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Quit my job today

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Are you interested in programming for fun any more?

At the end of my current contract I'm obligated to take a 3 month break (I can go elsewhere, but can't stay on as a contractor here) and if there aren't any other interesting prospects I've considered the idea of crowdfunding my hiatus -- basically, launch a game between now and the end of the contract and then say "Hey community, if I can raise 10k (or so), I'll work full-time for 3 months to provide new content for the game" or some-such, with donations above a certain bar getting the resulting content for free. There are lots of places offering crowdfunding these days, such as rockethub or kickstarter. Maybe something like this might work for you.

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No wife, no kids. I have friends that will put me up, and actually I think it might be fun to work on some of my projects while I travel across the country visiting my friends. My parents have offered to let me crash back home if it comes to that. Actually, I think they really want me to come home, but that's a different story.

I live just outside of Philadelphia right now. I spend a lot of time in the city at [url="http://www.hive76.org/"]Hive76[/url], a shared workspace where I tinker with hardware projects and manage their events.

I started in IT as a QA tester, and quickly (like, within 3 months) parleyed that into a development job. I've basically worked on ASP.NET web applications the entire time, with brief side-stints in Java web apps and C# desktop apps along the way. I pretty much know C# inside and out, and am pretty solid with SQL on MS SQL Server. One thing I *do* still enjoy with programming is data analysis and abstract data visualizations. Skipping my the job I just left, my last two jobs I was the lead programmer on a few different projects with small teams, doing a lot of business analysis as well.

Some of it is the lock-in. I really, really hate XML-based markup languages. I find them fragile and pedantic, especially ASP.NET. I think ASP.NET hides way too many of the implementation details, in some weird attempt to make life "easier" on the developer, that actually just make it harder. But, given that most of my experience is in web dev, it's pretty much all the work I'm going to get. And given that most of it is ASP.NET, that's also what I'm likely to get.

Some of it is corporate culture, and by that I mean a complete lack of understanding that developers are assets and not liabilities. This industry has an extremely high turn over rate, and we all know the gender imbalance issue. I don't know for sure really causes those things (I think it's a lack of respect from management to employee), but to me they are pretty huge signs that [i]something [/i]is fundamentally wrong. I've worked in a lot of different types of companies: engineering firms (both industrial and architectural), consultancies (commercial, government, military, etc), small and large, and there has always been a constant factor of a middle manager somewhere needing to justify his existence by tightening the screws on people. I quit jobs because I was asked to do something that I didn't think was ethically sound, gotten in to huge arguments with coworkers over the whole, "if we don't do it, someone else will, so we might as well get paid" thing. And I hate arbitrary rationalization, "the business wants it this way". It's sick, all around.

I've tried very hard for the last two years to work within the corporate system to get [i]out [/i]of programming, and it just hasn't happened. It always comes down to, "help us Obi Wan, you're our only hope," and because I'm apparently incapable of emotionally compartmentalizing my work life from my private life, it gnaws on me until I cave and save the day. And then I'm stuck in a programming position again. And then management doesn't adjust their expectations and now expects me to do both the analysis at my old rate [i]and [/i]the new programming. And then I get burnt out, find a new job, and repeat.

For [i]years[/i] I was saying the same thing you guys are saying, "Oh man, wish I had the courage to do that." Then I realized, what is the worst that could happen? The absolute worst thing that could happen to me is the bank could repossess my car. Holy crap! That's so many degrees above starving to death in a gutter as to not even be comparable. We live in the developed world, we can afford to take risks like this. We probably have a duty to do so. The giant corporations of the established rich people aren't going to just let us change the world for the better, we're going to have to find our own way, and that means taking risks.

