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Feeling out of place

dlionz profile image Damien Breaux ・2 min read

Hello Again

Last year I wrote a post about my feelings attending my first developer meetup and imposter syndrome. I'm now back with more of my feelings about being part of the larger developer community.

As always, thanks for reading.

Is it okay to just be a developer?

I want someone to tell me it's okay. It's okay that I don't code on weekends. It's okay that I don't dedicate all my free time to coding, it's okay I haven't built anything "cool", it's okay that being a developer isn't my single burning desire but rather my job (albeit a very fun one).

I feel there's implicit pressure to dedicate every waking moment of my day to programming in order to be a "real" dev. When I go to places like r/learnprogramming all I see are gatekeeping-esque statements to the effect of "You shouldn't try and be a developer if you're just in it for the money", but why not! The money is good in this field and if that's what drives someone to pursue it then go for it! (Obviously, don't let your capitalistic thirst leech your soul of every last drop of morality — looking at you, Bezos.)

I look at all the cool things that pop up on Hacker News or Dev.to and the fact that I don't contribute in the same way to the coding community does get me down. Even more so when I acknowledge that I don't even have the innate desire to start doing so.

I'm in these communities because I love to see what people are creating, I just hate the inevitable imposter syndrome that comes with the exposure to the incredible projects other developers undertake. I wish there were more posts out there that mention that it's okay to exclusively lurk Dev.to. It's okay if you haven't learned the new hotness in frameworks. It's okay to just be a dev 9-5, and that you are still a valid member of the community with experiences that matter, even though in your free time you'd rather sell turnips to raccoon children than read through a dense code textbook, watch another tutorial or make the next cool Chrome extension.


Posted on Apr 13 '19 by:

dlionz profile

Damien Breaux


Remote Software Developer living in San Fransisco. Follow me on twitter if you like animal crossing, and nonsense :D


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I agree with you in most of the cases... I think it is important to be able to turn a little bit off. Just focus on 9-5 job to deliver as much value as you can there and take a rest in your free time. Do your hobby, be with your family and just get away from your computer.

However for lot of us developing products or tools is more than a job. We do it with a passion what makes us motivated to do some research for our own outside of our full-time work.

The key is that you have to decide what you really want. If you are passionated about learning tech stuffs or you are self learner or just your company doesn't support you to learn and improve your skills during work hours then yes you will need to invest more time into this field.


Thanks for stopping in!

Ya I think those that are motivated and passionate enough to get out there and learn/grow/create on their own time is awesome and inspiring and I hope they never loose that drive. Additionally I agree being able to turn it off is incredibly important!


What is also good to mention that if you push hard in a long term there is a huge potential to burnout quickly. So thats another reason why you have to keep the balance.


It's definitely okay not spending all your free time programming. Funny enough, I began to code on my free time when I stopped feeling bad because I didn't code on my free time.

Now, going into programming only for the money is a bit strange to me. People can do it, of course, I won't judge them. What I know is: I don't want to do a job 8 hours a day only for money. I need to enjoy it, at least a minimum. My time is more important than money. We all need enough to live correctly, of course, but after that I don't really care anymore.

Every developer has the impostor syndrome. Every single one. You're not alone. Do your best, learn from your failures, and be proud of what you've become.


I agree with you comment about the money, I couldn't do a job I hated even it it paid A LOT, I use it as an example because I think there are a decent amount of people that look in at this industry and see the large salaries that individuals are getting in places like San Fransisco and New York. So for those people I think its a motivating factor. (those individuals do need to understand it takes a lot of time and effort tho to get said job but anyway)

Thanks for stopping in!


Hello, thanks for reading. I hope I was able to articulate myself well here. I love my job and what I do as a software Dev, I just want others who may feel like I do to know that its ok.



I feel out of place, not because I am a developer. It is because I am surrounded by people who act like politicians. Always taking advantage of us the general honest hard working populous. If you want to do something meaningful then do it with fervor and gusto.