Written By John Sonmez
Why there are so many sad programmers?
Why there so many software developers get depressed?
Why are they miserable?
I was a software developer. To be honest with you.
I've been miserable at some point in my life.
I think there's a higher rate of depression and social anxiety
around software developers in general.
And in this video, I want to talk about some ways that you can address that.
Ways you can get over that.
What I've learned as I have gone through the journey of personal development in my life. #softwaredevelopentindustry #miserabledevelopers #softwaredevelopers
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Transcript Of The Video
John Sonmez: What's up guys, John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. And in this video, I want to talk about why there are so many sad programmers. Why so many software developers get depressed, why they are miserable. To be honest with you, I was a software developer, I've been miserable at some point in my life, I think there's a higher rate of depression and social anxiety around software developers in general. And I want to talk about that in this video and talk about some ways that we can address that, ways you can get over that, what I've learned as I have gone through the journey of personal development in my life.
So if you guys are just joining me for the first time, I'm John from simpleprogrammer.com, on this channel, we teach you soft skills for software developers, how to develop yourself as a developer, not just write some code. By the way, click the subscribe button, if you haven't already, because you're going to want to, subscribe to this channel, and buy this book, if you haven't, The Complete Software Developer's Career Guide, it's my big tome on software development, on soft skills. I realized that every one of you should have this book because it's going to help you more than anything else, I also have an audio version out there, so make sure you check it out, if you haven't already, I think you're going to find it pretty useful.
All right, guys. So let's address the elephant in the room here. Why are so many software developers miserable? Why are they sad? Why are they lonely? Why is it so common with software developers? Well, I can tell you from my experience, I think there's a few different reasons for this. I think one of the big reasons is that it's a self selection process. What I mean by this is that, I'll be honest with you guys, before I was this buff, jacked dude here, I was quite the nerd. I was, I was quite the nerd, especially in school. I was one of those kids that was picked on, I was shy, I had a lot of social anxiety, as we call it nowadays.
I was scared, I was lazy, I was overweight, I wasn't very athletic, but I liked to code, I liked to play video games, and I liked the idea of building my own video games, and I liked computers because I didn't have to interact with people, and when I did, I could be a person that I wanted to be online, as I started to figure that out, and I could dig into this, I could understand this. I loved the idea of creation, I loved the idea of being powerful in a world where I didn't feel so powerful and I could just focus on something. And it really just felt like an awesome thing for me.
And so what happened was, as I got introduced into computers, I really gravitated toward it, and I spent more and more time, where I think some of my peers were spending time developing their social skills and out there, I spent more of my time working on computers and technology and playing video games and learning, that kind of stuff. And it's not to say I didn't have friends, but I had other nerdy, geeky friends as well. So I think a lot of the reason why a lot of software developers have these attributes in common is because of that selection.
Now you might say, well, what does that have to do with being miserable? Or what does that have to do with being sad and depressed? Okay, well, let's get to that. So, I went through this process, as someone who was a developer, I found that, I was lonely, I didn't know how to talk to women for example, and a lot of the guys I knew did, and I felt like I was over there by myself, I didn't really know how I was going to fix that problem. I also didn't really have a lot of friends that I could really count on, and I had some close friends, but I didn't have a very big social circle. So I didn't really have guys I could go out with right and stuff like that early on, and so I was feeling isolated and depressed in that way. And I couldn't relate to people, that was another thing that made me sad.
I was being successful as a software developer, I was making some pretty good money and all these things, but as far as being successful as a person, I didn't like how I looked. I was still a nerd, I was overweight, I wasn't very physically fit, I was socially awkward, and I had anxiety around people, and I didn't know how to talk to girls, and I didn't know how to do all these things that I wanted to do in my life. And so even though I was successful and I was enjoying what I was doing, to some degree, I was sad and miserable because I wasn't fully living my life. A lot of my life was spent in front of the computer or in a virtual world playing a game instead of actually living life with other people, and I didn't even realize that, I was in denial at that point.
