re: Why is the software industry so competitive? VIEW POST

re: Sorry man, but I'll call this bulls**t. Competition is on a whole different level amongst athletes and military. Some even take drugs and sacrifice...

Some even take drugs and sacrifice their health so they can compete

That also happens in software development, see this blog post summarizing results from our research on software development expertise:


One of our participants (age 60) wrote the following:

I found that I lost a significant amount of my focus as I became 40, and started using drugs such as ritalin to enhance my abilities. This is pretty common among older programmers.

You still can't realise the magnitude. The athletes take the drugs to become athletes, not to keep it going.

Losing focus after 40 is a natural thing. I'm 45 myself and I know exactly what I'm talking. You are supposed however to be a bit smarter and have discipline to handle that by this age.

You still can't realise the magnitude. The athletes take the drugs to become athletes, not to keep it going.

I agree that one can't assess the prevalence of this phenomenon using the data from our survey. But I suppose that it's not only older developers using such "smart drugs", see for example this article or this short discussion on Twitter. Considering that students also take such drugs, I think the statement "developers take drugs to become developers" is not as far-fetched as it may seem.

I think, that people used to have it way too easy all the time. Let me tell you a story - when I was in 8th grade, I got into a foreign language high school and I had to study German for at least 3 hour every day of the week. In the afternoon we had to spend at least 2h to write our homework under supervision. Imagine my shock, when one day we had to learn 80 new words. I complained, that this is insane - how can I memorise 80 new words for a day and one of the older students laughed and said - oh this is on easy days, usually they will be around 120... a few weeks later I figured out it's not impossible, yes it was hard and pushing us to the limit, but it WAS possible. The next thing I realised was, that I was supposed to memorise as much as I can and nobody will kill me if I forget a few. Some students thought this is way too hard for them and decided to leave. Other just kept going without pushing themselves beyond their limits, but in the end we all graduated and we all learned a lot.

Moral of the story - you don't have to be perfect, just do what you think is right (for you)

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