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Not living up to own expections

I'm a student of CS (half-way through) and working part-times as a programmer for a bit of money (8€ ~9$ /h) and to gain work experience.

I have been programming for years and these days I'm pretty good with C++. This always helped me a lot to get these kind of jobs. Before university I had half a year to kill and I worked at a company that writes robotics controle software. It was mostly a maintainance job where I had to convert old C++ code to work with a new database system for the next software release. I couldn't test my code other than getting it to compile because the rest of the system wasn't ready yet (the project was over-time already...). I started out rather enthusiastic, but I ended up surfing a lot, going home early and I wasn't really happy. When I announced I had to quit noone mad a big thing of it.

When I started at the university, I had to relocate and got a new job quickly at a graphics software company (a dream job I thought). I was handed a task to write a code quality testing app and I was the only one to work on it. I ended up killing time again. It's not like I enjoyed surfing, but I just couldn't kick myself into working mode very good. After a year my contract ended and I was told they would not make a new one, because the project was finished and they did not know what to do with me. I had expressed I wanted to work on graphics software, but they told me I had not enough experience and they had no starting position. The CEO, a nice guy, told me he liked me but was too much a professional to let that change his decision. That sort of made it worse for me. It didn't feel good.

Right now I'm working at a non-computer company doing small and boring scripting stuff. I'm the only one with any actual programming experience there and I think they really like me.

So what I want to say is - I'm not in any way happy with myself yet. I _love_ software development. I'm doing lots of stuff on my own or with friends. I just haven't been able to deliver in the pro world yet. That makes me nervous.

Has anyone else had this feeling? Like you don't live up to your own agenda?

Unsatisfied
Friday, February 13, 2004

> non-computer company
I actually meant a company that's not into software development...

Unsatisfied
Friday, February 13, 2004

Start your own company on the side, write the cool stuff you want to write, and see if people like it enough to pay you a few dollars for it.  Or just give it away ... whatever scratches your particular itch.

The barrier to entry in the software bidness is zero.  Take advantage of that - it doesn't mean you have to give up your day job.

Mitch and Murray (from downtown)
Friday, February 13, 2004

Is there anything else you would really like to do?

Delivering pizzas, repairing cars or working on
constructions. For inspirations in hard times just
work for the money for a while and pay more attention
to your private life. Get a bike or skates or start skiing or
reading books.

Some people may laugh, but try to read biographies
of people you consider successful or at least interesting,
from Oprah to major Giuliani (but avoid books signed by Bill
Gates) or even the book that I'm reading right now,
Underneath it all by Traci Lords.

Soon you're going to start feeling so much better. And if all
you like to do for real is programming, after a year or two
you'll just stumble over something worthwhile.

VPC
Friday, February 13, 2004

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