stage 0 (illusionment): WOW i got a job at $FAMOUS_TECH_COMPANY so excited to be part of something bigger than myself and contribute to the magnum opus that is the computer revolution. Change the world!

stage 1 disillusionment: we are shipping buggy, unmaintainable, resource-hogging, fragile crap software because there's no financial incentive for craftsmanship

stage 2 disillusionment: the "tech industry" hasn't invented a new, useful technology in the last 10 years, maybe longer



stage 3 disillusionment: what we're doing is actively harmful. we're destroying privacy, personal relationships, and possibly democracy itself in the name of automating away people's jobs so a billionaire can have a bigger yacht.

where I'm at now: Today I will fix the next bug on my JIRA queue, an activity which is futile, but not more futile than all other human endeavor


What sparked this thought about stages of disillusionment was reading this blog post:

It's one of a whole genre of blog posts by computer programmers who have just reached Stage 1 disillusionment.

And I'm always like "Oh, you sweet summer child, you have no idea. Come back to me when you reach Stage 3 disillusionment."

Hopefully every Stage 1 Disillusionment blog post is the start of a developer developing a social conscience.

@nindokag Most work in the tech industry is probably as pointless as any other industry, but a tech salary probably buys more/better drugs.

@machado I think of most tech industry work as being mostly a way to extract dollars from venture capitalists to redistribute them to our needy family members back home. With any other value created being an accidental by-product.

(I'm lucky enough to have found a job where i don't have to compromise my values in order to do so. There aren't enough of these jobs to go around, unfortunately.)

@nindokag @alana this is basically what is going on in my head all the time when I'm doing anything related to computers. This is a new thing, though. It wasn't like this always.

@June @nindokag very true. relatively recent development in the industry

@alana @nindokag let's hope it's a short phase and not a constant downhill from here out

@June @nindokag from your input to the ghost in the machine’s auditory sensors

@June @alana

my pet theory/hope is that the next wave of actually-useful technology innovation is gonna come from somewhere way outside silicon valley, taking us all by complete surprise, and silicon valley will find themselves on the receiving end of the disruption.

My dream job was programming videogames.

I'm stuck developing terribly inefficient (due to external constraints) corporate apps that do inventory and sales management stuff. 🤷‍♂️


the problem once you hit stage 3 is you're likely living in SF/Seattle paying ridiculous amount of money to landlords and not sure how to eject :(

@nindokag hang in there, buddy. If it's ever gonna get better, you want to be in the best possible state so that you can make the best of it :).

Also, the very fact that there is a stage 3 in the first place is why I have some hope for our industry. If everyone were stuck at stage 1 forever, there would be no hope of change.

@nindokag what if you get to stage 2 or 3 before even getting a job?

@Wolf480pl Are you joking or are you asking for serious career advice?

@nindokag Neither.
I probably should be asking:
Would our field we better off if more of us became disillusioned and skeptical early on?

@Wolf480pl great question. Been thinking about it since yesterday.

We should all be extremely skeptical, yes. Especially of large "tech" companies.

There are lots of organizations outside the "software industry" that need computers programmed, whose work is more important.

We should consider it a higher honor to work IT for a high school, than to work for Google!

If you gotta work for a big company because you need the $$$ to support your family, then do it, but don't buy into their hype.

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