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How to fall in love with coding?

Nandini S Hinduja on December 06, 2023

Okay, let me be 100% honest. I don't like coding that much nowadays. In fact, I might even hate it. But I am too far in to quit. I have invested a ...
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andrewjensentech profile image
Andrew Jensen

It sounds to me like you went into dev chasing a paycheck.

If that's true, it's time for a little introspection. If I were you, figure out what you want to do and study that on the side while you continue in your tech career.

I will add this though, I've experienced the same feelings several times throughout my career, it's usually a precursor to burnout.

Here are some key indicators of burnout:

  • Chronic Fatigue and Exhaustion: Feeling tired not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally, even after rest.
  • Reduced Performance and Productivity: Struggling to concentrate, make decisions, or be creative, leading to decreased work output and quality.
  • Cynicism and Detachment: Feeling disconnected from your work, colleagues, and the goals of the organization. This might manifest as a negative or indifferent attitude towards work.
  • Increased Irritability or Impatience: Getting frustrated more easily than usual, especially with colleagues or work-related issues.
  • Physical Symptoms: Experiencing physical issues like headaches, stomach problems, or a weakened immune system.
  • Lack of Enjoyment: Losing interest in activities that used to be enjoyable, including hobbies and time with family or friends.
  • Sleep Disturbances: Experiencing changes in sleep patterns, such as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or restlessness.
  • Feelings of Ineffectiveness and Lack of Accomplishment: Doubting the value of your work or feeling like you're not achieving anything significant.
  • Escapist Behavior: Engaging in behaviours like excessive gaming, internet surfing, or substance use to avoid work or feelings related to it.
  • Isolation: Withdrawing from social interactions both in the workplace and outside.
  • Neglecting Personal Needs: Putting off self-care, including exercise, healthy eating, or doctor's appointments.
  • Procrastination: Delaying work tasks, often due to a lack of energy or motivation.

If this describes you, it's time to take care of you.

Keep safe! You're not alone in the struggle!

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duke09 profile image
Duke

this is helpful, thank you so much

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

thanks!

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I'm much more passionate about what I can create with code vs any part of coding itself. While I wouldn't put too much pressure on it, I think this is the best place to look for if you want to be impassioned by the activity. Of course this is different for everybody, but it's an idea.

I think you also tend to get more passionate about what you're best at — but it's sort of a chicken-egg thing.

Within the craft, I find myself particularly fascinated by matters of latency in Internet-enabled development, i.e. how long it takes for a response to be returned. Based on the speed of light, a response can only be so fast, but there is a lot we can do with infrastructure and code to make things happen faster. I use this idea to try and build services which are globally useful, as opposed to just fast if you happen to live on the east coast of the USA.

I mention that only because it may get your imagination going. Good luck!

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

thanks!

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akoskm profile image
Akos

Build stuff that helps people. You, your family, friends or colleagues.

Experience how much impact you can make and how easy it is to scale that impact by ex. doing web dev and sharing your work with literally anyone with internet access.

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

thanks for the tips!

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k7064569 profile image
k7064569

Hi,
Nandini
Don't worry,
I can help you full time
I'm a full stack developer & software engineer.
I hope to hear from you soon.
Sincerely.

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

thanks!

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

i don't hire people. sorry

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Sloan, the sloth mascot
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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

no, sorry.

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anitaolsen profile image
Anita Olsen • Edited

Either you love something or you do not. I do not think you can force it. Learn to like something on the other hand, I believe very much you can but that requires you to think very differently and more positively on the subject in hand.

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

thanks for your ideas!

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sagaofsilence profile image
Sachin

You need to first understand and acknowledge what made you start with software development. Please note that coding is just one of the tasks done in software development.

You will also agree that software development is all about people and solving the issues faced by people using software. So obviously we need to be people-person and possess skills like problem-solving, logical thinking, analytical thinking, interpersonal skills and empathy.

Before you love coding, you need to love people and problem-solving to tackle their issues with software solutions.

We cannot start with coding and then hope to start linking it someday.

And we should have our why. Why are we doing coding?
I think learning to code is like learning to use a sword. We use the sword in a war against injustice. But just being a soldier is not enough. We should have some reason to be a soldier. And courage, patriotism and fighting spirit. Otherwise, it will become just work for pay.

Rediscover your "why." It's not just about code; it's about making a difference, solving problems, and yes, getting paid for the skill you've mastered.

Coding for longer hours beyond duty hours need not mean extra effort or love for coding. It could be helplessness or compulsion. It could also be inefficiency of the environment or/and the developer. We should aim for smart work and not slogging. Work-life balance is important.

Probably it may be a good idea to consult some expert career counselor.

Above all, it is not the end of the world if we do not like coding or do it well. There are many right people in the wrong places. Maybe you can excel at something else. Worry more about the time you are going to invest continuing with coding than the time invested so far in it. Make good use of the remaining time.

All the best!

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

thanks for the suggestions! they are helpful!

