Burnout, pressure on young coders, ageism we must halt

This article is for you if you are a junior coder or a senior coder unsure about your future.

Source of the article and the rant

Today, I read an inspiring post from Yazid H, that you may find on Linkedin.

Blog post fron Yacid H.
Too often recruiters are putting pressure on young coders with the customer benediction.
It creates toxic stress, a fear of failure, the shame to not have the proper knowledge to make the job. The same knowledge that few talented geniuses may have at this age.

The Toxic trend of the IT market

Beyond this unrealistic market pressure, we need to trigger the alarm.

I do not blame the recruiters, they are the echo chamber of the market.

But We see our most fragile and sensitive colleagues progressively be disgusted with their job and abandon their career even if there was a passion at the beginning.

With the market considering 5 years working as a senior,  we have created terrible stress for all developers around their thirties/forties. Being at this age, most of my discussions with my friends and colleagues revolves around the question “What I have done, What I have learned, What will I learn; What will I Become”? I have seen a growing number of relatives suffering from Recoverable Burnout but this year, I lived the drama of a friend/colleague who commits suicide. Some of his thoughts were exactly these. What will I do at 40? I am old. Recruiters say that. I am an old coder, therefore, I must leave IT but I don’t know what to do. Perhaps it’s the end.

The knowledge of technologies is less important than a general knowledge, some culture, experience and an understanding of the concepts. I always believed it and reading nonsensical job adverts convince me every day.

Valuable knowledge takes time to acquire and to make blossom.

I do not want to see a new generation of burned-out coders and colleagues in the next few years. A crowd specialized in dead technologies with an extinguished passion. I am afraid to see an increasing trend of suicide among IT workers. I do not have the number, the stats, or something to confirm it. I just predict it.

Some months ago, some young coders have been evicted with this idiotic COVID fear. One coder was nearly crying and depressed, all his job requests were denied: “you are too unskilled for someone of 5 years of experience”. This amazing young coder is a bright, gentle person, perhaps a bit more sensitive than the average. A person one can dream to have as a colleague. But the market stupid requirements made him unfit to work. How could he have avoided it? Perhaps by taking a bigger company at his first job, worked 70 hours per week, read a dozen books, suffered from two burnouts at 23 years old. Yes, he would have been the perfect candidate. But probably he would be dead.

No to a toxic environment, yes to a caring atmosphere

Recruiters are now reproaching to me that I have regularly switched of companies in the last four years.

To be honest, it seems that there is no common thread between these resigns. It took me time to understand it.

The main ultimate reason that makes me flee, is the presence of a toxic environment. The origin of this toxicity can be various, I met the following ones :

  • an underpaid job that makes your daily life difficult and a growing unsatisfied desire to get paid for your skills. It is insidious, everybody says “it is fine, you will get used”, sorry I am not. We are professionals, we know our value
  • gossips, bad-mouthing, communities, private circles: from all environments, it is what I hate the most. I cannot bear to enter a company and immediately get assaulted with negativity and bad-mouthing about this colleague or this colleague. Who are these workers so high and so might to judge the others and propagate their shitty opinions?
  • financial instability: when a ship is sinking, people become animals and the survival instincts re-appears. I worked with companies that had financial difficulties. Either I was voluntary to help them, either the company plainly lied about its situation. My first experience in experience in Switzerland has been a shock. An internal employee told me one day:  I do not like you, we all going to be fired and you arrive in this company as a contractor.
  • lack of friendship and mentoring: we need to take care of the youngest and use their bright and fresh attitude to maintain a cheerful atmosphere. We need and should transfer our knowledge. Anything else is plainly toxic.
  • non-sense politics: we do not have enough stupid politicians, governments, and supra-governments that are infiltrating our privacy, our lives, and our habits. Humans have to do politics to win a little once of power, or acknowledgment. However when everything is politics and that even a line of code becomes a hysterical political discussion, just flee.

Conclusion

Good software requires good conditions. Take care of your colleagues, of your junior, you have nothing to lose and you will feel better. Read more about How to make a software developer happy?

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