Tired and Sick of Programming?

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#1 diebythesword76  Icon User is offline

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Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 03:39 PM

Hi, I am coding since 20 years now. I started in Pascal, Assembler. And yes, I am getting tired and sick of this job. I couldn't be even working in coding anymore if it wouldn't because I am freelancing since 2004. Even freelancing and doing things your own way you GET SICK of coding as well. Sorry

I will point out my reasons:

1. "Having to change things that always worked", just because third-parties, technological changes, or simply 'the world outside' your program force you to change what was always working. i.e. you develop a scraper/crawler and the target site changes their html/css, thus, your scraper doesn't work anymore. i.e. - You develop financing software that work against SQL Server, then customer/boss decides to migrate database server to Linux, then you have to change most of your SQL code on 10k lines program to 'just adapt' to mySQL syntax. It's not the same syntax in some cases. Or you develop that program in .net and your customer/boss decides to go Linux, then you have to re-write it in C. These kind of things to "re-do" what was working 100% perfect and took you years doing it, well, it's far to be fun, no matter the money involved. What it tires is simply that "you HAVE to" modify what was working perfectly, for reasons besides you

2. "Time spent on analysis, diagramming, structuring". Coding is not like other jobs, you have to THINK how to code it before you code it, in the majority of cases. When the reality you are modelling is complex, well, you have an extra load to "think" first, then "act". And this can be specially tiresome, when you have to work on 10 different projects over a month just to get the bills paid. Specially when you have a customer/boss who's asking you useless things to do that really doesn't contribute to the quality of the software but to ruin your day adding extra, unnecessary complexities

3. "Money". I will be short on this, we all know that this job should be paid X 3 what's being paid considering the effort required. Specially freelancing online. Considering the complexity of this work, we are paid less than secretary work, most of the times. I have not anything against secretaries, but come on, you can't compare writing letters in Word and using Excel compared to what it takes to code even the smallest thing

4. "Inherent difficulty about this profession". In fact, what tires you the most relies on the difficult, unpractical thinking process required to come up with something that may run. When you reach a certain age, and when you have a certain amount of years doing what you do, you follow your own standards, and your standards are high. This means: spend more time doing what you did when you was a kid, when you worked more in a "bohemian" way, just for the fun of it. You stick to your own standards, clarity in code, naming conventions, in a way: you become professional, compared to how you did it when you were 16yr old teenager. i.e. you can easily assign var1, var2, and a, b, c as variable names when you are a kid, without caring if you ever have to modify the program after 1 year. Now, there are times when you have to even spend time thinking how to name a variable, properly declare types, how to name files as a whole, folder/subfolder structures, and so on and on and on. And these are just the basics, the same go to the way you name your functions, the perfect nesting of code. Things that themselves go besides if the program works or not, it's all about standards. You become a professional at what you become after doing it for 20 years. Thus, you can't name a variable as a, b or c anymore.

5. "Perfection", you get obsessed when you are a programmer. 20 years doing it, you have nearly a compulsive obsession disorder of 20 years. Seriously, it's just not "doing it", it's just not enough. It's all about "doing it perfectly, consistent to the way you did it for the last project, respecting a way of doing things, your own way". It's simply impossible when you reach a certain level on this career doing the same thing differently between two programs. As long as it's the same thing you will tend to use one or the other as a code template, and just expand it the minimum possible to avoid breaking away from that code template, a code template you had to think in the first place. And there's the problem that "that code template" just doesn't adjust exactly to what you have to do on the 2nd. project, so you get like a feeling of coldness running through your spine. True story. After 20 years, you need to be consistent, it's more important being consistent and perfect on what you do than the program itself. Talk about "code re-usability obsession" disorder, if it exists

6. "Tired of being the genius kid". Well, this is nice when you are 16 and everybody looks at you like the genius you are. When you are nearly 40 you want to do your thing, get the paypal payment and watch a movie with your kids or wife, have sex, drink whisky or simply listen Megadeth at 9/10 volume. You get tired of carrying the heavy burden of being "the genius kid" that everybody throws the worst shit possible on earth because you will be able to deal with it. You simply want to get a cool life as everybody else, because before being a programmer you a are a human being and you don't want to be constantly thinking, worrying and thinking and worrying and thinking and worrying, when you eat, when you get your bath, when you put the dog to pee, when you are in the bus, when you are in the bed. I lost count how many times I wake up on the morning and stay 1 hour without being able to step up, simply because I am worried thinking on al algorithm or whatever other coding-related shit that kept unresolved from the previous day