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your last job sounds like my job before this one, though I didn't have to have the courage to quit as I got laid off :P, but then transitioned to an indy game company that was hiring, and working on short term game projects brought joy back into programming

Good luck, and I hope you find something you enjoy

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It's kind of sad that people don't have the guts to the things that have to be done, but you did those. I don't want to derogate your courage, it's just interesting, that most people cannot ask the simple questions you could ask: "what is the worst that could happen?"
Or "What can I lose", "What can I win?" These are banal words. And these are really questions of reason/rationality, not courage. Your decision was the rational decision.

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capn_midnight.

I signed onto this site today out of necessity...something I do now every six months or so...but years ago I was on here constantly. It's been as long since I've felt like I was a "familiar face" and I thought "I wonder if anybody I recognize still hangs out around here." So I came to the lounge and I do in fact recognize your name.

I'm sorry that you're having a hard time of it. Actually, I am too. I don't hate coding for a living (not yet), but I do currently dislike the people I work with. So much so that my last day is Friday (officially a resignation but the feeling was mutual, if you know what I mean). Stuff like that makes me do a lot of re-reconsidering. Anyway, here is my multi-faceted response:

1. I hope things turn out for you; I have faith that they will. You're taking steps, which means it will work. =)
2. If you can do it, I can do it; if I can do it, you can do it. We can do it.
3. Nice to see a familiar name. ;)

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[quote name='capn_midnight' timestamp='1297803554' post='4774640']
For the last two years, I've basically been in an ever increasing spiral of depression over the fact that I hated my job and had grown to hate the menial work of programming that pretty much consists of 80% of all work. I jumped around on projects and new jobs trying to deny it, to find some kind of secret sauce that would fix it all ("Maybe I just need a different environment, maybe I need to get away from this shitty code base."), and it only served to make me want to wall myself in my room and never come out again.

So I quit. I'm going to quit programming for a living. I haven't had any fun programming in the last 3 years because I've been too caught up with programming for work that when I get home I'm spent. I might end up flipping burgers, or I might end up a freelance photographer, or something. I don't really know right now. But I'll be damned if I write another God damned bug ticket or estimate another iteration or deal with another pedantic asshat who won't shut up about the differences between classes and objects, even though I know what they are and just misspoke that one time, "would you please shut up, I'm trying to actually get to a point here".

I've got my rent covered for the next 3 months, I've got a friend willing to put me up after that, of the stuff I have I can probably sell a lot of it because I don't actually use it that much, and there are plenty of ways to make some spare cash on the side. We'll see what happens.
[/quote]Good luck with your latest adventures.

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Welcome to the fold, capt_midnight. I just did the same end of last year.

[url="http://fablefox.com/strong/"]http://fablefox.com/strong/[/url]

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I quit my last programming job too....now sometimes I wish I hadn't, as I'm on the search again for a job that's not going to be much different.

I'm starting to think there's not going to be an employee job that's gonna make me "happy" most of the time....if somehow I could be my own boss that'd be great, but I don't see it happening. At some age you start to realize there's bills to be paid no matter what. It's shitty all over. You just suck it down and go on I guess. Just a question: Are you sure you want to give up a career in something you are talented at? Maybe you should just have more patience, you're quite young.

Very gutsy move though. Don't know many who would do it, so I hope all turns out well for you :)

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[quote name='mikeman' timestamp='1297945719' post='4775372']
I quit my last programming job too....now sometimes I wish I hadn't, as I'm on the search again for a job that's not going to be much different.

I'm starting to think there's not going to be an employee job that's gonna make me "happy" most of the time....if somehow I could be my own boss that'd be great, but I don't see it happening. At some age you start to realize there's bills to be paid no matter what. It's shitty all over. You just suck it down and go on I guess. Just a question: Are you sure you want to give up a career in something you are talented at? Maybe you should just have more patience, you're quite young.

Very gutsy move though. Don't know many who would do it, so I hope all turns out well for you :)
[/quote]

I'm happy with my job right now, but it's not anything I would have expected I would be doing. I think it's more important to have a good boss in a good company where you get lots of responsibilities and decision making freedom.

It's not programming, but I get to create real solutions to real problems every day and get direct feedback on if it is working or not. In a sense it's the same rush, but without typing in machine instructions.

