When I Grow Up I Want To Be a Developer

I doubt many people spent their childhood dreaming of coding and becoming a developer. Probably not any my age at least. I’m just old enough to remember our first household computer. Now I’m starting at two just on my desk alone.

Like most kids I wanted to be a lot of things from Doctor to Astronaut to who knows. Typical kid stuff. Shoot for the moon… literally.

But here and now, I’m a developer. It’s what I do and occasionally I get too far fixated on that. I lose sight that I’m not really a developer, even though I am.

When I first started freelancing a lot of my duties was to play developer.

And you might ask yourself at this point, wow this really makes no sense — are you a developer or not? And you’d be right, it probably doesn’t.. just follow along with me for a moment.

Clients would often (read: ALWAYS) direct the flow… “put this here” or “lets make this larger.” I’m sure you’ve heard all those things before. You’re being directed in what to do, kind of like a puppet.

And I spent years doing just that. Being directed and instructed by clients to develop stuff. Playing puppet.

But what I really wanted to do was guide clients to reaching their goals and making smart decisions. Being directed you don’t actually do that. There’s little thought on your end other than the mechanics of how to build. Very little why to build.

And the unfortunate reality is you can get trapped in a cycle. A cycle of never ending “do this, do that” — you’re a slave to your clients, no matter how you’re billing or how great your life/work balance is.

And it wears on you over time until you reach a point where you don’t bother anymore. You stop pushing back or voicing your opinions.

So you tell yourself to do rather than think.

I think we have all been there. I know I’ve been there and sometimes I even still visit. But some of us are always there.

If you’re one of those developers that spends a lot of time doing, not really knowing why, I encourage you to start caring again. Start guiding a bit more, even if its occasionally met by pushback.

Everybody wins in the end, but you, the developer, you win the most. Because you get to think again.

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