7. Finally, the always "need to adapt to a technology that you don't want to adapt". I mean, think of DOS days. Think of Cobol, Fortran; old dudes that spent learning that, plus Pascal, C, Clipper, from 1980 to 1995 to one day JUST throw it all in the WC because Microsoft came out saying that DOS was dead and Windows was there to stay, which meant: "Hey dude, you better start learning VB, Foxpro, VC++, Event-driven programming, Access and SQL Server databases and so on or you are out of the game ". That was a big change. And it happened to me, I was a Pascal, C, 8088 Assembler expert. Now where would I be nowadays coding in all that? The same happened in 2000 with .net. Then Javascript came out, then AJAX.. Now there's all about tablets and "responsive" designs for web. Now we also have the touchscreen madness and all events related to that. It's enough for me. World needs to understand that we don't have to re-learn our career every year just because the childish market "changes" to what the childish market thinks it's better for the market. This is, I think, mainly the main reason of all 7 reasons. You get sick of this profession if you have to re-learn everything one year after another, it's like you always feel a hole, a hole that never gets filled. The only solution to this is working for your own, and EVEN doing so, you are forced to re-learn some things. i.e. think of Table-based web design compared to CSS-table-less design. That was another big change that nobody asked us if we wanted to move through, in the first place. Think of CMS-website design world too, WP, Joomla. Now, some of these called standards are terrible to learn, buggy, wrong, and simply unpractical for the everyday use. Think of Javascript, I am sure you had a hard time more than a single time, trying to get some things to work, looked at the code and looked correct. But, wait, "you forgot that you typed a capital L instead of lowercase l" in your document.Location.href= line, thus, it wasn't working. How can you forget THAT dude!? Now, think if you have 3 pages of complex, event-driven Javascript code written running on your old Windows 98, IE 6 back in 2002 days, without Firefox, Firebug, Chrome and all what we have now to inspect and debug. Good luck trying to see where the error was

As a conclusion, these are the reasons why coding sucks, it's simply too much time-consuming. It has nothing to do with coding for yourself on big/interesting/rehearsal projects. It's all the same after all, then you get tied to keep making enhancements to that "program of yours" and new versions, and it becomes an endless loop. And nothing keeps you free you that one given day you will have to re-write your 5-years development project from scratch just because nobody will use Windows/Linux anymore, simply because a new SO came out, and the market forces you to move along

Cheers
Diego

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Replies To: Tired and Sick of Programming?

#2 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

I hear you in a limited capacity. Maybe you just need to leave your job and go flip burgers at McDonalds where they do it the same way for years, you can be your perfectionist self and serve those eggs on the mcmuffins that are perfectly round, no one will call you a genius, you can leave at the end of the day and go drink your whiskey and have sex and if you try planning something out before you do it, then will smack the hammer down on you so fast and say "you don't f*ck with the McDonalds formula!"


But you have to realize that some of what you are complaining about can be minimized if not eliminated. Point 1 can be reduced by proper decoupling of code from its underlying framework. If you have a proper middle tier if the boss wants to change database, you should have to recode a single DB interface file. For your scraper, sounds like you are again being too specific on your targeting of elements. Besides everyone knows scraping is almost always an area that you have to do a recode if the underlying site is changing.

As for money, you can get paid more in different parts of the country or world. Maybe a move is in order. Maybe you just need to find a better paid position. I know VPs who earn 6 figures for essentially doing the same things as you.

Either way, there comes a time where you might want to jump ship and that is fine. Burn out in tech is high and I too experience it once in awhile. Maybe take up a hobby that is not at all tech related. Helps you relax, clear your mind and if you end up doing well with your hobby maybe you can make that into a career choice.

Maybe you can be a prostitute, I hear they make good money and since you like to drink and have sex, you are half way there to a successful career!

:)

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 12 March 2013 - 04:09 PM

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#3 supersloth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

i honestly can't imagine doing this for 20 years. some people just have a certain shelf-life, others could do it forever.
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#4 GunnerInc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 04:08 PM

So, to recap... You just joined a programming forum, and your first post is to bitch about how much you hate programming?!?!

You posted this in the Caffeine Lounge where you will get all sorts of replies...

