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Feel like I’m going no where


junebug123
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It’s been about two months since I’ve come back to my old company. I feel like I have a good relationship with everyone here, my stress levels are way down, I have healthcare, Im saving money and I’ve been going to the gym a lot.

I feel like I’m in the probably close to the best shape I’ve been in a long time. On average I’ve been jogging about 3.5 miles close to 3-4 times a week on top of the weight training.

I should probably cut back a little on food spending and should be contributing more to the code base, but I guess I’m sort of enjoying this time in my life.

The problem is that I still feel depressed and worthless. In the past I could work on personal projects and felt like I was improving my skills as a programmer. I know that I am growing and this experience here is very good for where I want to move in the industry career wise.

Lately, I’ve been focusing more on staying in the present moment and not getting lost in fantasy thinking. I realized that my lack of self awareness when it came to this behavior was getting me in trouble all the time.

I don’t really know how to balance working and studying outside of work. I just know that I feel guilty constantly when I’m not working hard enough, and I feel terrible that I’m not improving at a much faster rate.

What am I doing wrong, how I can I be doing everything right and feel feel like a failure, this doesn’t make any sense and it’s really discouraging.

 

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What’s your goal exactly? I ask to get a better idea of what you’re working on all this work and study for. 

Once you know what your goals are, long term, creating short term or realistic smaller goals are much easier. So are managing any expectations of yourself. Know when to cut yourself some slack, when to ask for help or take a vacation. It’s good to recharge too.

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I spoke to my friend whose also a programmer about this. He’s been at this company for close to two years. I think he struggles with the same thing, mental fatigue or cognitive overload.

My goal is that I want to be able to program for an hour or two in addition to my work schedule. Yet, in the past when I tried doing this I started feeling anxious all the time and I had a short fuse. 

I understand what your saying about managing expectations but you have to understand that I’m used to reading close to 5-6 technical books a year. Last year I only read 2, and since I started this job I haven’t been able to get more then 40-50 pages in the current java swing book that I’m currently going through.

I have about 3-4 books related to java programming and another 4-5 books related to game programming and network programming. 

Since acquiring this position, it’s been the longest academic break I’ve ever taken. All I do is angular and java spring. At first I didn’t mind this I much because I was learning a lot. However, much of what I do on a day to day basis is partly just implementing things I already know.

A lot of the higher paying jobs out there require advanced knowledge of solving programming puzzles or advancing my knowledge outside of my current domain (i.e., concurrent programming, cloud architecture, data structures, etc. etc.).

Sorry for the rant. 

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2 hours ago, junebug123 said:

It’s been about two months since I’ve come back to my old company. I feel like I have a good relationship with everyone here, my stress levels are way down, I have healthcare, Im saving money and I’ve been going to the gym a lot.

I feel like I’m in the probably close to the best shape I’ve been in a long time. On average I’ve been jogging about 3.5 miles close to 3-4 times a week on top of the weight training.

I should probably cut back a little on food spending and should be contributing more to the code base, but I guess I’m sort of enjoying this time in my life.

The problem is that I still feel depressed and worthless. In the past I could work on personal projects and felt like I was improving my skills as a programmer. I know that I am growing and this experience here is very good for where I want to move in the industry career wise.

Lately, I’ve been focusing more on staying in the present moment and not getting lost in fantasy thinking. I realized that my lack of self awareness when it came to this behavior was getting me in trouble all the time.

I don’t really know how to balance working and studying outside of work. I just know that I feel guilty constantly when I’m not working hard enough, and I feel terrible that I’m not improving at a much faster rate.

What am I doing wrong, how I can I be doing everything right and feel feel like a failure, this doesn’t make any sense and it’s really discouraging.

 

I’m sorry to hear that you’re feeling frustrated right now with things and I wish I had an answer. However, I wanted to tell you that the knowledge you have is really impressive and you should be proud of that. From what you’ve explained it sounds like you shouldn’t have any issues with employment in the software development industry. 

Edited by beatlesfan77
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I am not in your industry in the least but have a friend who is who said actually they don't call them programmers anymore.  Anyway she's been focusing on getting certifications (licenses??) in various aspects of programming and she says that makes her more marketable.  She's been looking for a new position (she's in a contract position right now) and she said the job market is really hot in her industry!

I'd make one change to your exercise routine - as a mood elevator -I'd switch to 7 days a week instead of 3-4 even if your runs are a shorter distance (or do power walking or anything where you're doing at least 30 minutes of cardio).  Then during the day try to do short bursts of cardio -whether it's taking the stairs, walking an extra 10 blocks somewhere, etc - for me anyway it's great at improving my perspective and moood.  

