The Curse of Self Improvement in Software Development

Are you a software developer who is overwhelmed by the amount of information that everyone seems to know except you? Do you feel a neverending pressure that follows you in every step of your career? Welcome my brother/sister.

Software Development is a beautiful profession and truly unique, but it’s also a burden upon a person’s shoulders. Why? Because every developer is always under a challenge that has a big impact on his career.

Some people are accepted into jobs after passing an exam (assuming there’s no Wasta), they get trained to do specific tasks using specific tools. These tasks and tools never or rarely change and so the effort required from these people is minimal to none!

A Software Developer goes through that exam every day. Almost every single day, the developer must learn to work with new tools and approaches in order to solve different challenges.

Adding more to that, a Software Developer must reconsider all his knowledge when applying for a new job, yes all of it. He may have been working on a specific framework for the past 2 years, and his main knowledge and concentration has been only on this specific framework, so if the new job doesn’t require the knowledge of that framework then he’s forced to learn something new. Again!

Usually, jobs with highest salaries mostly require up-to-date knowledge about the latest technologies and trends in Software Development. So if I’ve been working for the past 3 years with that old deprecated .NET WebForms technology, and I desire a new job with a better salary, then I have to throw those WebForms in the garbage and learn the new big dawg!

So as a perfectly normal employee, a Software Developer is always looking to improve his career, yet this is very challenging unlike other professions. The developer is always under pressure, the pressure of knowledge, the pressure of self-improvement, the pressure of learning new things and adapt to the latest trends.

Honestly, I have been facing this myself and as much as I learn, I’m always one step behind, actually a million step behind! How do I face this? I just smile and play a Mario Kart game!

One last word. Some of you may say that I shouldn’t consider this as a “curse” and that I should think about Software Development more as a hobby rather than a job, I do actually, I like it, but just like any developer I have my favorite tools to use and even with that it’s my pleasure to learn new things, but my opinion in this post is just from a career prespective.


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