This should be interesting, let's see where this goes shall we?
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#5 diebythesword76  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 07:15 PM

View PostMartyr2, on 12 March 2013 - 04:07 PM, said:

I hear you in a limited capacity. Maybe you just need to leave your job and go flip burgers at McDonalds where they do it the same way for years, you can be your perfectionist self and serve those eggs on the mcmuffins that are perfectly round, no one will call you a genius, you can leave at the end of the day and go drink your whiskey and have sex and if you try planning something out before you do it, then will smack the hammer down on you so fast and say "you don't f*ck with the McDonalds formula!"


This is irrelevant to the tone of the article, doing a senseless work like what you mention isn't an option. Nevertheless, having to constantly worry about what you do for a living and basically having to go through the 7 points discussed here, on an everyday basis until you are 70, it's not either pleasant.

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But you have to realize that some of what you are complaining about can be minimized if not eliminated. Point 1 can be reduced by proper decoupling of code from its underlying framework. If you have a proper middle tier if the boss wants to change database, you should have to recode a single DB interface file.


Of course, and what about those Cobol/Fortran/Pascal/Clipper-based guys who spent 10 years mastering those languages? Will they run their code detached from "underlying networks"? Come on, Windows came out one day and I knew a lot of people who simply couldn't take on the realty that EVERYTHING they studied for 5 years was senseless because DOS was dead in 1995. I understand you have a solid background and that's "easier" to go into a new language when you are based on hard background as coding in 8088 Assembler, but the issue is all about the REASON why they simply have to go through huge/structural changes they wouldn't want to go if they had a chance. And that's exactly what happened in 1995 and still happening in other areas nowadays, i.e. Website design, now it's a standard making it for desktop and for the dozen tablets and smartphones available. Now customers are used that you provide both things, for the same price if possible. And you have to do TWO different sites, two different CSS, double-work, when you did a single-work just not too many years ago

Finally, does a lawyer needs to re-learn his whole profession every two years? Does an accountant has to? Does an actor has to? Programming is the only profession where you have to re-learn it every year if you really want to stay up-to-date. I don't see any logic on it. Even more, everybody including you, think it's FUN DOING IT! Now, isn't it more fun applying your knowledge rather than constantly having to re-learn it?

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As for money, you can get paid more in different parts of the country or world. Maybe a move is in order. Maybe you just need to find a better paid position. I know VPs who earn 6 figures for essentially doing the same things as you.


Well, good for them. I couldn't even think working for nobody else than me and my customers. I can't stand a boss telling me that new API I have to learn because he read on a fucking IT-magazine that's cool and that it's NEW and that he can attract new leads for his company. I simply have NO interest, it doesn't make me a better programmer learning it
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:21 PM

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As a conclusion, these are the reasons why coding sucks, it's simply too much time-consuming.

Technical writing is always a good option. :^:

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i honestly can't imagine doing this for 20 years. some people just have a certain shelf-life, others could do it forever.

This. Some people can't code forever. If you're burnt out, perhaps it's time to invest in yourself and move onto a different career path. Perhaps management? Project management is a popular next option for a lot of developers. You could also go back and teach at a community college.

A lot of your points deal with the frustrations of change. That's the nature of the field though. It's pretty obvious what would happen if the technologies didn't change. You can't have it both ways.
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#7 November-06  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 10:25 PM

When programming first became a job, it did not force you to take it. You are the one who made the choice to pursue it.

Programming may be difficult but it is its difficulty, challenge and complexity that are attractive to a person who loves a challenging job.

20 years? Then you have reached a point of no return. Quitting that job means throwing away every time and effort you invested for years so I wouldn't recommend you to stop. Think about the first time you fell in love with programming. Programming is difficult but it should be fun. A friend of mine once told me, "Pursue programming only if you are really interested. Don't just dream of becoming a software developer just because you got blinded by the salary it offers. Any job, whether IT related or not, should be fun. If you are planning to pursue it for years, it would be a waste if you won't enjoy the many years of your life which you devoted to coding."

None is perfect in this world... not the people... not the animals... not the environment... especially not computer programs. That's why there are what we call "errors" and "bugs". The reason software and programming languages evolve may be to meet our changing demands and needs. But I think it is also a part of striving for perfection which has not been achieved yet. Being imperfect, it is only natural that there would be things we woulnd't like about programming. But have you ever wonder what you love about it? Maybe what you love will outweight what you hate about it. Or am I wrong?