Also try to have a goal of at least 10-11 8 ounce glasses of water a day unless there's a medical reason you shouldn't.  I do my first 3 glasses during my morning work out then the next 3 bottles during the day but only in between meals, ending by 6 so I don't need to use the restroom all night (I'm 55 LOL).  That also helps your energy level, mood, and lets you be more in tune with hunger and fullness cues.  Also I find that drinking replaces nibbling/snacking too much.

Good luck and please please do not be so hard on yourself! These are tough times.

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1 hour ago, Batya33 said:

I am not in your industry in the least but have a friend who is who said actually they don't call them programmers anymore.  Anyway she's been focusing on getting certifications (licenses??) in various aspects of programming and she says that makes her more marketable.  She's been looking for a new position (she's in a contract position right now) and she said the job market is really hot in her industry!

I'd make one change to your exercise routine - as a mood elevator -I'd switch to 7 days a week instead of 3-4 even if your runs are a shorter distance (or do power walking or anything where you're doing at least 30 minutes of cardio).  Then during the day try to do short bursts of cardio -whether it's taking the stairs, walking an extra 10 blocks somewhere, etc - for me anyway it's great at improving my perspective and moood.  

Also try to have a goal of at least 10-11 8 ounce glasses of water a day unless there's a medical reason you shouldn't.  I do my first 3 glasses during my morning work out then the next 3 bottles during the day but only in between meals, ending by 6 so I don't need to use the restroom all night (I'm 55 LOL).  That also helps your energy level, mood, and lets you be more in tune with hunger and fullness cues.  Also I find that drinking replaces nibbling/snacking too much.

Good luck and please please do not be so hard on yourself! These are tough times.

Thank you. Yeah some people want to try to call themselves software engineers.

That’s an entirely different occupation which requires deep knowledge of system building being able to take an existing paper based system and come up with a combination of different hardware devices (phones, computers, tablets, point of sales, etc.) and write software to interface with these different devices. Most people in the industry just focus on one or more aspects of this process, but rarely does anyone who doesn’t have extensive experience or working at a startup design and oversee this entire process.

After I got let go from my land position my old boss made me give him a verbal agreement to stay on until the project was finished. Truthfully, I am grateful to have this job. I know that I could have put myself back on the market and possibly have obtained a higher paying position but the stress and uncertainty of getting along with new staff and having to understand a new system after my last experience felt like too much at the time.

Also, I really needed my health care as I have ongoing medical issues which I’ve been putting off for years. Nothing serious, just some dental things and a big cyst on my forehead. 

This project should go on for another year. Another one of are new developers just quit, most people we hired can’t really seem to do this job or if they can it’s too stressful for the compensation. I’m not sure if this is the norm or not.

I just want to have a solid foundation moving forward. I know I am to blame for a lot of my own issues. I struggle with YouTube addiction and procrastination when it comes to solving certain problems. Lately, work has been smooth but there are days when I have to solve a particular problem that makes me feel like breaking down. Like I won’t be able to solve it and the pressure feels incredible. 

I’m going to try drinking more water and get back into journaling. I might try a dopamine detox to get back to a more normal mood. Since I’ve tried focusing on the present moment, I’ve been constantly keeping engaged. But that level of engagement is causing me to get tired and it’s been mostly on the computer or phone, so I think I already know the problem.

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2 hours ago, junebug123 said:

I’m going to try drinking more water and get back into journaling. I might try a dopamine detox to get back to a more normal mood. Since I’ve tried focusing on the present moment, I’ve been constantly keeping engaged. But that level of engagement is causing me to get tired and it’s been mostly on the computer or phone, so I think I already know the problem.

Don't try.  Do it.  There is no trying to drink water unless you tip the glass to your mouth and it runs down your neck. 

What do you really mean by "focusing on the present moment" - and "level of engagement" - I think bogging yourself down with verbiage and abstractions is what is tiring you out.  You can be in the moment AND keep goals in mind, the future, tomorrow, an hour from now.  It's just common sense, daily life, nothin' fancy to see.  

What does a "solid foundation" look like?  Get simple and specific -don't let yourself indulge in 10 dollar words and psychospeak to avoid making concrete changes however small.  

I'm sorry you're overwhelmed with work!  Are there ways you can improve your self confidence?  Do you keep a running list of your work related accomplishments? (Also good to do this for future resumes/interviews).  I'm glad it's going smooth now.  

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