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danvin001 profile image
Dan Vin

To add up to @andrewjensentech comment, I would say that your true nature as a human being is also a key factor. We are not all passionate in life and that’s ok. I even think that this passionate stuff is well over made.

Respecting yourself, seeing these persons working way to much putting aside their own life is a good key that you are aware of what could be wrong with to much work. Always put yourself first, otherwise who’s gonna do it if you don’t.

The rest is a question of do you like or not what you do? If not, where would you see yourself?

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

Thanks for your insights!

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Olivia Pandora Stokes

What I'm enjoying about learning Python now is it keeps me interested or curious to learn more. I want to enjoy my ideal job, not love it. Most of the things I love I use as hobbies and invest time + energy on my terms.

But, I would recommend exploring different job titles or companies to see if that's the missing piece. Sometimes a better environment can make a huge difference. Or even asking yourself what is your ideal job? Or what would you change about your current job?

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

great ideas! thanks!

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Julio Coutinho • Edited

It's a matter of perspective.

It's interesting that while you describe the reasons that you don't like coding you are at the same time describing the reasons that others love coding.

when you said: "...something that is so difficult" → I thought: "that's why it's exciting".
when you said: "Every step has obstacles" → I thought: “and I love surpassing them”.
when you said: "...not familiar with the codebase..." → I thought: “it’s so cool to research and understand someone else’s code”.
when you said: "...I don't know the tech stack..." → I thought: "I love to learn new staks".
when you said: "...don't know to do a particular thing" → I thought: "I love research and learning to do things".
when you said: "Sometimes I get errors/bugs" → I thought: "I love the feeling when I solve these puzzles".

Many have already contributed to this post. But if I could only advise one thing, it would be:

Most things do not have an intrinsic meaning, we are the ones who give meaning to things. And coding will never stop having all these challenges, but you continue with the expectation that one day you will be able to coding without these obstacles, so when the obstacles appear you give them a negative meaning. Understand once and for all that coding will always be like this, and start looking at the challenges with a positive eye or experience burnout as they said.

I don't have a job in software development yet, but I've been an automation technician for ten years, and what attracted me from an early age to automation and now to study software development is precisely this surprise of challenges and glories in overcoming them.

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

thanks for your insights!

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Michał Fita

You can't ride that horse far. It's not about loving coding, it's about feeling sense of the code that solves a problem. You may love beautiful clean code, but that's require good craftsmanship. And you'll not get there without practice, mostly for fun.
You can code for money and be mediocre at it - find nine to five programming job and have a good hobby elsewhere. Or you can build software systems for enjoyment of cracking world problems (that's why I refuse cryptocurrency jobs - they create more problems than they solve) and be fulfilled and love coding so much to practice it in own free time for fun and have topics to discuss with others outside your main professional concern.
I compare that with writers. Almost everyone can write. People write for work, but only tiny percentage really enjoy this and are good enough to make serious money by being read by thousands.

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nandinishinduja profile image
Nandini S Hinduja

thanks for your insights!

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Ranjan Dailata

Go with the step-by-step approach. Not everyone is comfortable with every other programming language. However, the fire should be there with everyone to work. Depending upon the nature of work, Most likely if it's an official project work, then it's the responsibility of a developer to dig deeper, learn and work with the project. It doesn't matter what technology it is. In the end, it's just a mindset :)

The moment one looks himself or herself as a programmer, things will change. That's the beauty of a programmer, as she/he can work in any programming language.

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Nandini S Hinduja

thanks!

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kwnaidoo profile image
Kevin Naidoo • Edited

Maybe a good approach. If you can - take some time off, a holiday of some sort, travel a bit if possible. Detach yourself from tech completely.

Once you are well rested, sit down and make a list of what you love about programming - even if this is not current but at some point where you enjoyed some aspects. Write it down.

Now allocate some time whenever you can, to do some of the stuff you wrote down outside of the bounds of work, just for fun. I write blog articles and work on side projects for fun, there's no major monetary reward I get out of these but I enjoy it.

If you are a 9-5 coder, that's perfectly fine and respectable, a job pays the bills. In this case - hobby coding as mentioned above will make it seem like a chore so this is maybe not a good route for you.

In the above case, write down your weaknesses - which seems to me like you struggling with problem-solving. Take it one day at a time, initially, this will be hard and you may want to give up but keep going, just practice in small increments and when you succeed celebrate that, and give yourself some sort of reward.

If you keep beating the nail, eventually it will go in. Same concept, just keep practicing the things you are not good at, and as you gain more experience - you will get better.

If all else fails, maybe it's time to have an honest review of where you are at. Then either look for a Job that fits you better, change your language or framework or just take a break completely and try another career path.

Ultimately, you going to be in the industry you choose for probably 10 - 20 years, even retirement - so find what you love and do that.

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Nandini S Hinduja

thanks for the advice, it was really helpful!

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Ismail Ismail

Wow that's good