Don't be a developer!
Correct Me if I'm Wrong
But this was most likely your career path. You got interested in computers and technology at a very young age. You quickly started tinkering with modifying or modding games on your computer. After that you maybe moved on to hosting your own game server for you and your friends. You carried a decent amount of responsibility for maintaining the server. Then after that perhaps you thought let's make this public and built up a quick and easy website for the game server in question. Somewhere along the line people started losing interest.
But not you, oh no you enjoyed that bit of responsibility and the ability to create something for other people to use. That bit of creativity made you want more. So you started getting more and more into programming. You became interested in how things work, started tinkering with stuff left and right. When the time came to pick a profession you naturally thought hey I'm gonna become a programmer and when you found out it pays well you thought of it more as a welcome bonus to a decision you already made.
Well a lot of us had that exact story, but then there's the second much shorter story of people who heard it pays well, it gives you a stable income, good job security and is all in all a comfy indoors office job with AC. You're content and happy. This article is not directly aimed at you, but feel free to keep reading perhaps I can inspire you.
If your story better resembles the first one then chances are that you landed yourself a pretty nice corporate job after a while. Now you sit there every day sinking deeper and deeper into depression. You don't understand why could it be that it's because you picked the wrong job? Should you throw it all away and become a lumberjack? I mean it's hardwork but at least you get some fresh air. Sure beats sitting in an office doing stuff that does not matter for a large corporate entity.
this is not at all what you imagined a developers life to be
It's supposed to be fun and full of chellanges working on groundbreaking and amazing stuff that people love to use. We're supposed to be building the future not software that helps government people file their documents better. Is the programming profession a lie? or worse dying?
The Answer is No
You DID pick the right job, or better yet you did pick the right skill to invest your time in. The job of a developer is still one of the best things you can pick in life. It's the stuff nobody tells you at most programming courses or schools or universities that lead you to make all the wrong decisions.
When working for a large corporation you have to realize your role in the grand scheme of things. Even though they were looking for a "rockstar" developer, what they really wanted was a cog in a big machine. Someone to help them reach their goals faster and take over part of someone elses responsibility. No matter your skillset you always need to prove yourself first.
Which finally brings us to the point of this article don't be THAT kind of developer. The type of developer that just works for his next paycheck, that has no wants or needs other than bare basics. Humans are hunter gatherers first and foremost. Take a human and put him in a cubicle tell him he is only allowed to do certain things at certain times and watch him slowly go insane.
We Are Meant to Hunt
Not literally, unless that is what you are into. But you are meant to have grand ambitions, you are meant to want to go after the next and bigger prey. Wheather it's an app you always wanted to work on, or a website or climbing the next highest mountain and so on. We are meant to always be hungry for the next challenge.
It's the same in the development world. We are supposed to want to create something better. Do something better, provide more value to something or someone and you can start doing that today.
Hunger, you need to feel hunger again. No not the literal kind, the kind of the soul, the kind that makes you want to do better. For me this hunger, this ambition is worse than any literal kind. This kind of hunger is the key to success.
Again not literally. Consider this for a moment, if you work for a corporate job, you most likely get payed just above average. Enough to live a comfy life but not the one you want to live, because all that money won't buy you enough free time to do all you want to do.
So what I propose is consider all the money you get from your paycheck as dirty money. Only use that money to cover your basic needs. Do not under any circumstances use it for anything fun or desirable. Starve yourself of that cheap fuel.
Instead start earning your own money. Invest in creating your own brand, open a webshop, create an application, make that idea you had for a while a reality and see how much you can earn with it, use that money to treat yourself.
Do not become content with selling your 9-5 timeslot to the highest bidder. Create something out of yourself.
I'm sorry if I misslead you with the title. Obviously the job of a developer is still one of the best. But I see more and more of my peers being unhappy with where their life is right now. More often than not it boils down their ambitions not being met in a corporate enviroment.