Senior Developer Mindset

Before you chase another "side hustle", read this

If you were to start again, what would you do?

Funny question, isn’t it?

Gets you thinking.

Last Sunday, I left my apartment (finally) and decided to work on something new.

Bogdan and I are working on a new release and supporting our mentees. I felt a bit burned out; all that hustle depleted my battery.

So I packed up and decided to do something completely strange.

I wanted to go into a place where a developer would never go (you can imagine tech meetups, productivity workshops, and the video games museum were off the list!)

So, I went around doing some crazy stuff which I will tell you about in a second. Yet, despite those "positive" distractions, the question popped up in my head.

If you were to lose it all, what would you do?

The thing is, our beloved software industry is burning people out like an industrial toaster.

After the 5th year of writing code, most are disengaged. They start speculating in the stock market, building side hustles, or simply transitioning into something else than writing code.

Most developers are trying to game the system when it is easier to win the game.

It is actually a pity.

Looking for the way out when you are just about to get good at this. If they kept going, many of them would be tech leads, principals, and even CTOs by now.

Yet, I understand them.

Look at my situation. To build this little training company, I left a former job as a full stack developer (to be honest, it was mostly front end).

Luckily it turned out well, and I am still here.

But thinking about all those “lost” developers looking for a way out just before things get good, I could not stop asking myself: if I were them, what would I do?


Because the first thing that popped into my head was…

Simple. I would keep on coding.

It might be in a job as an employee if things get hard, but I would probably do it as a freelancer (so I can negotiate my hourly rate).

Regardless, I would go back to writing code even though I’ve been doing this for long enough to feel sick of it, I would still do it!


Am I some kind of mental masochist? Maybe.

Yet, it would be the easiest and quickest way for me to pay my bills!

I would use the skills, experience, and connections I accumulated. I would earn a good buck, and I would also have some fun. Damn, how I miss those mini hackathons!

And this brings me back to the main idea of this "short" post...

Boring is good.

Boring means you are getting real good at the software game. Boring means you made it, and you gotta keep on doing it.

Investing in crypto, building your apps (how the heck are you going to market that?), or recording JavaScript tutorials for 5 cents an hour are shiny things your brain starts to think of when it has too much extra bandwidth.

Use that bandwidth for getting even better at the craft instead!

You might have mastered the things you see at work.

But, that is one code base and one business domain. Software development is a deep craft, and you know there are things you still need to brush upon.

So keep brushing them!

It takes around ten years to master any profession.

I am still here learning this and that. And I would love to have you on this journey. Trust me, is a lot better than chasing shiny objects only to end up in the same place (been there, done that).

Now that we are talking about improving, you are probably interested in knowing which technical skills you should improve in your specific case. We’ve reopened our technical assessment; you can click here to take it (we don’t charge for it, but spots are limited).

Ohhh, I haven’t told you yet what I’ve done to get my head off all this hustle.

My brother Bogdan, his girlfriend, and I went antique shopping around Berlin. It was fun, though we could not find anything to fit the studio.

With Easter coming up, I hope you will review those yearly goals to check if you are on track. I will review mine. Keep an eye on your inbox; I got some goodies coming up to you.

Take care of yourself and if you know any great antique stores, let me know (I am still looking for King Tut’s mask, more on that next week).



P.S. I decided to get a bit more personal in these posts. Not because I want you to know my whole life story, but I do want you to get the best out of these posts. Now, take the assessment before Bogdan stops it again because of AWS bugging us again.

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About Dragos Nedelcu
After becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of direction developers have to deal with, Dragos decided to apply what he learned from his own transition to the Senior level and help other developers.
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