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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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Is anyone planning a full or partial "early retirement" from software development?

It's not that uncommon for folks to move into other careers after working as a developer. It can be a demanding job and the pace of change can be hard to keep up with.

While there is plenty of space to keep doing this forever, is anyone here thinking they will move away from this life before typical "retirement" age?

Top comments (68)

daedtech profile image
Erik Dietrich

I guess, in a sense I've already done it, since my day to day these days involves very little code (I'm CEO of a growing company we bootstrapped 3 years ago, and spent years before that as a consultant and executive/dev manager).

My goal is and has been kind of actually the reverse of what you might expect for retirement, though. I'm hoping to be able to retire/semi-retire in the next few years to make it so that I don't need to work to pay the bills, and then go back to building software simply for the love of the game, so to speak. I miss making things.

phlash profile image
Phil Ashby

Pretty similar (without the CEO bit!) here.. paid work stops next week, and I get to choose if/when I write code, or do something entirely different for a while, then come back refreshed and ready to contribute where I can make a difference or just 'cause it's fun (have you seen my Github??)

iam_nanakay profile image

I honestly don't see myself retiring anytime soon... Wanna be active ... But running a software development company , and as CEO i do codes like my employees or even work much more hours than they do... But overtime, I'd look at delving into areas and code a lil

n3u2o profile image

I am absolutely retired of this hacker shit called development... has nothing to do with engineering, complete everything in a hurry to "just work", introduce shitloads of bugs or even exploit them. I am rather into art even if I starve to death.

cindy_bahl profile image
Cindy Bahl

Exactly. You nailed it. It's frustrating...for so many reasons. Especially when you know that it doesn't have to be this way.

ekafyi profile image
Eka • Edited

Financially, I hope to work hard to save money and invest (get into real estate, stocks etc) so I'll reach financial freedom someday--at least for the lowest standard I can realistically live on (ie. enough for simple food, shelter, utilities, health care, etc). Formally this could be considered "retirement" I guess?

Then I'll still do dev/programming/coding projects: part professional work, splitting the income to grow my investment and for tertiary needs (vacations, eating out, hobbies, etc); part pro-bono / charities / causes I care about or just plain fun. I genuinely enjoy working in this field, so don't see any reason to stop until I'm really unable to code.

srepollock profile image
Spencer Pollock

This is exactly the type of life I’m looking for as well. I’m just starting on my programming journey (our of school) and I don’t plan to hit my goals soon (I still want to live) but this is exactly what I’m looking at as long term goals. I love to code and explore ideas without being tied to a single one for every hour of every day like being a cog in the wheel at the large large companies.

peterdev profile image
Piotr Horzycki

I've been already 13 years in the industry. I'm tired of Jira-driven development and daily standups where everyone just tells their current ticket numbers. I'm tired of organizations where everyone just comes to do their 9-5 job and nothing else.

I started writing a book about developing e-commerce, financial and payments software. I'm going to share all my knowledge and experience. Actually it's going to be a series of books dedicated to different languages I've been working with (Java, PHP, JS).

Also I'm in a heavy metal band and starting to sell more and more merchandise.

I'm happy to have my girlfriend as my business mentor (she's been running her successful wedding business for over 10 years). It's not easy to jump from highly paid day job to an uncertain entrepreneurship, but I'm sure I can make it some day! Already got enough savings for 8 months of living :)

j_mplourde profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde • Edited

I try to pile up as much cash as I can. My ultimate goal is to buy a small cottage in the wood, with a good internet connection, 3-4 dogs and my family. I will retire as soon as possible and I'm very lucky to live in a low cost area.

lgw4 profile image
Chip Warden • Edited

I am now over 50 years old and I'm trying to find out how to say in technology without becoming a manager. I don't really want to retire; I'd like to stay active into my 70s.

jenlooper profile image
Jen Looper

I’m right there with you. 50 and DevRel - always wonder how long I can keep it up as a manager and community organizer while continuing to ship code. At least the travel has reduced now!

aimerib profile image
Aimeri Baddouh

I plan on working hard enough, living frugally enough, and save enough so that I can retire early, and start my steampunk coffee shop in a bus. Slinging espresso shots, and traveling around the US... Now that is a goal worth working for in my life

adriathomas profile image
Adrian Thomas

Not yet. I just got here. :)

vtrpldn profile image
Vitor Paladini • Edited

Not really. I can see myself quitting hands-on software development but still working with code as a teacher, consultant or in some kind of mid to high management position.

However, if for some miraculous reason I end up stupid rich in the next couple of decades, I'd definitely drop out of web dev and become a full time cook. 😄

vikramvee profile image
Vikram Chaudhary

Yes it is true that the software job is very demanding but it is highly paid job as well.

I am planning to retire early. Retirement as in where I don't have to trade my time and I should be owner of time as well as I should be able to work at my own convenience. Retirement would mean flexibility for me.

okeeffed profile image
Dennis O'Keeffe

From a career working for someone else? Yes.
From home-grown projects you love and are passionate about? I wouldn't wish that upon anyone.

Starting your own business might count as career but I am going to claim it under the banner of "home-grown projects you love".

mandrewcito profile image
Andrés Baamonde Lozano

I always say to mi job partenrs that i hate the profession but i love development. I´m an spanish developer, our professing is plaged of stressing deadlines (with repercussions in software´s quality). Legacy software is everywhere, without test oviously. Don't forget about the tests: "Test doesn't bill" is a common phrase here. So, i will retire, yes but from sotfware consultancy. I dont know my future job but perhaps freenlace developer and having a orchard in my grandmother´s home.

Forget the freenlace dev, only i want my fucking orchard and being happy.

phantas0s profile image
Matthieu Cneude

No. I love building stuff on a computer since I'm very young, and I never really stopped loving it.

What I would like to do is having enough money to sustain myself and have the time to do whatever I want, aka helping other developers as much as possible.

As you said, it's a demanding job. We need to help each other.

stojakovic99 profile image
Nikola Stojaković

Maybe profesionally but I can definitely see myself doing open source software development for decades to come.

thejoezack profile image
Joe Zack

I have mixed feelings about what we call open source today. I love it, but many large corporations have outsized influence that crowds out newcomers that can't afford to compete...making many liberally licensed projects more like faux-pen source.

spiritupbro profile image

yes if i got 1 million dollar before 40 i will retire for sure to papua indonesia precisely in mamboramo and pray eat healthy run everyday like a healthy man no programming no electricity just me and nature and i hope i can find some cendrawasih there also

welzfabian profile image
Fabian Welz

Do you realy need one million dollars for that? If thats your dream, do the math of how much you realy need and go for it :)

spiritupbro profile image

yeah its a just random number i throw actually i dont know how much i just want to get out to forest and play with cendrawasih