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Old 06-25-2013, 10:03 PM   #21
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New technology/toolkits/livraries are sooo interesting. Managing people to share your possibly informed view of a thread of low risk activities to meet a desired business objective is a burdensome task.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I didn't FIRE because of being sick of the challenge of coding and problem solving but because of all the other stuff that happens at w*rk such as spending all the time on emails to CYA (no fun).

I sometimes to miss the challenge of software development. But to roll up my sleeves while retired and write for fun... I can't say I miss coding that much
+1
Exactly.
I miss it sometimes but I have been very busy since I retired 2 years ago. Before I retired, I thought I would be bored so I procured a Sample Development Kit and IDE and even a scope. I have not touched any of these and are just gathering dust.

Nowadays, I find enough challenge trying to model different different financial scenarios on the spreadsheet.
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:23 PM   #23
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...
Also, I've gotten demoralized (for lack of a better word) over the realization that what I work on, and the systems I create, don't mean anything in the bigger scheme of things. In a couple years from now, whatever I've created will be obsolete, thrown out, and replaced with the next shiny thing. It has no lasting permanence or meaning. ...
Well, other than the people like the ones who built the pyramids, you have lots of company!

Honestly, why is 'permanence' any measure? Even medical researchers, who develop new procedures or medicines, will have someone come along in a few years with something new, and their work will be put aside.

I do feel fortunate that the products I worked on can be seen as overall doing some good, but even if they were neutral in that regard, it would not have been for naught. One of the more 'purposeful' feelings I got was, realizing that if we all did a good job, we would help grow the company. That meant decent paying jobs, with decent benefits, for a lot of people. Sometimes I'd look out at all the people on the production line, the people working in the cafeteria, the development staff, the marketing people, distribution, and on and on - all with decent, safe jobs, and mostly that salary was going to support a family. Even if the product didn't have any great significance, that would still be important.


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Perhaps if I had ever worked on something that really changed the landscape, such as helping to develop Windows, or iOS, or something along those lines, I'd feel more excited over what I do. But to develop yet another reporting application that crunches numbers and spits out a graph...doesn't do it for me anymore.
Windows (just kiddin' --ummmm not really!)

But those graphs must have some importance to the company?

-ERD50
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:20 PM   #24
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I have always enjoyed coding and problem solving logic, and since college have continued to learn and teach myself additional programming languages. But I could not do it as a full time job, I need variety. One of the reasons I started with Megacorp is because the job had a "problem solving" flavor where the ability to program was a benefit but gave me the freedom to do much more. Part of my current job is design technology integration, which gets me involved in a lot of API work across different languages on different operating system and networking platforms. I have published white papers with code samples, which gets me some recognition and speaking engagements at conferences.

I also have a talent for figuring out code that others have written. My first award at Megacorp was for figuring out a coding error in a client banking system that allowed it to be migrated to a newer platform for both cost savings and additional revenue generation. several of of the projects I'm consulting on now are from testing integration software and not just finding errors, but identifying where the errors where and providing recommendations on what should be coded.

When I FIRE it is something I'll probably keep doing as a hobby and to keep my mind sharp. With the prevalence of IDEs, free code on the internet, and the move towards crowdsourcing for software development there is not as much money to be made as in the past, but I figure if I want to I can make enough to pay for my greens fees.
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:30 AM   #25
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Never wore off for me. I'm retired a few years now, but volunteer to run the websites for a couple of non-profit orgs. It's nothing too complicated but I love tinkering with the underlying software and always trying to improve things. And I like to imagine that it helps keep my brain sharp.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:32 AM   #26
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I never got tired of software development. I still write software now, but I do it now to scratch my own itches rather than because the job demands it.

I was at the WWDC last year and saw a bunch of my old colleagues who asked why I was there since I didn't need to be there for work. My answer was that it was the perfect nerd vacation - learn some new things, see some old friends, take a nice trip. I don't need to go every year, but every two or three years will be fun.

I REed mainly because I could. Why worry about work deadlines and working on other people's priorities when I can do what I want at my own pace. Pretty much a no brainer.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:09 AM   #27
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Not to burst anybody's bubble, as I'm sure there are a lot of folks who still get a kick out of software development.

But I guess I'll be one of the few (if not only) folks here to say the bloom fell off the rose a long time ago for me.

I've been doing IT work for almost 30 years, a large part of it developing systems and writing code. While I used to get a kick out of it early on, I've really grown to dislike the field in the last 10 years or so. I just don't find it challenging or rewarding anymore.

