The never ending itself land of happiness

This article is a result of author’s considerations seeing more and more people rushing into the software engineering world.

A very good life

A very good life

Finding a good job for the whole life is a hard thing nowadays. Old, traditional jobs are disappearing, the new ones are popping out all the time. It’s hard to keep up with job market changes. However, with every major socioeconomic crisis, one thing you can take for granted: job market experts are saying over and over to change your job industry. One of many pieces of advice is to get an IT course and take your, already waiting, six figure salary.

Alice in wonderland

IT developers are promised many good things. I understand why you want to try it out. Some of them are true but it all has a price.

  • Programmers have ones of the very best work benefits: soccer table, breakout rooms, fruits, paid gym, paid private health insurance and even paid body massage as your back bone is surely to be in pain after 20 years in the production.
  • You will save the world one time again. Your code will make all people happy, sociable, more rich. Your software will replace error-prone physicians, make diseases disappear as a relic of the previous century. At least you’re told so. That’s your bone and your work motivation.
  • Six figure salary dream, the American dream. Who doesn’t want to be rich? It’s your pass for a very good life. With your senior developer earnings, you can afford for a decent life standard.
  • Family people, family job, family company. After losing a sense of time, work becomes your family. People are very weird creatures.

Nothing is as it seems to be

As told before: it all has the price. That’s the thing which people usually don’t talk about before choosing this type of career.

  • IT career is a never ending pursuit of self growth and development. In this very industry most technologies keeps changing themselves from 3 months to half of year. In frontend development even more quickly. Just basing on my career: I started as a JEE developer, then switched to spring and finally ended up as full stack developer. Now I am just waiting to see myself as a rust developer writing frontend using webassembly.
  • Unpaid ‘voluntary’ over-hours is the damn fact. ‘Agile’, ‘lean’ process of software development results almost always in a self-contradictory documentation (if you are lucky to have it) and you need to get it cleared on your own in ‘your free time’. Repeatedly under-estimated tasks by sales or marketing people or even your own team is your daily Deja-vu.
  • Bugs, bugs and even more bugs. You will start your day with fixing bugs and finish your day with the same. You fix one more bug just to introduce two more.
  • Legacy code is the king. If you have a fresh, green field project, you’re one of the luckiest developers I ever met. Nowadays R&D task seems to be a prize for your good work achievements.
  • Agile or chaos driven development. Agile manifesto is one of the simplest things in IT and still is one of the most incorrectly understood ideas. In real life, the client is your king, even if she / he wishes to do it few hours before deployment onto the production. Documentation, forget it for now. You will write it later. Now, on Friday, at 5pm you have to make a deployment. Isn’t it the one of the very best deployment times?
  • Meetings and your sense of lost life. Yes, there’s nothing better to boost your productivity than brain storming daily for 2 hours just to realize that there is no agenda to discuss, most of people are not necessary in this very meeting and after this 2 hours you still don’t know what you agreed upon.

Collateral damage

IT career is told to be a panacea for a financial crisis, for career and life mistakes we did in the past. The truth is: it’s not. If you get in the IT world just because of a promise of good salary, you will burn out much sooner than most developers do. That’s the damage especially you discover it not expecting it at all. I will tell you not a popular opinion: stick to the job you like and you are good at. Even as a blue-collar worker but the highly educated one with certificates and permissions (for example in the construction industry, civic engineering) you can make a lot and sometimes even more than most software developers. Just one thing to remind: you have to be better the other ones.

So, please, don’t listen to ‘career experts’, self claimed entrepreneurs or any other magicians in Alice’s wonderland (including me) and choose your career path on your own. I sincerely hope I helped.

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