33 votes

I am a Web Dev. And I am Burnt The F#*K Out

25 comments

  1. [5]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. [4]
      whisper
      Link Parent
      What's your mall store? How did you build it out to a point where it runs self-sufficiently? What sort of maintenance do you need to do on it?

      What's your mall store? How did you build it out to a point where it runs self-sufficiently? What sort of maintenance do you need to do on it?

      5 votes
      1. [4]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. eddielomax
          Link Parent
          I think it's amazing you can produce so much content, consistently. I feel like I have a book or two in me I'd like to get down on paper, and I have decent writing skills-- I can describe a scene,...

          I think it's amazing you can produce so much content, consistently. I feel like I have a book or two in me I'd like to get down on paper, and I have decent writing skills-- I can describe a scene, and use words that seem to convey meaning, but damned if I can't write one believable blurb of how people actually talk. It comes out as contrived and phony. It's as if I've never heard humans talk to each other.

          7 votes
        2. [2]
          Adam_Black_Arts
          Link Parent
          I've been a full-time indy comic creator for the last 12 years, and I'm ready for a break. I've been entertaining the idea of Just Writing for awhile now. A lot like what you've described: crank...

          I've been a full-time indy comic creator for the last 12 years, and I'm ready for a break. I've been entertaining the idea of Just Writing for awhile now. A lot like what you've described: crank out a couple genre novels a year or something.

          I have a gajillion questions for you, but: if you could go back in time and tell yourself how to get started, what would you say?

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            Comment deleted by author
            Link Parent
            1. Adam_Black_Arts
              Link Parent
              That is all excellent advice and I thank you for sharing it! Definitely gonna give this novel-writing thing a spin once my current comic is done.

              That is all excellent advice and I thank you for sharing it!

              Definitely gonna give this novel-writing thing a spin once my current comic is done.

  2. [3]
    emdash
    Link
    I'm 23, been working web development for 5 years at 3 companies, and I feel the same. I'm sick of the industry, and burnt out. My focus this year is to build a mobile application which I believe...

    I'm 23, been working web development for 5 years at 3 companies, and I feel the same. I'm sick of the industry, and burnt out. My focus this year is to build a mobile application which I believe represents a viable business model for me to eventually become at least partially self-employed. It may not work, but I'm so disillusioned with web development that it's worth a shot.

    12 votes
    1. [2]
      tildez
      Link Parent
      What types of companies have you worked at? Early in my career (professionally about 14 years now) I worked at agencies, and part of it was great. New clients and projects and tools constantly....

      What types of companies have you worked at? Early in my career (professionally about 14 years now) I worked at agencies, and part of it was great. New clients and projects and tools constantly. But it definitely gets old.

      For the past 6 or 7 years I've worked for a company in the "product" world where I primarily work on one thing and it's so much more satisfying. Having the ability to clean up your technical debt mess and plan for the future is liberating.

      It's a big step up, but it's not all perfect. I certainly do feel bored sometimes. New and interesting problems occur less and less often. Things can feel like a slog. The constant flow of new technologies isn't fun anymore. Instead I think about how many of the short-lived fad cycles I can ignore until I turn into a dinosaur.

      I don't love programming anymore and never do it for fun. And I'm totally ok with that. I've never been a believer in "do something you love as a job". I don't hate my job, it pays well, and it's not physically difficult. As far as I'm concerned, I've won the career lottery.

      My advice: get some hobbies, make those your passions, go to work so you can live life and enjoy them. Expecting work to be something you enjoy is probably going to let you down no matter what you do.

      14 votes
      1. SleepyGary
        Link Parent
        I've also been professionally programming for the better part of two decades and I currently love my job, but I also want it to be the last one in this field I take and at the same time have no...

        I've also been professionally programming for the better part of two decades and I currently love my job, but I also want it to be the last one in this field I take and at the same time have no idea what I would do otherwise. Developing a hobby that didn't directly involve computers was a huge QoL improvement for me. Maybe once I'm ready to leave this current job I will turn my current hobby into a profession and my current profession back into a hobby.

        I worked hard to find employers that took work life balance seriously and not only expected you to only work 40 hours a week but stressed that over time would only be approved in exceptional circumstances. In 6 years at my previous job I could count on my hands the times I worked weekend or more than 8 hours in a day (intentionally, there were times I was in the zone and not paying attention to time). With my current employer we have one mini-death march near a large conference but have been working hard to change the culture of jamming in features last minute to going to the conference with a demo of what is in production (or will be shortly).