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Best of luck to ya, capn.

Have you given much thought to about what it is you would like to do? You say you're into photography?

I think I know how you're feeling. I haven't quite reached my breaking point yet in the programming field (I've only been in the workforce for like 3.5 years now though) but my job has definitely been draining the life out of me. It's become monotonous and is essentially the exact same thing everyday... I feel like I've lost the passion I once had for this stuff. Something about the thought of being stuck in a cube for the rest of my working life is really unsettling. Not sure if it's a permanent thing or if I just need a nice long break to do something else for a while.

The primary thing that keeps me from taking the plunge and getting into something else is the uncertainty in these times, and things like health insurance. If things were a little better economically right now I would totally take the plunge and get into my real passion: music. Would probably give guitar lessons, I think I could make a halfway decent living out of it if I went full time. Probably not as good as I make now but I would be happier overall.

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I have a lot of respect for that move. Best of luck.

I got out of programming regularly a few years ago because I got burned out, but I did it by moving up in the company. I sort of decided that [i]someone[/i] higher up in the company needs to understand how software gets developed, so I decided to take the Pepsi challenge. Now my software programming tends to consist of the occasional 2-day home project or writing VBScript to bend an Office application to my analytical will. But that's okay.. I've found it's more challenging to program people than it is to program computers. (oops, did I say that?)

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[quote name='capn_midnight' timestamp='1297803554' post='4774640']
...
[/quote]

Now you understand. Now you are [i][b][url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salaryman#Datsusara"]Datsusara[/url][/b][/i]. You are one of the first, but you are not alone.

I shovel snow for a living, and this lets me think about MY math and programming all day long. If I get bored with my stuff, I can just think about something else like art for a while. Best freedom ever.

I hope this move turns out best for you.

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[quote name='BronzeBeard' timestamp='1297833144' post='4774820']
You sir have done what I don't have the balls to do.

Except I'd kill to have a job programming, and not a job working in retail, which I have now... :huh:
[/quote]

Actually, a job in retail is probably more exciting than the average job in programming.

From what I hear, programmers just copy/paste libraries together all day. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif[/img]

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[quote name='Fl4sh' timestamp='1299367080' post='4782242']
Actually, a job in retail is probably more exciting than the average job in programming.

From what I hear, programmers just copy/paste libraries together all day. [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.gif[/img]
[/quote]


It's more interesting than moving tampons and hair dye to the front of a shelf so it doesn't look like butts.

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About 18 months ago I flipped whilst at work and walked out, went back two days later to sign out my contract and was done. For about 3-4 months before I'd actually been praying for a car crash on the way to work because I was so miserable. The people I worked for weren't pleasant, I was made to feel like a child in the company, and although I got to travel abroad almost every month, this was causing major problems with my girlfriend at the time.

So I left, and went back to work for the company I worked for previously, and they welcomed me back with open arms. So now I'm a Network Engineer and not a programmer, and this has meant that programming is now a hobby, not a job. I get home in the evening and actually want to work on my Game Engine, rather than it effectively being a continuation of my work.

So good luck! I hope you can find everything you're looking for!

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Let me add in the choir of thumbs' going up.

And let me take the occasion of thanking GDnet for the wisdom it has bestowed upon me. I think I first started visiting this site when I was 16. I ws heavility into programming, and would probably have chosen that as a major if it wasnt for signals like this reverberating through this lounge.

I like programming for its creative freedom. In the same way I like woodworking for instance. You can tinker and create anything you can imagine, given enough skill. But thats not what most jobs are about, of course. You are supposed to jump through the hoops someone else sets for you, and in this makes programming about just as exciting as cutting boards to the same length al day, I would imagine.

Thank you, GDnet, for blessing me with that insight at a young age.

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You gotta do what you gotta do. However, sometimes just taking a long break can help rejuvenate you like a 1-3 month sabbatical.

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