If you think of programming and use the Cost-Benefit Analysis to analyze how you spent your life living with it, would you say it costed you more than it benefited you? For 20 years, did you have a profit, loss, or just break even? Not profiting for 20 years, I would say it's not for you. After all, software development is not for everyone.

For 20 years, did you spend it just for freelancing? Why not look for a more stable job at the IT industry? Freelancing is not what I call stable even if it has been 20 years already. Maybe consultancy is better? Or better yet, why not just start a company of your own?

Before you throw away that job you have or pursue it hating it, analyze first. Afterall, programmers need to do a lot of analysis before acting. If you are really tired of thinking, go ahead, drop you job. Take a job that wouldn't require you to think. A janitorial job maybe. It is your decision to make not for us to interfere. Afterall, it's your job... it's your life...

This post has been edited by November-06: 12 March 2013 - 10:28 PM

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#8 diebythesword76  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 12 March 2013 - 11:19 PM

View PostNovember-06, on 12 March 2013 - 10:25 PM, said:

20 years? Then you have reached a point of no return.


That's the point here. I reached to a point of no return, I simply can't quit this, I am nearly 37 years old, I started coding at 16, when I was a kid. 2/3 of my life I dedicated to coding. In fact, I first got a computer at 9 yrs old, a ZX Spectrum so it's possibly even more than 20 years now. I remember doing some games on Basic even at 13. I spent the bloody life coding, how the hell can I quit that? It's like killing myself.

When I talk about freelancing it specifically refers to my own company, I have a small team of coders who are overseas and we code for customers around the world; I know, I think one of the things I will become one day would be just that: A project manager, I am already doing that role in parallel with an active main coder role

I don't hate programming, not in a way I couldn't even touch a keyboard again. I just have to live with the fact that I got bored of it, considering the 7 items I exposed earlier. One of the things I 'assume' it will improve this feeling will be going through an own project, something I do without expecting anything else than the fun doing it. I I thought creating a propietary file format. Any ideas?

Janitor? How the hell could I become a janitor?
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#9 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:51 AM

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1) So you're upset you have to keep up with the times. Tough luck. Say I'm a gas engine mechanic and everyone goes electric. I don't get to kick my feet and complain everyone has made me have to relearn my trade. I relearn it or I fall out. If I build a house and then years later the people want that shitty laminate, ugly shag carpet, and other outdated things in their house updated, and they call me to have it all ripped out, and in the process I have to maybe rebuild some structural stuff so we can put in the new heat on demand water heater and the central climate control. I don't complain. This is my job.

2) So other jobs don't require thinking before acting? Houses don't get blue-prints? Books/essays/articles don't get outlines? Engineers of nearly everything don't have research and modeling to perform? Cars aren't designed? Are you serious??? Only coding requires you to THINK before you make it? I'm pretty sure any job where you make things, someone had to THINK before making it. That person who thought may not be the person who made it (like the guys on the line at a car manufacturing plant aren't the designers)... but the same goes in some large programming companies. 1 group may design, the other write. You handle both jobs because you're a private freelancer.

3) Most people over value their job. Yes I want more money for what I do. But don't kid yourself... I make great money, most of us make really good money. Paid less than secretary work? Sounds to me like you have to find a new employer, or as a freelancer, get your hands on better contracts. I haven't made less than secretary work since I was a newb writing shitty javascript and actionscript, with no degree, in my garage, after learning to write code out of a book 3 months prior.

4) More "I need to think" whining. "Wahhhh, I have to think up names of variables." I don't even get this... what are you crying about? Really is that hard work or something?

5) Being a perfectionist isn't a result or symptom of being a programmer. You as a person may be a perfectionist which you bring with you to programming. If you had any other job, you'd probably bring the same level of perfectionism to that job as well. I bet many perfectionists are attracted to programming... but that's not a problem of programming. Furthermore perfectionism is only a problem if you consider it a problem.

6) "Tired of being the genius kid." Ohhhhh, no, people think you're smart. Life is sooooo hard. People throwing shit at you isn't unique to coding. People will throw burdens at you no matter what job you have. My father was a truck driver, and before that a plumber and electrician. And people threw shit at him all the time to take care of. If you don't like it, stop doing said shit. My father still went home at night and watched 'star trek' with his boy (me), because that's what he wanted to do, and he'd tell those people to eat rocks.