        2 votes
  3. feigneddork
    Link
    As someone who has spent the best part of 8 years doing backend server code, mobile (android, mostly), and website development, I can relate to some of this at times and sometimes it feels pretty...

    As someone who has spent the best part of 8 years doing backend server code, mobile (android, mostly), and website development, I can relate to some of this at times and sometimes it feels pretty foreign.

    In terms of server-side development, I don't have this problem. I write in Java code, which the language is fully mature as well as the frameworks we use (Spring and Jackson). If anything, it feels like the more I develop server side code, the more I grow professionally as a software developer. I remember starting out not really having a clue outside of some really rudimentary OOP knowledge and now I've been working on a bidding engine written in Kotlin which uses lots of functional programming techniques. It's like the sense of wonder never dies, but keeps getting ignited as I look back at my old code, realise all the mistakes, go ahead and fix it and feel like I've improved immensely.

    Mobile and Web development, however... Now that's an area which I feel like I'm getting burned out. With mobile development e.g. the Android SDK keeps changing every year and what used to be a sensible solution (like using Activities and AsyncTask) is ancient and clumsy and now I'm supposed to be aware of Fragments, RecyclerView, RxAndroid, as well as many other things which apparently if I don't know then it feels like this immense pressure to learn the new-fangled frameworks and techniques or forever be a clueless neanderthol. The same goes with web development and the billion other NPM packages which are supposed to apparently make me a better coder and if I don't know them then... well you get the idea.

    My problem with mobile and web development is that there is such massive emphasis on learning the framework rather than learning the core concepts and techniques that inspired the frameworks. The main reason why I've given up on that mentality is because when I get quizzed by web/mobile developers why I haven't learned x flavour of the month I normally respond to "well what I wrote works for my current situation" and once I explain my decision making blow-by-blow the other developers tend to agree that my decision was sensible and not unreasonable at all.

    Contrast this with server side development where you are developing back-end APIs and services that are, in theory, designed to be around for a significantly long time and to a certain extent, unattended. This means you have to think very clearly about what you're trying to achieve and whether it is sensible to implement the functionality the way you intend to, or even in some cases if it is sensible to implement it at all. Suddenly unit testing, integration testing, and test driven development makes a ton of sense, especially as your average Joe off the street isn't going to look at it, but is going to interact with it indirectly.

    And even if you've made the best decision that you could've done, you'll realise that maybe 5/10 years down the line the assumptions you made didn't pan out the way you expected but you've implemented this functionaly and services expect it to be there despite it being wrong, so how do you go about "fixing" that? Can you even fix it? How do you convince the client that it needs fixing, and do you just fix the one thing or do you do a rewrite and risk killing off existing functionality that end users/services expect in the rewrite?

    Maybe it's my bias, but I find server side development incredibly fun, challenging, and cerebral. I look at lots of engineering attempts now with a sense of awe that my teenage self would've scoffed at. But this isn't to sneer at web/mobile development - I do feel like web and mobile has some of these challenges, it's just the development environment around it is so much more franctic, especially as it's a thing that both developers and end users see, so it's a tug of war between best development practices and "gimme gimme gimme". Add in frameworks that aren't mature/actively in development every n months and the burnout is simpy compounded.

    7 votes
  4. [5]
    somewaffles
    (edited )
    Link
    There is a huge issue with "coding culture" that does this to people. I remember during my time in college, about 3 years ago now, I always felt like I was not with the "in" crowd in my CS program...

    There is a huge issue with "coding culture" that does this to people. I remember during my time in college, about 3 years ago now, I always felt like I was not with the "in" crowd in my CS program because I wasn't on track to be a code ninja. I didn't want to work for Google, Amazon or whoever. I knew the hours would be insane, I'd have to move hundreds of miles away and would just be generally unhappy. I didn't want to code every moment I wasn't doing school work or sign up for every hack-a-thon that was hosted in the tri-state area. None of this stuff appealed to me but it was the culture that was regurgitated around me for 3 years while I was getting my degree. I just wanted to go to school to pick up a skill that would get me a job that could make me money doing something I enjoyed like 99% of other industries out there.

    I'm not sure where it comes from but I don't see any other industry whose culture works quite like programming. It's so gatekeep-y and people are always surprised when they find out I have hobby's that are more art driven than coding 24/7. I luckily somehow found myself at a great company that values work/life balance while still encouraging me to grow myself as a developer, but I know so many people my age that have already gotten burnt out because they can't measure up to the weird code nerd stereotype everyone seems to want to fit. If I had to guess, it's probably a large reason women are so under represented in the industry. It's fucking WEIRD and I wish it would stop because coding can be great hobby and/or job.

    quick edit: meant to mention @bishop hit the nail on the head with mentioning impostor syndrome at every level of this industry, which is what prompted me to write this out. It's inevitable at points in any career but it's a constant issue for most developers because of the unrealistic standards set by the culture we find ourselves in.

