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Iqrah Nadeem
Iqrah Nadeem

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I am too afraid to admit "Maybe I don't want to be a software developer"

I say "maybe" because the professional world is still very new to me, I've only had one proper job as a software developer and I did not like my time there as much as I thought I would.

I love coding. I love finding solutions through the power of technology, be able to debug my code and learn new tools and languages, but all of that, only for fun, for projects that I am truly passionate about and care for, in my own sweet time.

The experience was completely different while working as a software developer in my first and only company. The job felt extremely isolating and monotonous. Waking-up and dressing to go to work, sitting all alone at my desk and waiting for the clock to announce my time to go back home, to only repeat it all over again was extremely sad and joyless. Some days it was so sad that I would cry on the bus to work and at my desk without anyone noticing.

I don't think there was anything particularly wrong with the company or the people working in my team, specially my line manager. They all seem to be really good people that love their job and tried to create a pleasant environment for me but I just could not fit in, no matter how much I tried, and after a point I gave up, prioritised my mental health and happiness by resigning on month 9.

Since then, I have physically been too scared to apply for technical jobs. It is going to be a few months since I graduated but the fear of getting stuck in a job that I will hate again has prevented me from applying to any graduate schemes or software developer roles.

I've thought about pivoting to an entirely different field but my love for technology and the lack of knowledge of anything else holds me back. I constantly feel inferior to everyone around me because I am unemployed and don't have a source of income yet.

iOS development is something that I am enjoying a lot lately, but again there is this fear that if I were to get an offer as a junior iOS dev, I would have to work on projects that are decided by someone else, maybe all by myself and find myself back at hating my job.

Community building on the other hand has been extremely fun. It is something that I was introduced to at University.

After attending a few really fun hackathons in my first year, it bothered me that a lot of my peers were unaware of hackathons and a society did not exist to cater to this need.

So, I decided to change that and founded helloHackers, the hackathon society at my University. Joining the GitHub Campus Expert program around this was very fulfilling and I have enjoyed doing all sorts of community work as a Campus Expert, specially organising hackathons, teaching code to beginners and content creation in the form of livestreams and recorded videos.

A huge part of me loves the tech field too much to let go but I also know that "maybe I don't want to be a software developer" which is why when I got the opportunity to host a livestream show on GitHub Education Twitch channel, my show, "What in the tech do I do?" was about interviewing people that have job roles in the tech field that are not software developers.

One area of the tech field that stood out to me the most was devrel/developer community related but the guilt that I will not be utilising my Computer Science degree to the fullest in such roles is holding me back from applying.

But I truly think working with the developer community instead of being a developer myself is better suited with my goals and aspirations.

This post is a way for me to solidify for myself that it is okay to feel this way. Maybe I don't have to take a clear cut call right away. I am still very new and at the start of my professional journey, so it shouldn't necessarily be one or the other. I can apply to both kinds of jobs and experiment to see what suits me the best.

Shout-out to @alexandrammr by the way, for introducing me to the world of cmx, community and product management. Looking forward to exploring more job roles in non-developer roles.

Wish me luck and stay tuned to see where I land up I guess πŸ˜…

Top comments (2)

juanpflores profile image
Juan Pablo Flores (he/him)

Great blog on a topic that many relate to. I agree that finding the thing that brings you joy can be hard specially while choosing a degree. Good thing that communities and events are a great way to explore careers beyond what we initially intended.

Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing this blog πŸ’–

alexandrammr profile image
Alex Radu

I loved reading this, in here rooting for you mad supporting you whichever decision or career you go for! You're such a great person and I know that when you find your place and people you'll be fantastic at work ☺️