I have no idea how I found this site honestly. I was just going through search engines and I was looking up something after what has been a nastier anxiety attack than normal (probably because of Christmas blues), but I’ve felt the need to talk about this.
I was always seen as good with computers, and I loved programming from when I was a kid. I was seen as one of those super-intelligent types, you know, skipped a grade, etc. My parents expected good grades out of me, and yeah, emotionally and sometimes physically abused me when I didn’t. I wanted to get into a career within video games once I graduated from high school, but instead my parents kinda pushed me into software engineering.
College was alright. Better than high school. Couldn’t find a date to save my life because girls didn’t like dating engineers in my town (Las Vegas). They were more prone to wanting to spend time with the poker player/gambler types. First year or so was rough, but managed to pull through with 2 Bachelor’s degrees (Computer Engineering/Computer Science), magna cum laude, Department and University Honors and a 3.52 GPA. Got better in my Master’s degree with a 3.83 GPA in Electrical/Computer Engineering. So while my love life wasn’t looking all that great due to this career, hey, at least I could get the big money job my parents expected me to get, right?
Then the economy hit. It hit especially hard in Vegas. We got it worse than anywhere else in the U.S. but Detroit and even that was questionable. No jobs anywhere. There were few jobs in engineering when I graduated with my Master’s, and those that were were contracted. I got involved with an employment agency, Robert Half, and that was a mistake. First job offer I got was for $25k/yr. which I had to turn down because I was making almost that much with my graduate assistantship and I was working part-time!
6 months later I did find a job at this one small company. It was a miserable 6 months. I hated every moment of it. The CEO of the company constantly attacked our IT department, telling us that she can replace us with 2 Indian guys like that and told us how grateful we were to have our shitty jobs. Morale was bad all around. Expectations were high, and the pay wasn’t good enough to compensate it. Eventually, our manager was begging us to put increasingly more and more time into it, up to the point I was working 70-75 hours a week on a consistent basis. I was laid off, they were laying off the entire IT crew, but I felt it was more a mercy killing than anything else. I never felt so relieved to be laid off in my life.
A few months later, I got a job with the government. One of the few programming jobs I actually liked to do, but personal issues in my life was getting in the way. I developed a bad case of depression and PTSD due to constant bullying by family and people who hated me in high school and college which I won’t go into detail here because this is not the place for it. On top of that office politics got so bad that they were trying to push me from project to project because one of the guys who was there was trying to break me.
I had to take several months off in 2014 because of nearly dying in the hospital due to complications from an illness I had seven years beforehand, but didn’t know about until then: Crohn’s Disease. That complication was severe anemia in case anyone wanted to know. Again, I’ll leave out all the personal stuff regarding my parents with more emotional abuse while taking care of me on top of all that, and to make matters worse I couldn’t defend myself because I was in no condition to do anything about it. After recovering, I went back to work around the end of that year, and everything changed. Everyone knew about my illness because word kinda spread around from the few people I trusted in the workplace (kinda needed help) and I could tell that they couldn’t wait to get rid of me. And I couldn’t wait to get out of Las Vegas. I saw Vegas as techie hell. There were no jobs there, and the few that were were paying little more than a fast-food manager, so there’d be no point.
So starting last January, I searched for jobs anywhere but Las Vegas. I had a pretty good resume so I thought I’d be out of Vegas by March. It took until May before I got hired for a job here in Atlanta, where I now reside. I thought it was going to be the light at the end of the tunnel, the one job that would catapult me to the career I had dreamed would come out of the years of studying this profession.
Wow… was I wrong. The years I spent in the government did not prepare me for this. The programming world has changed massively. I could barely keep up with what they wanted me to do. All the things I had to learn had kept me isolated and away from other hobbies I wanted to do. I had time for nothing else. I spent 80 hours a week programming and another 10-15 learning new stuff so I could keep myself going because it was demanded of me. The expectations that were given to me were just too high for me to handle.
I was fired two months later because of underperformance. At that point, I was just burnt out. My long-distance girlfriend at the time had invited me to go up to Montreal to see her for a few weeks so I could clear my head and that was what I did. I hoped that recruiters would help me find something there.
