow with all of the shit frameworks and shit everything.
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