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  1. #1
    Resident OCD goofball! bronze trophy Serenarules's Avatar
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    Question Is it my time to quit?

    Hey guys. Some of you have seen my posts in the PHP and the .NET forums over the past couple of years and now I have a question I'd like to ask you for your opinion on.

    I started in 1991 with Borland C++ / OWL and Paradox db. From there I moved to VB and Access. After that, I learned Delphi and MSSQL. Later I learned ASP, DCOM, MTS and all the stuff that came with VS6. Then in 2000, I lost my last official job. I've been solo since then, working with PHP / MySQL and a little .NET / MSSQL. So much for my history.

    Now, I am finding that things are changing year to year, faster than they used to, and a lot of it is more headache than benefit (in my eyes anyway). Who the hell thought of ajax anyway? And I still don't know what json means. I hate the fact that php is not typesafe, and yet, of the languages that are, they also come with frameworks I don't like.

    I've had a concept for a forum system running through my head since I first picked up a copy of DISCUS PRO, many many years ago. I still don't have a complete design due to everything else I have to do on top of things constantly changing. In the end, even if I were to complete it, who would want it? It wouldn't have any javascript in it at all, there's no wysiwyg stuff, or anything like that. After ten years I have nothing to show for it.

    I am tired, my back hurts all the time, I haven't been "out", or to a bar in almost seven years.

    Is it time to quit? Hang up the mouse and move on?

  2. #2
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
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    Time to quit? I don't know, but I'd say it sounds like it's time for you to take some "me" time and have a breather.

    JSON is java-script object notation. It makes things easier on the machine by not requiring XML file parsing during AJAX.

    Do you need to learn everything and keep up with everything? I doubt if it's humanly possible for even an uber-human. Why not find something you like and stick with it until you excel? There's nothing wrong with being a specialist.

  3. #3
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    Do you need to learn everything and keep up with everything? I doubt if it's humanly possible for even an uber-human.
    Tommy is the uber-human-possibly-cyborg kind of person to ask about such matters but seriously, its not worth giving up! What you need to do is focus yourself on a smaller group of languages rather than on trying to expand everywhere else you will be unable to keep up with everything. Just take 3 things out of the air... 1 you are excellent at, 1 you are good but want to improve at and 1 that you would like to learn... and stick to those only (which gives you stronger focal points)

  4. #4
    SitePoint Enthusiast badams67's Avatar
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    You've spent 18 years, developing a talent, it not like you can just give it up, and find something new to
    do instantly, if your freelancing you can take plenty of me time to have fun, and get that back fit again (i recommend doing sit-ups every day do prevent your back muscles getting week). Sorry you haven't had better luck. I hated javascript in the 90s, but i've been able to pickup ajax quickly, and it actually works now.

  5. #5
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    Ajax is not that hard. These days employers want PHP/MySQL programmers with AJAX skills. If you learned PHP, AJAX will be a piece of cake to you. Don't give up. AJAX can be learned as little as ten days.
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    SitePoint Guru deepM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kibaki20 View Post
    These days employers want PHP/MySQL programmers with AJAX skills. If you learned PHP, AJAX will be a piece of cake to you. Don't give up. AJAX can be learned as little as ten days.
    kibaki20 is absolutely right. even i am new php/mysql programmer and people asked me for my AJAX skills. and as he said its not really difficult. we dont need AJAX all the time. and really we can learn it in few days!

    New Languages comes and goes. the thing is only we need to update ourself. but not with everything. but something which we can enjoy to work upon.

    so please dont give up buddy!

  7. #7
    Resident OCD goofball! bronze trophy Serenarules's Avatar
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    The main issue I see is that I am not college trained. I never went. This is stuff I taught myself. I have six kids and a wife, and haven't found decent employment since the IT crash after 911. Aside from the occasion meager work on a freebsd machine for a friends company, I don't get any income from this. So this isn't just about me, but an entire situation.

  8. #8
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenarules View Post
    The main issue I see is that I am not college trained. I never went. This is stuff I taught myself. I have six kids and a wife, and haven't found decent employment since the IT crash after 911. Aside from the occasion meager work on a freebsd machine for a friends company, I don't get any income from this. So this isn't just about me, but an entire situation.
    If you haven't had decent employment in the field in 8 years then I'll take the opposite tact and say that yes, it's probably time to quit.

