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I spent 4 months in a programming mentorship offered by my workplace to get back to programming after 4 years I graduated with a CS degree.
Back in 2014, what I studied in my first programming class was not easy to digest. I would just try enough to pass the courses because I was more interested in the theory. It followed until I graduated because I never actually wrote code for myself for example I wrote a lot of code for my vision class but never took a personal initiative. I did however have a very strong grip on advanced computer science concepts in areas such as computer architecture, systems programming and computer vision. I have an excellent understanding of machine learning and deep learning. I also spent time working with embedded systems and volunteering at a makerspace, teaching Arduino and RPi stuff. I used to teach people older than me.
My first job as a programmer sucked big time. It was a bootstrapped startup whose founder was making big claims to secure funding. I had no direction, mentorship and leadership to validate my programming practices. I burnt out in just 2 months. It was horrible. I experienced the worst physical and emotional pain to date. Additionally, I was gaslighted and told that it is me who is bad at my job not the people working with me. I thought I was a big failure and that I wasn't cut out for software engineering.
I spent the next 6 months recovering from the burn out. I had a condition where the stress and anxiety would cause my neck to deform and some vertebrae were damaged. Nobody could figure out why this was happening. I did find a neurophyscian who helped me out of the mental hell hole I was in and I started making recovery. I had to take a mild anti anxiety for the next 3 years until I went to my current doctor.
I worked as an implementation engineer at a local startup run by a very old engineer. He taught me how to work and carry myself professionally while I learnt very little technically. A year into my job, seeing no growth technically, I decided to make a switch to my favourite local software consultancy. I got the job 4 months prior to my father's death. I joined the company as an implementation analyst and needed some technical experience. It was right up my alley. My parents who saw me at my lowest, struggling with genetic depression and anxiety for the last 6 years, were finally relieved. It was hard for them as I am the only son.
After my father passed away, I was told by his colleagues that he was very happy with me and my sisters. He died a day before I became permanent and landed a huge client. The only regret I have is not driving fast enough to the hospital the night he passed away. Last year, I started seeing a new doctor in hopes of getting rid of the one medicine that I was taking. To my surprise, he saw major problems and prescribed me new medication.
I finally got a diagnosis for my condition after 8 years of struggle. The new doctor told me a few months back that I have Recurrent Depressive Disorder. The most likely cause is my genetics from my father's side as my father recovered from Schizophrenia when I was little. And, now it's been 5 months on the new medication. I can finally relax knowing my condition and work on it with professional help.
After working at my current role for 1 and a half years, my teamlead and HR offered me a 2 month mentorship opportunity to learn programming from scratch in Python and Scrapy from a personal mentor specially assigned to me. I am still in my management focused role but will be spending 4 hours daily of for the mentorship. I feel extremely lucky and grateful for the opportunity. It felt unworldly when I pushed my code to a PR for the very first time and got feedback on it. It is incomparable to anything.
So we had Eid holidays a few months back and because I am not that social, I began going through cs61a from Berkeley and logged into HackerRank after 5 years. The medicines help but I constantly feel this feeling that I am not enough or that I am an imposter even though I was and am always considered a brilliant and intellectual mind by my professors and people around me. I just can't shake the feeling.
Anyway, so now, I have successfully completed 2 months worth of backend training in Django with another awesome mentor at work. I am in absolute love with Django and Python. And, I constantly feel like discussing and sharing about my progress with people. So, if you are still reading, thank you for staying with me.
TLDR: Smart enough for high level computer science concepts in college, did well in theory but never really wrote code without help. Struggled with clinical depression for the past 8 years. Father passed away one day before being permanent at my dream software consultancy and being assigned one of the biggest consultancy. Getting back to programming after 4 years with the help of change in medicine, a formal diagnosis and a technical mentorship.3
Some had teased me a bit on my previous meme so let me tell my anecdote...
I have to tell you a rather funny anecdote that happened to me during a job interview..
To put you in context, I am a front/back developer and the language where I perform best is JS. I started learning JS at an early age during an open source project to make animations on websites then I also quickly moved to the backend using NodeJS. I gained a lot of experience by going to small start-ups and this time if I wanted to try my luck on big companies in the field of video games.
So I wanted to present some projects to my interlocutor who seemed to be someone with an important position in the company, about 26 years old and we talked about the JS language. I showed him all my projects including those where I was doing free/open source and also in the field of video games such as volunteering like the back off https://mylolmmr.com And suddenly he called out to me and said "JS is not a real language".
I must confess that I was quite disturbed by his assertion and did not understand his condescension or his belittlement. This mind...
Especially since I find it extremely misleading to say that the JS language is not a real language when you know its advantages and disadvantages, but I did not dare to express myself on this subject and we continued the interviews, even though he saw that it bothered me.
The funny thing is that once the interview is over and I decide to go home and I receive a call from the company in question who wanted me to take a technical test telling me that the oral interview was successful...
I reassure you right away, I refused.. For a question of salary which was extremely low and obviously the bad experience with this famous director.3
So basically I joined this new android dev job 3 months ago. I did android dev for 2.5 years and then had a gap of 1.5 years where I did game development so Im comming back into android dev as "junior" however Im tryharding to prove myself and reach mid level as fast as I can.
I had it planned like this from the beginning: original plan was to do really good during probation period so I could ask for a raise (which I did). Now while Im waiting for answer (which will take 2-3 weeks) I need to keep the show going so I am sacrificing evenings to accomplish goals. I ham going to these teambuildings, I am volunteering in this job fair event and Im joining bars with the not-so-social devs 1-2 times a week just to "fit in" and be noticed. After getting a raise I plan to take it down a notch and somehow relax....
During the usual work week I rely on stimulants (coffee/cigarettes/concerta) to get me through the days and then I use xanax or alcohol to relax. Worst part is that I am totally drained exhausted after long working week. I dont want to go out with my girlfriend. My libido is at its lowest and we do it maybe max 2 times a week and it feels like a chore to me. It feels like I exist only for this job and only to please everyone around me and it drains me out completely.
I feel like I am burned out. I wish I could just quit this job and run away somwhere warm for 6 months to chill alone and take it easy and recover but I cant. Im stuck in a trap. I have to pay off mortgage, I have to pay off bills. I am approaching 30's soon and I became fat and balding, I want to loose weight, I wanna get a hair transplant to at least enjoy my 30's properly. Im only 28 but I already have a lot of grey hair just because of immense ammounts of stress I have to deal daily because of my ADHD and anxiety. Also my gf is kinda dissapointed that I havent proposed her in 3 years of our relationship. I feel so much pressure and obligations to the point where I feel that theres no point in living if I just exist for the needs of others. I cant imagine getting married and having a child now - life is already complicated chaotic mess as it is.
I dont't know why I throw myself 150% at projects and hyperfocus so much to the point where it becomes my priority in life? Am I compensating for my lack of executive functions by throwing lots of effort and care in hopes that I will be validated? How to learn to take it easy instead of always thinking that what Im doing is not enough?
It's not even the problem of this job. Its just me. I had my own company for 2 years and I was dealing with same burnout problems...3