The fool

The fool
Photo by Beth Macdonald / Unsplash

I was a fool. When I was around 25, I thought that, software developers are like professional sports players. At around the age of 35, you can not pursue it anymore. I thought, having a family, kid(s), more daily responsibilities would drift your mind away from constant learning and self development. So, by the age of 35, you should have stepped up to a management role already. I was a fool.

So my first mistake was, back-then, thinking that "management" roles are superior to development roles. They are not. They are different roles. Different responsibilities and different day-to-day tasks.

You simply don't have to be at a management role. Not a team lead, not an engineering manager, not a CTO. At the age of 35 with a 5 years old kid around, I feel great. I love coding. And you know what has changed in years? I became more patient and persistent about learning and improving myself day by day. I am not the coder I used to be last year or the year before. And I will be better next year.

So if you are a young developer just like I was (and relatively still am) and you think you "have to" be a manager, you don't have to. Believe me. You can always remain in active development by the age of 60 and nobody thinks that "being old" is a bad thing in IT.

What really matters is to enjoy it. And keep your passion for learning new things, testing stuff, experimenting. Coding is fun. Creativity is fun. Just don't let anybody or any process or your age to take that fun away from you.