    Why continue to suffer with something that you don't like and aren't making any money at?

  9. #9
    Resident OCD goofball! bronze trophy Serenarules's Avatar
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    I appreciate everybody's honesty. =)

    I think the problem is that I love doing it. Even if something is never completed. Just sitting down and figuring out how things work is enough. So it isn't that I hate developing in general. I'm a tinkerer. I always have been. Mom says when I was four, she'd gotten me a toy firetruck, which I took apart and put back together on my own.

    In the beginning, after 911, I kept doing it in hopes that one day I'd find employment again. As time went on, it became harder to find a job, and at the same time, harder to tear myself away from it.

    It's one big clusterf---, and I'll let you fill in the blanks.

  10. #10
    Pragmatic Programmer halfasleeps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mittineague View Post
    JSON is java-script object notation. It makes things easier on the machine by not requiring XML file parsing during AJAX.
    I didn't know JSON was easier for the machine than ajax I just thought it was an alternative...never used it but by looking at it XML makes more since in MY head.
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  11. #11
    King of Paralysis by Analysis bronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenarules View Post
    I think the problem is that I love doing it.
    If you love doing it then that's different.

    I think the time has come for you to see this as a hobby and not as a source of income though. Especially if it's resulted in you doing the following

    I am tired, my back hurts all the time, I haven't been "out", or to a bar in almost seven years.
    You also have kids, is your relationship with them suffering? They can see if you're miserable (which it sounds like you are).

    So keep doing this as a hobby and to keep your mind occupied, stop trying to keep up with every new programming language that comes out and just specialize in one or two (PHP, JAVA, .NET). Most importantly get your life back, go out, enjoy yourself, recharge your batteries, and cherish your children.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Enthusiast rendell's Avatar
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    Seriously,

    If you are not happy, I think you should quit.

    No point you getting yourself tired and stress ... you will fall sick if you don't do something.

    I have seen too many cases of people quiting only because something seriously happen to their body or even relationships with the family.

    There is more to life than work

    Go fulfill your dreams first, then if it is not what u like, you can always hop back to your old line.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member webinnosales's Avatar
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    If you are not happy anymore, then maybe you can rest and think million times, then decide what you really wanna do in your life..

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  14. #14
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    This is perfectly why i didn't go with programming

    web entrepreneur is awesome ...

  15. #15
    Programming Team silver trophybronze trophy
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    Do you have a web site? a blog? Running a web site takes more than just programming skills, but it's a big help knowing what's going on under the hood. And what you don't know you can learn here for free in your "spare" time. If you monetize it, you may not ever make enough for it to make you independently wealthy, but with a little time and luck it could at least pay for itself. And that should boost your spirits.

  16. #16
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    I don't think giving up is the answer. I'd recommend maybe setting a deadline for giving it another chance. This time try to make some changes in your lifestyle maybe. Try to find a way to include some more pleasure in your life. If things don't turn around for you then maybe you're right and you should find something else to try.
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  17. #17
    SitePoint Member FastLionDesign's Avatar
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    Serenarules:

    I recommend you sit down and write a list of all jobs related to computers, such as:

    1. Teaching. Computer science teachers are a necessity at almost every level of schooling nowadays: high school; vocational schools that specialize in computer training; junior colleges; community colleges; public and private colleges and universities; nonprofits or governmental programs that teach the unemployed or senior citizens.

    2. Freelance writing. Sitepoint and other places are seeking articles.

    3. Customizing Content Management Systems based on php. I check classifieds in Craigslist and other places frequently, and there are always companies or potential clients seeking your skills in php and mysql, usually for CMSs.

    4. Computer Repair or Maintenance.

    5. eBay Seller.

    6. Whatever else you can think of.

    I appreciate your situation. I've been learning web design for the past five or six years, and I've had to do additional jobs such as eBay Seller and doing some print design (newsletters, brochures). I recommend you branch out from your existing knowledge rather than just quit outright, unless you have a burning desire to do another different profession. Remember, you make your best decisions in a calm clear state of mind. Follow your inner voice.

    (Hey, maybe I should get a job on sitepoint as an advice columnist. This empathy thing just comes naturally to me.)
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  18. #18
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenarules View Post
    The main issue I see is that I am not college trained. I never went.
    So? The only advantage a college kid has is that he's more trained for learning... when you come out of university, you really don't know much, but you have a good base for learning and therefore learn faster. This is a huge plus, but it doesn't mean that someone who is pro-actively seeking knowledge can't do it too.