Two months later, I didn’t get a single call back. I’m still waiting on that call. It’s December. Five months later. And nothing. During that time, I thought I would take the time to build up on a dream of mine too and I found myself getting better and better at Youtubing and film production, and I’m finding myself liking it more than programming now. I can’t stand programming anymore. After a month of not hearing back from recruiters, I decided to follow my dream instead and do some tutoring on the side, though I’m still open to hear from recruiters.
On top of that, I think I’m burnt out from programming. Going from shitty job after shitty job, feeling like I sacrificed my social and love life in college in vain is just depressing to me, and it’s making me feel worse by the day, especially during Christmas.
I have a friend (girl) who met her boyfriend by something she admits wouldn’t have been a good thing to do by most people’s standards, but at least it got her a 3-year relationship. She also has a family to go back to for Christmas, her boyfriend (of course), and a major she can actually look forward to. My parents have disowned me because I didn’t reach their goals for me, my girlfriend left me because I spent time pursuing my dream (and she says I wouldn’t have any time for her, but she thinks I don’t have time for her now, imagine what it’d be like if I went back to work…), and I’m in the only major where experience is considered a bad thing, because companies want to hire younger people due to them having more knowledge in the architecture and modules that change every couple of years!
So I feel like developing/engineering has ruined my life. I grow more depressed every day, and I really don’t know what left to do with my life. I feel if I were in a more stable major like business, I wouldn’t need to take this huge risk that I am taking in my life and do this Youtube + tutor route in order to make ends meet. Meds don’t help me. My psychologist doesn’t help me either. Honestly, they don’t care. It’s been 5 months since I’ve typed a line of code. The only thing that keeps me going is the “potential” that everyone tells me I have with my Youtube channel, and I dunno how long that’s going to last either… it might screw up like everything else does in my life. Hell, that’s the reason why I’m alone for Christmas for the 4th year in a row, 5th of the last 6. Why I’ve only had 1 real relationship in my life, and she left me for trying to find an alternate way out other than staying at this miserable careeer field but stayed with her first boyfriend even after finding out he was a pedophile (don’t ask for that story, please).
I feel like I was meant to be put on this earth as a warning to anyone who wants to go into developing/programming/software engineering, whatever you wanna call it, to not be one, even if you once loved it like I did. I’m growing increasingly more depressed by the day, from loneliness, from feeling useless, from feeling so far behind what everyone said I should’ve been by now, including my parents, from feeling disgraced because my parents disowned me… and while I’m not suicidal yet, I’m pretty sure it won’t be long before I go back to those tendencies. I can feel it already. I just had my first anxiety attack tonight since 2013, meaning that I am already getting worse. I could drink my problems away, but my Crohn’s with alcohol doesn’t mix especially for my type, and any alcohol could potentially put me in the hospital, though right now that might not sound like a bad idea, since it’s not like anyone’s going to notice I’m gone anyway…
I still play the emotional abuse in my head, not just from parents, or from family, from friends, or from girls who have made my life a living hell, but former supervisors. The constant reminder of this job and them telling you that you are disposable after all the years of work you put into this, and how expensive you are even though you’re making a third to half as much as that business major who partied his ass off during Spring Break while you were studying for a midterm… these are the things I cannot get out of my head. But what hurts the most, is realizing that this is one huge mistake, and if I could have a time machine to take me back 10 years to make myself drop out and be a business major, I would do it in a heartbeat. I would give anything for that… I feel like a failure. Worse than a failure. I’m a complete abomination. I should’ve told my parents to f off and I’d follow my dream after high school, but I didn’t have the monetary or social means to do it, and thus I was put into this situation thanks to their coercing. Now I’m 29, loveless, almost friendless, jobless, and relying on a one-in-a-million chance to work in order to scrounge up anything resembling a life for me.
Anyway, thanks for hearing me out. And thanks to whoever made this site. Just mentioning it all, even in a nutshell like this, makes me feel better.