You are not alone. I was seriously considering dropping out of this profession because "I can never be like those people who program outside of their work hours, contribute to open source, attend conferences, and write articles".
I stayed in the field because I needed to earn a living. And because it is not easy to change to something else when you don't have a luxury of free time.
I would not mind to earn a living developing my own project though.
"I can never be like those people who program outside of their work hours, contribute to open source, attend conferences, and write articles".--I can pretty much relate on this one as well. And yes, much of what we do here is to earn a living. Exactly as I have said. Thank you for sharing--If I may ask, how did you able to cope up? or are you still in the process of coping up?
And, to be clear, I probably wouldn't start or continue if I didn't have hopes for the project to become profitable one day and let me quit my day job.
I don't know if it is "coping" but I started my own ambitious project that I wanted to make even if I need to do programming. Pretty much all I do these days and months is coding. I like it and I hate it. On one hand, I find it enjoyable to see my skills growing fast because of the challenges and high motivation. On the other hand, I hope the days will come when I won't need to code more than 20 hours a week (or at all, but that's not going to happen).
I totally feel the same. Unfortunately sometimes it feels like you have to have side projects going or have your own technical blog to be able to succeed in this profession. It is very frustrating sometimes, but when I look around, it's the same across all other fields. The extra time you put in builds up your skills and makes you standout in the long term. But I really do feel this kind of frustration a lot of times.
While I agree that you have to spend time doing side projects or technical blogs to learn and succeed, I also believe sometimes it's the opposite. There are just things that you cannot learn inside an enclosed space unless the other developers you're with also have very good experiences that they are willing to share. It's somewhat related to "Our ability to learn is unique". But yes, the things you learn in your office/job--can be nothing compared to what you can learn when you do your stuff--hacking a new framework, etc.
How were you able to cope up, Chastina?
I totally agree with you. Doing side projects and tech blogs are not the only ways to learn. Attending conferences, talking to other developers, and even giving talks are also great ways to learn. I personally just find that coding projects on my own forces me to understand concepts and details that I always ignore under other circumstances. But I'm just talking about myself, everybody have there own ways to learn. Although the one thing that's universally true is that you have to put time and effort into it. I'm struggling to cope up because my time and focus is limited these days, I'm trying to fix that.
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