    6 votes
    1. [3]
      Amarok
      Link Parent
      How much of this burnout is caused by the corporate culture, I wonder? Sitting in dark, cramped cubicles straining your eyes at code, attending endless meetings, dealing with poorly defined...

      How much of this burnout is caused by the corporate culture, I wonder? Sitting in dark, cramped cubicles straining your eyes at code, attending endless meetings, dealing with poorly defined requirements and constant setbacks. I worked for a great company that gave everyone their own offices, let people work from home, kept the meetings to a minimum, had green everywhere around outside every window, and many good places to eat or work out within walking distance. We had after-hours tabletop games with lots of developers every week in the main conference room.

      There wasn't a lot of developer burnout or turnover there, people were generally happy. Sure, there would be projects that would make everyone groan, but I just didn't see that grinding-down effect in that small business. I didn't feel it myself (as a sysadmin) either, I can count the number of days where I just didn't want to go to work on both hands.

      5 votes
      1. somewaffles
        Link Parent
        This environment seems to describe most office jobs and isn't specific to development, unfortunately. I'm sure it definitely lends a hand in peoples decision to exit the industry, but the type of...

        How much of this burnout is caused by the corporate culture, I wonder? Sitting in dark, cramped cubicles straining your eyes at code, attending endless meetings, dealing with poorly defined requirements and constant setbacks.

        This environment seems to describe most office jobs and isn't specific to development, unfortunately. I'm sure it definitely lends a hand in peoples decision to exit the industry, but the type of burnout you see in developers is different. I've seen people basically implode and just shut down after a certain point. It's a very strange thing to watch unfold. Maybe this happens in other industries but people take this burn out personally, it feels like.

        I worked for a great company that gave everyone their own offices, let people work from home, kept the meetings to a minimum, had green everywhere around outside every window, and many good places to eat or work out within walking distance. We had after-hours tabletop games with lots of developers every week in the main conference room.

        My current job is very similar and it shows. As far as I can tell, all the devs on my team are happy and willing to work a few extra hours to get the job done.

        3 votes
      2. GoingMerry
        Link Parent
        It's a good question to ask. I've worked in a lot of different companies, and the places that were the worst treated developers as commoditized resources. You might think this thinking is mainly...

        It's a good question to ask. I've worked in a lot of different companies, and the places that were the worst treated developers as commoditized resources. You might think this thinking is mainly prevalent in consulting companies (it is), but it's just as bad a problem at product companies that don't have strong technical leadership.

        Grinding your creative resources (in which I include developers) is like cutting off your arms and legs. There are better ways to work.

        Unfortunately, most developers don't really understand their power. Right now, we're a scarce resource; difficult to recruit, train, and retain. It is completely within most devs' power to improve their working situation.

        3 votes
    2. Micycle_the_Bichael
      Link Parent
      I've been struggling with this a lot the last few years. I definitely feel like an outsider as a software engineer who just doesn't give a shit about tech as a hobby. The most in-depth it has...

      I've been struggling with this a lot the last few years. I definitely feel like an outsider as a software engineer who just doesn't give a shit about tech as a hobby. The most in-depth it has gotten is a bit of tinkering with tildes and thinking about setting up a pi-hole. Other than that? Nah. I just don't care or have the energy to care and to learn new languages and frameworks and spend hours fucking with Linux to get things to work the way I want them to work. I feel like I should feel guilty (and I sometimes do!) that I don't want to work more than 40 hours a week, and I don't want to code or learn new tech in my free time. If that stuff is what you want to do, great for you. It isn't me though, and I wish I didn't feel so fucking guilty for being that way.

      If I had to guess, it's probably a large reason women are so under represented in the industry. It's fucking WEIRD and I wish it would stop because coding can be great hobby and/or job.

      I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ended up being the case.

      2 votes
  5. [2]
    crdpa
    Link
    I'm not a webdev, but i dabbled with it in the frontpage and dreamweaver eras. I loved to do it by myself, but when i had to do it for others, i hated it. It was the beginning, html, css, little...

