After ~15 years of experience as a developer I still love coding!
The things I'm most passionate about are high quality and clean code as well as automation.
It all started with my interest in "beautiful code". How can I make my code pretty? Soon I learned about Clean Code and Software Craftsmanship. I read "Clean Code", "The Clean Coder", "The Pragmatic Developer", and all related books. I practised TDD and pairing, did a lot of code katas, attended various meetups to learn more and more. I got to know a lot of different frameworks and played with other programming languages.
But "Clean Code" wasn't enough. I didn't wanted to make "just" the other developer happy when they had to maintain my code. I also wanted happy users and happy stakeholders like ops, QA persons and product owners. I'm interested in the deployment process, in logging and monitoring. How to automate all steps in the build process, how to work efficiently with VCS. How can we debug and troubleshoot the application. How happy are our users? Do we really build the software they need or just something we assume is a cool thing to build? What tests do I need, how can I automate testing. All in all I want to deliver high quality to everyone who comes in touch with the product I'm working on.
After all these years, I still strive for deliver excellent code. Clean, easy to maintain, high quality and exactly what the user needs. Something that sparks joy!
Because I never loosed my passion, I'm still on my journey and I'm still happy to be a developer. There's still so much more to learn!
And my journey continuous...
Do what you love! If you find yourself being in a toxic environment: LEAVE! (The tech industry is awesome: There are so much jobs! You will find a company/job where you feel at home!) There are places which are not toxic!
And don't miss out on career opportunities because you plan to have a family in the future. It is possible to have both: the job you love and a family.
If you feel like an imposter (I still do): Ask people for feedback. You'll learn what people value about you and how other people see you.
Share your story: I love reading about the journey of other developers and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Every role model is helpful! Encourage others to follow their passion!