All the politics and BS aside that exists in any career, just from the technology standpoint of it...I've grown to realize that all software systems do the same three things. Take input, crunch it, and provide output. No matter how many systems I've worked on (batch, online, mainframe, open systems, reporting, integrations, etc) they all do these same three things.

Also, I've gotten demoralized (for lack of a better word) over the realization that what I work on, and the systems I create, don't mean anything in the bigger scheme of things. In a couple years from now, whatever I've created will be obsolete, thrown out, and replaced with the next shiny thing. It has no lasting permanence or meaning.

Perhaps if I had ever worked on something that really changed the landscape, such as helping to develop Windows, or iOS, or something along those lines, I'd feel more excited over what I do. But to develop yet another reporting application that crunches numbers and spits out a graph...doesn't do it for me anymore.

Again, don't want to burst anybody's bubble, and more power to folks who can stay challenged and excited in the IT field. But wanted to provide a different perspective from somebody who's been doing it a long time...the grass is definitely not greener.

Good luck!
This is the closest anyone has come to matching not only my current sentiment but my career (writing assembler and COBOL code on the mainframe thru various OO languages and some cloud development).

The enjoyment has worn off for me so much that I always delegate even when I have the opportunity to write code, debug algorithms, etc.

I do not want to sound too negative: Coding got my career started; but, since I was relatively good at it, I would quickly get moved into the management track, which I was not particularly good at but which paid much better.

The worst thing for me is the constant reinvention of old ideas and the people that are convinced the new, repackaged, method of coding, team development, whatever is the best way to do things, it has never been done before, all problems would magically go away if everyone would just get on-board with whatever the latest thing is. I just find the whole thing very tiring. That, coupled with the outsourcing trend which just won't die (and which I am still convinced costs more if all costs were captured and accounted for properly) has me more than ready to ER.

I had a good run; but, now I am done. It sounds like most here have not reached this level of burnout with their passion. And, I do wish you the best with whichever direction you choose.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:32 AM   #28
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Don't forget that the environment you work in makes a big difference. Of course that applies to all types of work.

Working for a great company and a great boss makes all the difference to me. A place where excellence is expected and rewarded is a must.

Producing software that is used my millions of people is a real motivator too.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:44 AM   #29
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Don't forget that the environment you work in makes a big difference. Of course that applies to all types of work.

Working for a great company and a great boss makes all the difference to me. A place where excellence is expected and rewarded is a must.

Producing software that is used my millions of people is a real motivator too.
That is a great point. In my case I had all that for over 25 years, then a change in SR. Management and poof, it got real bad.

So enjoy while those conditions are there for you.

MRG
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:57 AM   #30
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I
This was an interesting comment too. Something I was seeking in my career choice was an opportunity to be a part of something with real historical significance. Working on revolutionary projects like the earlier versions of Windows, or the iPhone, or Google search would fit the bill. Building some of the crap software that we use in our office, on the other hand, would probably leave me feeling empty after a couple decades.
Having enough savings to turn down those contracts/jobs that don't sound challenging or are otherwise vacuous helps my attitude a lot.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:20 AM   #31
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In the beginning expectations of what a programmer could do in x amount of time were more reasonable than later. Pretty soon everyone was becoming a programmer, and the demand/supply thing took over. Plenty of good programmers around to do a program in less than x amount of time. More competition. The older I got, the more I had to stop my coding, and go look at some other program to see how it was involved, thereby slowing me down, since my memory for that sort of thing was getting worse. Always felt the thrill of the chase, though.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:24 PM   #32
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I didn't FIRE because of being sick of the challenge of coding and problem solving but because of all the other stuff that happens at w*rk such as spending all the time on emails to CYA (no fun).

I sometimes to miss the challenge of software development. But to roll up my sleeves while retired and write for fun... I can't say I miss coding that much
This sums it up for me too. I never lost the enjoyment for programming, but eventually it got crowded out by dismay at the things going on around me in the w*rkplace. And it didn't seem to matter which w*rkplace I was in.

One thing I don't think anyone has mentioned: as a programmer, your entire world changes every few years: all your tools, technologies, environments, terminology--everything. For me it required constant mental hustle. At first it was fun, but eventually it got to feel like thrashing.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:59 PM   #33
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I started in software development for a Megacorp in 1969; it was fun for about 7 years then I started to get bored with the business aspect of the whole thing. About that time my Father passed away and I found myself back in my little home town. The Army had constructed the first of the Safeguard ABM sensors about 17 miles away and I managed to get a job there. It was a chance to work with a real time OS in a more scientific environment and I loved it. Had to learn some unusual languages such as CENTRAN (Central Logic and Control Translator) and SNX 360 (an extended version of Assembler) that were developed specifically for the computer system. The computer was the world's first muti-processor system designed and built by IBM, CDC, and Univac under contract to Western Electric. We did missile warning and satellite tracking. The challenges were great but after 30 years it was time to retire. I still play around with writing applications for my own use.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:04 PM   #34
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I'm an engineer by degree and turned into a programmer about half way through my career.

