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This is me, I'm a "developer"

🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager
Loves the human side of programming | Makes difficult things seem easy
・3 min read

This is me

Look out 'cause here I come. I'm not scared to be seen. I make no apologies, this is me
I'm Jasper, a 33-year-old developer from the Netherlands.

This is me

Web development is my hobby, and it also happens to be the way I make a living. Learning new stuff and mostly understanding how stuff works is what makes me tick. A lot of developers are like that I guess. So why did I quote the word developer in the title?

My struggles

For a while now I have been feeling like I'm not showing my full potential and that feeling sucks. I always felt apart from the rest of the developers I've studied/worked with. Make no mistake, I can surely hold my own in a programming contest. I'm definitely a good programmer, but that's not all I am and, as I realized, not the only thing I want to be. I'm trying to break out of the standard developer role, and it is hard. Recently the company I work for was taken over by a bigger company. This can be a good thing, opportunities to grow and too finally break out of the traditional developer role. Up until now a lot changed in the company, all sorts of collaborations are starting to happen, except in the development department. I'm convinced developers can really make a difference and I think it would be a shame if they could never show their true potential because they are overlooked too easily.

The developer stigma

Companies that have a development team often recognize their potential in writing code but (some?/ most?) developers can be so much more than that! I for example would love to apply my skills in other areas than just development. Invite me to a brainstorm about whatever, and I'm certain I can wow people with my ability to think outside the box and research new stuff in any area. The only problem is that developers often get overlooked. Sure I'd make mistakes when doing something I've never done (doesn't everyone) but developers can learn, and they learn fast!

Make a change

A lot of developers showed that applying the basic skill set of a developer in other areas works and I think we'll see a lot more of this shift in mentality in the coming years. I certainly hope this article can help people see the full potential of this kind of developer. I'm still struggling to become the developer I want to be. It is not easy to break through the developer stereotype, but I try to do what I can to change it and that's all I can do right now.

You're the best

Here at dev.to I feel heard. I think most of the blogging developers are a lot like me. This is the reason why I post this story here and only here. It isn't the positive story you are used from me, but I'd like to hear from all of you if you've also experienced something like this. In the meantime I'll keep moving forward to become the developer I want to be. I want to turn this into something positive and show everyone developers can do so much more than writing code!

If you're reading this: thanks for hearing me out 😘

Photo by Kevin Bosc on Unsplash

Discussion (11)

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patricktingen profile image
Patrick Tingen

Perhaps working at a smaller company might do you some good. I have been in contracting a long time and I have worked in some small teams. My experience is that in a small environment, you tend to do more than just programming since the team is so small.

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado 🐣✨

No idea what to say here tbh. I guess I'll just say this:

Developers tend to be seen (and at times treated) as merely tools to get stuff done. I mean, duh, that's what you are paid to do; get stuff done. Though I can't say that what you describe here is unfamiliar to me. I too aspire to be more than "just" a developer/engineer. I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with my career, but programming 24/7 may not really be the thing for me.

I typically torment myself by thinking about the future. It makes me really anxious to think about where I will be in my career and whether or not that will make me happy and fulfilled.

Hang in there, many of us don't have it figured out yet! And thanks for sharing this piece! 😊

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jmdejager profile image
🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager Author

Thanks you! 😊

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dealloc profile image
Wannes Gennar

It's important you don't feel "stuck" in what you're doing, that sounds like a great way to get a burn out.
Maybe you should reach out to the people "above" you and start a dialog on how you think the developers departement can mean more than just produce software.

Zit er alvast niet teveel mee in, hier ben je altijd welkom!

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jmdejager profile image
🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager Author

thnx! 😊
And yes it is good to start the dialog, in fact I already did and feel much better already!

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dastasoft profile image
dastasoft

I agree with your feeling that developers can do more than "just" code, I feel the same way about bringing developers into meetings to brainstorm ideas or perhaps make decisions. The best projects I've been involved in have been the ones where everyone can contribute to the team beyond their current role.

There is also a respectable position of people who say "hey I'm just here to code, maybe I'm good at X thing (making speeches, for example) but that's not what I'm getting paid for."

Good luck with your journey by the way :)

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juanfrank77 profile image
Juan F Gonzalez

Hey Jasper
You're awesome

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andrewbaisden profile image
Andrew Baisden

Good read all of us developers are in this together.

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jmdejager profile image
🐀πŸ₯‡ Jasper de Jager Author

Thanks for reading! I get a lot of messages from people who recognize these feelings. Helps a lot

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klvenky profile image
Venkatesh KL

So damn true. FOMO is real & I agree with your point of engineers contribution in shaping the product.
Good article.
Cheers