Long-time developer searching for a way forward

I came across this site yesterday and it is good to hear others are in a similar boat as me and supporting each other.

I have been in this industry for nearly 30 years now (Pascal, C, C++, Java) and year-on-year, job-on-job things have got worse. I have often been bored/frustrated/overwhelmed by tasks at hand, going for long walks during work time, seeking to goof off, procrastinating, making excuses, failing to deliver. Over the last 10 years it finally resulted in being signed off twice with depression. My GP put me on anti-depressants which were ok but I didn’t like the side-effects. I am currently bunking off another day at home writing this.

My current job is in the financial services sector where my colleagues and I work next to a desk of voice-traders - guys who are shouting at each other trading, or talking BS in-between because they are so bored. The banter would be great in a pub, but the noise is intolerable and the lack of privacy (open-plan office) hurts my productivity. It’s using legacy skills that I thought I had moved on from. And yes I’ve spoken to my boss, but there’s little he can do but I take myself off to a private office for hours at a time to work. They guys on my team are good but working on a totally different project.

This job is just the latest in a long, slow slide from being moderately successful and valued as a technical consultant/team-lead. I only took this job because I had to because I had resigned from a 4 year gig that was mildly less hateful. I only took that job because a short-term contract wasn’t renewed and I took that because I jumped ship from a safe, good job based upon a minor setback. Twit. I’m fed up moaning and being torn - this being torn has led me to being foolish with money/investments. I always want “something else” and end up jumping ship for more money but this “strategy” has led to the current crappy situation I feel myself in. Depression and anxiety are barely held at bay.

This morning I watched the frank talk by Greg Baugues (http://devsanddepression.com/) about his struggles (and wondered do I have ADD or Bipolar) which was very useful. I can’t get up in the morning, struggle to concentrate on tasks, struggle and feel shit on seemingly simple algorithms, constantly refactor designs, etc.

I feel too thick to do this job and don’t really care anymore or care too much it is making me ill again. I have exhausted myself looking for alternatives but maybe I just need to get out of this racket - maybe I shouldn’t have been in it. I consider selling the house (making a tidy profit) and moving somewhere cheap and being debt free, or I dream of developing a web-app and running a business doing it. The emotional roller-coaster is just too much.

Crazy to be 30 years into a “career” and to be thinking I’ve been in the wrong profession all this time. Refusal to seek wisdom and lack of courage to make tough choices.

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Sorry - I don’t have time to provide a lengthy reply. Being on this site a short while has opened my eyes to how common these feelings are. I come to the conclusion for myself that I’ve put too much into it to bail out - although recognise that as a fallacy - cutting your losses is probably the most logical reasoning - but whatever - talking personally I’m at a loss to think what else I would be able to do. Anyway - just wanted to post a link to a site I have been using (for free) for the past 4 months or so - music designed to keep your focus - it even has setting for ADHD users - you might want to have a play about and see if it suits you. I was just plugging my earphones in as soon as getting into work and turning up full blast to drown out the highly distracting and loud chatter of non-dev’s in the office. Usually I didn’t like listening to music while working - I found it distracting - but it is really an improvement on what things were like (at least it limits some people from engaging with you directly just for chat). https://www.focusatwill.com I know it doesn’t help with your work situation, but you could also try building something interesting/fun yourself outwith work without giving yourself any pressure such as having to make money from it.

Don’t confuse a terrible job and a series of potentially bad job-changing choices for a reason to abandon a field of work entirely. “…my colleagues and I work next to a desk of…guys who are shouting at each other…or talking BS…(open-plan office)” sounds outright antagonistic.

If you have the financial freedom to consider selling your house and moving, consider just taking a couple of months to regroup.