    I'm not a webdev, but i dabbled with it in the frontpage and dreamweaver eras. I loved to do it by myself, but when i had to do it for others, i hated it. It was the beginning, html, css, little java here and there, but i started to see the infinite pursue of the new thing coming. Every week there was something new to learn that ultimately didn't make such a big difference. And things were changing faster so i just dropped it.

    I just realized that everything i like, when it becomes obligation, i start loathing it.

    I love Linux, i love desktop pcs, customization, command line, setting a tight system, managing it, but i'm sure if i start working with this i'm going to hate it at some point and i don't want to hate Linux. I see a lot of Linux ex-thinkeres saying they don't care anymore about their home computers, they just want it to work and use Ubuntu. I don't have anything against that, but i love looking under the hood, building things from scratch, learning C, shell and accomplishing tasks by myself with as little overhead as possible. I don't want to hate that so i won't turn it into a job.

    Of course this is something i realized about myself. People are different.

    I can see myself programming for work, but totally unrelated like programming machines, microcontrollers, PLC, things i learned at college. Now i work at a school as a lab technician for the automation course so i deal with this. I'm not programming, i just take care of all the apparatus. I won't be rich, but it's low stress enough and only 6h a day.

    5 votes
    1. frostycakes
      Link Parent
      This is the exact reason I work in retail management instead of IT. Sure, the pay is better there, but I'm not going to take something I enjoy and turn it into an obligation so I can end up hating...

      This is the exact reason I work in retail management instead of IT. Sure, the pay is better there, but I'm not going to take something I enjoy and turn it into an obligation so I can end up hating it and losing both a hobby and needing to find a new job.

      I'm going to hate whatever it is I'm forced to do for an employer so I can get paid, so I'm going to stick with something I neither like nor hate intrinsically so that I don't lose more than just 8ish hours a day to my employer.

      3 votes
  6. [2]
    Comment deleted by author
    Link
    1. Micycle_the_Bichael
      Link Parent
      Oh hi! It’s me only with a different username :P I feel you super hard man. It’s a struggle. Idk how many years you’ve been in the software world, I’m on year 4 out of school with 2 years in...

      Oh hi! It’s me only with a different username :P I feel you super hard man. It’s a struggle. Idk how many years you’ve been in the software world, I’m on year 4 out of school with 2 years in internships and a thesis. If I might throw out an app to you, I’ve been using Buddhify for meditation. I tried headspace a bunch of times and I just couldn’t stick with it. Didn’t like the monthly fee and I didn’t really love the mediations that much. Buddhify is $5 one-time and I think it’s a better app. I like the people who talk you through the meditations more, I think they have better voices and do a really good job of explaining things. Also they have topics and themes that help you incorporate mediation into your day and are very clear categories. Examples: there is a category for meditating while you are walking, for at work, for when you’re going to bed, for when you can’t fall asleep and it’s 4am and you want to tear your hair out (called “can’t sleep” vs other category which is “going to bed”). It was really big for me to be able to bring meditation to wherever I was free and related to what I was doing. I know the $5 up front is a lot for an app you don't know if you'll like, but I have loved it and felt a real positive change in my life bc of it and I tried... 7 different meditation apps before landing on this one. Sorry for the long ramble :) I'm sure I did a poor job wording this so if you have any questions I am happy to talk about the app to death

      1 vote
  7. [9]
    Octofox
    Link
    I'm a 20 year old who has been working in web dev for about 4 years. I have only ever worked on ruby on rails websites. In that time I feel not a whole lot has changed other than some nice new...

    I'm a 20 year old who has been working in web dev for about 4 years. I have only ever worked on ruby on rails websites. In that time I feel not a whole lot has changed other than some nice new features getting added. I really like how much of a stable platform rails has become because I feel like I spend most of my time gaining real skill rather than learning the latest thing. Hopefully by the time I am as old as OP I will be working in management and won't have to worry about knowing every detail of the latest things and focus on the high level parts of the software.

    2 votes
    1. [8]
      hamstergeddon
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      If you stick to backend languages that aren't nodejs, you probably won't experience the overwhelming burn out that this guy did. Backend moves at a snail's pace compared to frontend, so it's much...

      If you stick to backend languages that aren't nodejs, you probably won't experience the overwhelming burn out that this guy did. Backend moves at a snail's pace compared to frontend, so it's much easier to keep tabs on what's current.

      Frontend is just nuts. Every year or so there's some hot new framework, followed by the clones, everyone picks a side, someone decided this is all bullshit and creates a hot new framework, rinse repeat. And that's just JS, really. And then there's the tooling! Gulp? Grunt? Setup your own build process, or do you just use webpack?