    I don't have a university degree (although I did study 2 and a half years of engineering)

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenarules View Post
    This is stuff I taught myself.
    Like most of us, if not everybody here... we can't help it! you always need to try the next thing

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenarules View Post
    I have six kids and a wife, and haven't found decent employment since the IT crash after 911.
    Most of us have some of family commitment. I don't have 6 kids, but I have 9 siblings... and some of them are unemployed and with kids

    Regarding a decent employment, if there's no employment you always have the options to create it yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by Serenarules View Post
    Aside from the occasion meager work on a freebsd machine for a friends company, I don't get any income from this. So this isn't just about me, but an entire situation.
    It is always a situation. There's more behind that what it looks. But that's also for everybody else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Serenarules
    I think the problem is that I love doing it.
    This is a problem indeed... because you do sound completely down and frustrated, and it looks like if you forgot how to have fun with this.

    But if you still love it, then no, it is not time to quit. It is time to make decissions and draft an action plan and execute it. A good action plan will also include a plan B.

    As an example, plan A could be to set up your own specialsed business and promote it seriously and getting a part time job as a teacher, while plan B could be getting to work into a major company.

    First of all, study your possibilities and write down your strong points, what you know, and what need to learn and your weak points.

    Look at the possible jobs you could do, and look if you need anything else to apply for a particular job (as an example, a teacher needs to have a diploma or something that proves that (s)he can be a good teacher. I am not saying a college degree, only something that he knows how to teach)

    FastLionDesign gave you a few possibilities and good starting point but there are even more jobs.

    Decide of those jobs which ones you would be able to start at once because you have the knowledge and the skills, which ones you would need to do get something else to be able to do them, which ones you would prefer and which ones you will try to avoid, unless there's nothing else under the sun.

    Once you have decided what you want to do, then write down what you need to do to get that goal. If it is a job, you will need to make sure that you have a nice suit for the interviews, that you present yourself correctly, you will need a list of the companies you would like to work for, write a CV and an introduction letter especifically targeted to each one of them, etc.

    If you will be still freelancing, then how you will promote yourself, learn how to sell yourself to get better paid jobs, etc.

    And then, just put it into action.

    Probably, the whole family could lend a hand and you can all agree to a schedule where all of you will share the house chores, taking care of the little kids and everything, including some free time for each of the members of the house.

  19. #19
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Serenarules, My advice in the situation would be to re-evaluate what you want to do in terms of a career; there is no point in carrying on as you are because it is obvious that you are struggling with the situation and current job market climate. Perhaps have a sit down, think about what areas in particular interest you and then re-launch yourself with a new target market and audience. I worked in software development for years but the entire industry has dried up (For commercial products) due to the amount of competition and the rise in open source (which I am a fan of) so I chose to change my business direction to web design and have not looked back since. Sometimes when things aren't going well it makes sense to look at everything under a microscope and see what isnít working, remove that from the mixture and then follow your love of computers into a path which is more sustainable.

  20. #20
    Resident OCD goofball! bronze trophy Serenarules's Avatar
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    It's responses like these (all of the above), which are informative and honest, that make me not want to quit. I think I've made a decision on it though. While I won't quit altogether, I will be taking a daytime job for now, and focus on doing things for myself in my spare time, like finishing my web app and reinstating some of my old domains (gaming sites and the like) so that I separate work and fun.

  21. #21
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
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    Best of luck in this new venture

  22. #22
    SitePoint Enthusiast Alzbeta's Avatar
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    Well I guess its time for you to unwind a bit, it's seems like you are not happy right now with what your doing because you think you haven't done anything.. try to freshen up

  23. #23
    SitePoint Member chw's Avatar
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    I don't think it is time to quit. I think it is time to take a break and objectively re-evaluate what you are doing.

    I sometime feel the same way about the heap of certification I have to take to remain employable.

    I think if your are tired of adopting these new languages you can move side-way in your career. Analyst, system - architect etc. You already have the foundation in these position someone else will do the work, all you need to do is learn about the technology and how best to implement it.

    I do agree with some of the guys you need to take a break.


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