I’m a college dropout. I had decent grades. Problem is, I ran out of money.
I’m in that rare category of people who actually can’t afford to finish school.
After I left college, I began working at a foundry (80 Acres), doing landscaping. It was hard work, but it was satisfying. I got to work by myself, the work kept me in shape, and it paid ok. (For a manual labor job, 10 -12 USD an hour.)
Eventually though, the people I was working with found out that I was intelligent. This was unfortunate, because I was only able to enjoy landscaping for about six months. They pay more now, since I’m working in the IT department, but only about 3 USD more per hour.
They also talked me into building a RoR application for them. Essentially, it’s an application that makes tracking preventative maintenance of the factory equipment more convenient. It works pretty well.
There are now more than thirty models in this application. Despite my best efforts, I am finding this app impossible to maintain. I tried TDD, but I just can’t keep up with it. Between trying to write tests, maintaining backups, maintain the IT infrastructure at work, and coding new features, I’ve have been finding it increasingly hard to maintain this application. I’ve simply been unable to write documentation, and work fast enough.
I feel completely inadequate. I simply can’t work fast enough to keep this application up to the standards I would like. I’m already a perfectionist, which doesn’t help at all.
Sometimes I waste hours writing simple view code, trudging through it, when I really would like to be working on something else. I’ve tried to keep my code as DRY as possible, but I find that the number of unique features I’m expected to worry about overwhelming.
I often work on it during personal time, but It’s still not enough. Sometimes I wonder how large enterprise apps are ever finished. If I was faster I feel like I would be finished already, but I just can’t seem to make any ground.
I’ve been looking for another job, intending to continue nothing but the bare minimum maintenance for this application. (Without requests for new features, prawn reports, etc.)
However, my resume has little work history and never goes anywhere. I never get called back. I couldn’t even get hired at Best Buy.
I don’t know why. I’ve been tinkering with tech since I was 11 years old. I began playing with Linux since I was about 13, I have built my own computers, and started programming at 15. Yet I simply can’t even find a manageable support job, let alone a developer position.
Everyone says that their are lots of jobs available in tech, but I’m starting to believe otherwise. I see people getting hired every day for lower stress, easy jobs like lawn care and data entry, and yet, I can’t even find one of those.
I’m not even that good of a developer anyway. Sometimes I feel like a framework-pusher, unable to make a meaningful contribution.