And so I think that's really what it comes down to, is really that so many of us software developers, we are self selected to be software developers based on some of these attributes, and then as you become a developer, and you really get obsessed with code, and you really get obsessed with improving your craft, you tend to isolate more, and isolation makes us sad. There's a really good book I was just reading, I can't think of the name of it right now, but he was talking about depression, he was talking about some of the major causes and he was basically saying that loneliness is a major cause of depression and you can correlate those things together real easily. And so I think that's really one of the things.
And to look at a broader perspective of this, a lot of it is just how we view ourselves. And working in software development, working with software developers, I know there's a lot of ego, have you noticed there was a lot of ego in software development? It's really interesting because what tends to happen is that a lot developers, they want to be really great because they feel like this is one area of their life that they have. And so because of that, we have all these competing egos, and there's a lot of feeling of not being good enough, or not being good enough in other areas, and those things they can really weigh on you over time. So I think that a lot of developers, they end up getting into this trap where they keep on working on this one skill, but they're neglecting the rest of their life.
And that's why, what I eventually started doing with Simple Programmer, here on this channel, was I started teaching developers the other skills. I got in shape, I went from fat and overweight to someone who runs ultra marathons, and is ripped now, and lifts weights. And I changed my mindset around, I started building businesses, I started investing, I developed what I call the bulldog mindset, which is behind me here, my other company. And I really changed my mindset and focused on personal development, read so many books, became social. Got out there and facing rejection, and facing risk, and doing all those things, it really changed my life, it really invigorated my life, it gave my life more purpose and meaning, and it helped me become well rounded.
And so that's one of the reasons why I made this video, is because I want you to be able to break the mold. I don't want you to necessarily think that you have to be this nerdy, geeky software developer and that you can't be these other things. You can be all these other things. You can be exactly what you want to be in life, and you can be well rounded. You don't have to be someone who is socially awkward, you don't have to be someone who is unathletic, you don't have to be someone who just hides in the corner, is loveless and lifeless. You can be a well rounded person as a software developer, but you have to work on things like personal development. Again, that's why I created Bulldog Mindset, that's my other company. And I've been helping men especially, to be able to develop these other attributes. A lot of my audience there are software developers, a lot of you guys are over there as well, so I appreciate.
But I think another aspect of it that I didn't really talk about was the idea of just some of the work demands and some of the stress and pressure that comes with being a software developer, because one of the things about a lot of other jobs, is you can clock in and you can clock out and you can be done. But as a software developer, you have to create something and there's a lot of weight on your shoulders and you have to figure it out. A lot of times there's not some solution that you can just go to, it's up to you. There is no answer, you have to just figure out how you're going to solve this problem, it's almost like art, because we say that what software development is, it's a combination of those two things. And so a lot of times that pressure and having to work so many hours, especially at a startup, it can weigh on you, it can make you miserable as well.
So, anyway guys, I hope that this helps you. And I would like to leave you with one piece of advice, as far as help, which is, if you feel like you're miserable as a software developer, focus on personal development, focus on other areas of your life. Get fit, get in shape, go start running, you don't to necessarily lift weights and become jacked, you can though, but focus on doing that a little bit. Start reading some books on personal development, I know the self help, the wawa, new age bullshit, but I understand that, but those books are good. I went to a Tony Robbins seminar, it changed my life, it was good, I mean, I know the analytical engineering mind, I had my laptop, believe me guys, I was sitting there and I was thinking that we're going to type up some notes here, and instead we're dancing around and hugging each other. And it was uncomfortable for me, but getting outside of that comfort zone, it really helped me.
So go and work on your social skills as well. I had to force myself, this was really, really difficult. But once I did that, it changed my life. I mean, look, I wouldn't be making these videos for you guys, I wouldn't be doing half of the things that I'm doing if it wasn't for devoting some time to doing that. So guys really hope this helps you. Let me know what you think about this, is there something that I missed here? But let me know what you think, are you feeling miserable as a software developer? Share your experience below and I will talk to you next week. Take care.