      On the upside though, the fast-paced nature of libraries and tooling in frontend means vanilla JS is being pushed in the right direction. It's become a lot less clunky to use over the years (largely because of jQuery, imo) in response.

      5 votes
      1. [6]
        Octofox
        Link Parent
        I have actually been doing some frontend JS stuff but I have only been doing it long enough to see one generation of JS libraries. I find VueJS and React to be decent to use but I'm likely to move...

        I have actually been doing some frontend JS stuff but I have only been doing it long enough to see one generation of JS libraries. I find VueJS and React to be decent to use but I'm likely to move to a backend only job soon.

        3 votes
        1. [5]
          hamstergeddon
          Link Parent
          My criticisms of frontend development aside, I really enjoy working with VueJS. Had to learn it quickly for a project at work and once I'd gotten a feel for it I was floored by how quickly I could...

          My criticisms of frontend development aside, I really enjoy working with VueJS. Had to learn it quickly for a project at work and once I'd gotten a feel for it I was floored by how quickly I could churn out really neat stuff.

          3 votes
          1. [4]
            Micycle_the_Bichael
            Link Parent
            Vue is currently my favorite thing in the world. I started a new job a few months ago that is automating lots of DevOps and Ops work. So with that I build or inherited a lot of APIs and GUIs. I...

            Vue is currently my favorite thing in the world. I started a new job a few months ago that is automating lots of DevOps and Ops work. So with that I build or inherited a lot of APIs and GUIs. I have no frontend experience. Some of our GUIs are written in angular, some react, some vue, and some in plain old JS (and one in ancient php but we don’t talk about that one and pray that it never breaks). Vue is the only one that I feel is intuitive and has a nice learning curve. Everything I do is internal so I don’t have to worry about massive scaling or super super careful security (gotta be on our VPN and logged in using your username and password to get to the pages anyway) so maybe there are limits to what Vue can do that other options are better? But I can’t express what a godsend Vue has been for me. I’m planning on rewriting all my team’s pages in Vue when I have time because god it’s just so much easier and better IMO. If you’re not a frontend dev and you need to build a webpage, 10/10 would suggest Vue over anything else I’ve worked with.

            1 vote
            1. [3]
              hamstergeddon
              Link Parent
              Now I have to know what version of PHP that ancient app is running :D I've been stuck on 5.6, which is certainly not that ancient, but 7.0 introduced a lot of nice QOL improvements I'd love to...

              Now I have to know what version of PHP that ancient app is running :D I've been stuck on 5.6, which is certainly not that ancient, but 7.0 introduced a lot of nice QOL improvements I'd love to have. We're trying to use last December's EOL for 5.6 as leverage to get our client to OK an upgrade to 7.1, but we'll see.

              Vue's learning curve (thanks in large part to its excellent documentation) is one of its biggest selling points. I kind of had it thrust upon me and I'd say within a week or so of just goofing around with it I'd gotten to a point where I was comfortable with it.

              1. [2]
                Micycle_the_Bichael
                Link Parent
                I just checked and it isn't quite as ancient as I thought but its still pretty old. Its on php 5.3.29 which looks like it was released in Aug 2014. Which tracks because the site in question is...

                I just checked and it isn't quite as ancient as I thought but its still pretty old. Its on php 5.3.29 which looks like it was released in Aug 2014. Which tracks because the site in question is about 5ish years old (who knows when exactly. It took way too long to bring the site into version control)

                1. hamstergeddon
                  Link Parent
                  Nothing a little git add . ; git commit -m "all of it"; git push; couldn't have fixed ;)

                  It took way too long to bring the site into version control

                  Nothing a little git add . ; git commit -m "all of it"; git push; couldn't have fixed ;)

      2. slambast
        Link Parent
        I'm experiencing this myself right now. I maintain a web app as a volunteer for a nonprofit that my parents run, which only gets used about 1 month per year, which means I'm allowed to completely...

        I'm experiencing this myself right now. I maintain a web app as a volunteer for a nonprofit that my parents run, which only gets used about 1 month per year, which means I'm allowed to completely rewrite it every year >:) Last year, I had a Go-based AWS Lambda backend, and a Vue frontend. This year, the Go code and my CloudFormation was perfectly fine, and still ran without a problem. The frontend, however, wouldn't build anymore - I had to create a new clean Vue project, with all the latest frameworks and dependencies and build tools, and copy a bunch of my old code into it. Just running npm i after waiting a year totally broke the frontend.

        I can do enough web development to make things that are basically usable, but I would take backend development over front any day.

        2 votes