I do code for fun on a non-work project that interests me (tivo-like functionality for a slew of tuners that have a small install base). I'm looking for something else to catch my fancy so I can code on another project. But it's got to interest me (not just code for code's sake).

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The programming and debugging fun never wore off. It's everything else that wore me out.
Yep! Aggreed. The recent everything else: They're asking me to train Indians that don't have the knack or passion for coding...they just came off the assembly line and are in it for the money. Honestly, a root canal would be a welcome change over trying to work with them sometimes.

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In a couple years from now, whatever I've created will be obsolete, thrown out, and replaced with the next shiny thing. It has no lasting permanence or meaning.
That thought has gone through my head too. How much of the code that I've written is still in use? Not much, I wager. But even if JUST A FEW lines are alive from 20 years ago, that's enough, hehe.

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Don't forget that the environment you work in makes a big difference. Of course that applies to all types of work.
Thats another one that took a huge nosedive for me recently.

Something not mentioned (or I missed it) was working with smart coders. I find it really easy to work in a group of people who are smart and are willing to share. Not braggin', but there's almost nobody left in my current gig that can share any technical awesome with me.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:17 PM   #35
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One thing I don't think anyone has mentioned: as a programmer, your entire world changes every few years: all your tools, technologies, environments, terminology--everything. For me it required constant mental hustle. At first it was fun, but eventually it got to feel like thrashing.
Interesting. Over the years that change is the very reason I enjoy programming. The opportunity to learn something new and apply it tended to keep my mind fresh. I have found it fun to learn different languages and APIs on different operating system platforms and apply them to solve various problems. I would feel "trapped" if I had to stick to a single language or platform.

The biggest change that I am getting used to are integrated development environments (IDEs). I can see their power in taking away a lot of the "mundane" programming tasks, giving one more time to focus on the core logic, and provide more efficient support for the development/test/deploy cycle. But I find that if I step away from an IDE for a couple of months I have to go through a refresher curve when I need to get back to using it. Its still easier for me to get started via just a text editor. The main issue is time, so perhaps that will be addressed once I ER.
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Old 07-02-2013, 07:28 AM   #36
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> Interesting. Over the years that change is the very reason I enjoy programming.

Me too. Always something new: Pascal, Ada, C, Object Pascal, Object C, Java, Objective-C.

Or even better (Assembly languages): 6502, 6809, PDP-11, NOVA, 68K, VAX, PowerPC, ARM. (Never did bother to learn x86...)
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:25 AM   #37
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In a couple years from now, whatever I've created will be obsolete, thrown out, and replaced with the next shiny thing. It has no lasting permanence or meaning.
Very few of us will ever do anything that will last for - how long? Eventually even the pyramids will be dust anyway.

However, in the meantime....

While I don't know a thing about coding or programming I am in awe of those who can do what seems to be almost magic with it - coding has transformed the world and made so many things easier and more enjoyable for billions of people. Right now I am thoroughly enjoying digital photography, learning about it, and exploring what can be done with it. None of that would be possible without those who have spent their lives coding and designing everything from the basic computers, to graphics cards and the software that runs them, to the applications for the end users like me who spend more time than is probably good for me in Lightroom and Photoshop.

So despite all the BS that goes with the corporations, and management, dealing with disagreeable people (and unless you're a one-person shop that's going to happen whatever work you do) this end user's hat is off to you folks.

You made, and continue to make, a difference to me.
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:55 AM   #38
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Add me to the group that used to feel that rush, and don't anymore.

Corporate politics is a part of it.

My degree was engineering - but I've done firmware/software since graduation. Assembly/C/C++/Java.... I've debugged and developed on more processors than I can remember. (Though it's been MIPS for a while now... almost a decade.)

As I moved further from the hardware, it got less real to me.

As more of the "fun" work was offshored, it also got less enjoyable.

I'm trying to stay motivated... just because my ideal plan has me pulling the plug sometime in the next year or 3... but if I were to leave now, I wouldn't look back.

And I wouldn't be coding stuff at home for fun.
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