7) Guess what, the world changes. It just happens the computer world changes faster. 20 years ago accountants did their job completely different, and many to this day still refuse to change. Same goes for many jobs who have had technology introduced into their fields. Some find it a boon, others don't. And now they're stuck learning something new all the time to keep up with it. Shit some jobs are even dieing because of it. Bye bye newspapers...


Welcome to the world. You're over 40 and still you gripe like a child.

This post has been edited by lordofduct: 13 March 2013 - 06:53 AM

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#10 rgfirefly24  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:53 AM

You are looking at this all wrong. Change is a good thing, it allows you to do things faster and better (not in all cases though) then you could before.

As for hating the fact that things change. Things change no matter what job you have. The accountant is always having to learn new tax laws, or forms. Case in point, H&R block has to retrain their employees on how to fill out a Student tax credit form because the IRS changed the way the form needs to be filled out. A lawyer has to keep up on the laws for the specialty that he is in. Hell, a McDonald employee constantly has to be learning the new "more efficient" ways that they do their production. So the point is that there will be change in anything you do, so it is your choice to either embrace it or to reject it, but if you reject it you are only putting yourself out of a job.
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#11 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:53 AM

Clipper? OMG, Clipper?!? Sorry, I think I just had a flashback...

I do understand where you're coming from, but you're kind of all over the place. Your number 7 is really your number one. Technology changes. You may welcome it or fight it, but it will change whether you like it or not. It's complex as hell. There's more and more out there that you're expected to know and even when it's effectively dead, you often still have to support it.

Your 1 and 4 are pretty much 7. Your 2,3,5,6 are, no offense, personal problems.

I actually understand 5 pretty well. I compulsively rewrite stuff all the time But then, you also learn which battles to choose. There's crap, crap but working, and not crap and working. If I can be in the working range and get closer to not crap, I'll usually call it a win. This is often related to the complexity of everything. There are pieces I can control and those I can't. ( Damn, sounds like a serenity poem. :P )

Anyway, it's a rather bizarre first post for a programming site. Maybe we should run a contest or something.
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#12 lordofduct  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 13 March 2013 - 06:59 AM

It's OK if you got bored of programming. Many of us here will get bored of it some day, others may love it until the day they die.

But your reasons are just so petty. Your reasons sound like your fishing for excuses as to why you're bored. Take some personal responsibility... you're bored because YOU ARE BORED.

Anyways, getting bored of your career is not unique to programming again. You think the 50 year old mason with a bad back and busted knees who still lays tile with a back brace and a pillow under his legs is sitting their thinking "I love my job." ?
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#13 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:08 AM

View Postdiebythesword76, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 AM, said:

... snip...
One of the things I 'assume' it will improve this feeling will be going through an own project, something I do without expecting anything else than the fun doing it. I I thought creating a propietary file format. Any ideas?
... snip ...


Woah.. Is the whole nut of this post you need project ideas that you can do on your own? Hey - we have project lists.. you totally could have just asked before.

Project Ideas
Martyr2 Mega Project List

Spoiler

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#14 SarumanTheWhite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:16 AM

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#15 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Tired and Sick of Programming?

Posted 13 March 2013 - 07:22 AM

View Postdiebythesword76, on 13 March 2013 - 01:19 AM, said:

That's the point here. I reached to a point of no return, I simply can't quit this, I am nearly 37 years old, I started coding at 16, when I was a kid. 2/3 of my life I dedicated to coding. In fact, I first got a computer at 9 yrs old, a ZX Spectrum so it's possibly even more than 20 years now. I remember doing some games on Basic even at 13. I spent the bloody life coding, how the hell can I quit that? It's like killing myself.


Oh, please. If you've spent twenty years being really good at something, you can be really good at something else. If you knew what you wanted to do instead, you wouldn't be complaining about this, you'd be moving towards doing what you'd rather be doing. But the fact that you're writing this tells me that you don't have anything you'd rather be doing - so you might as well just keep on as you are.

Sorry if I sound harsh, but I can't stomach anyone who complains about having to learn something. Learning is the one really human pleasure, and one of the real joys of programming is that you can actually spend your life learning new things - if you haven't figured that out by now, you are your own worst problem.

Have a nice day!
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