It all actually started as a kid, not code - curiosity. You see, I believe that the majority of programmers (at least all the self-taught ones) get into it because of the nature of their curiosity. I remember taking things apart and putting them back together since a really young age.
I was thrilled to get the position and join the company culture - we were going to build the coolest, most exciting web software and I got to be part of it!
What I ended up becoming a part of, was a chain of command - starting with the unending scope creep of the customer to the desperate clinging of the boss-man to motivate the developers through yet another "final tweek" - and there was no choice, because my compensation depends on the customer's non-existent satisfaction.
The industry chewed me up and spat me out. I quit the job, even though I made decent money for a junior, and for weeks after that I couldn't even look at my computer. Every time I felt the urge to build something, I dreaded it - it felt as if though I'll anyway never be satisfied and may as well not even start. The corporate disease consumed me.
Quitting a job is quite a bad experience. Even though before the job I could sustain my life, after it I felt like everything I was able to afford was taken from me (which was a lie). The monkey on my back kept telling me to get back into it. I have at this point been coding again, making Youtube videos for fun and enjoying programming.
I thought: "This time I'll code on my own terms" - become a freelancer. Freelancing is much better. You control your workload, hours, projects etc. But in the end, you're again stuck in a black hole of putting money, customer satisfaction, marketing and hard work in front of the very reason you want to pursue a career in programming - curiosity.
If you're a recently graduated developer in some stack on the lookout for a job and this is a thing that you're sure you want to pursue. You have to vow to yourself to never let the pressure and demands of the world outside hamper your creativity and never-ending urge to learn more.
I'm currently working for much less money, but I'm 10x happier. I know for some this isn't feasible, but money can become dangerous to your curiosity when it surpasses the point of necessity.
After just a short while in the industry I have decided to put learning and creating above all. I am stepping out once my project pipeline clears and I'm getting back to making beautiful things, contributing to impactful open-source projects and most of all teaching the value of the love for programming outside of money to the world through the internet.
Creating for change, not profit.