Why I’m getting back into Trades as a Software Engineer.
I am a lead frontend engineer for an e-casino and founder of Own Me currently, but I started my working career in the Canadian rural trades industries doing the dirtiest of the filthiest work for like $10 an hour at 16 years old.
I ended up dropping out of carpentry when I was 21 and going to university for computer science instead because I burnt out of the trades industry quickly and did not see the upward potential that was available to me in the technology sector.
Software development has been a great career choice for me and I still tell any young person to unironically: “learn how to code” if they want to be as successful as possible if they are starting from nothing.
After about 3–4 years working construction labor / carpentry helper type jobs I managed to get up to like $20 an hour and was considered about a 2nd year apprentice skill level. After just 2 years coding, I was making $50 an hour and was leading teams. The difference is substantial. Trades is unfortunately underpaid in comparison to most tech jobs. It is also more restrictive to entrepreneurship and has a worse workplace culture.
The personal quality of some of the workers in the trades also turned me off. Drug abuse, mental health and crime run rampant. We should purge this degeneracy from trades thoroughly and make honorable, skilled and dignified workers.
I hope this changes as I know the hard work trades put in and what it could be if it had a proper renaissance.
I learned the highest paying per hour skillset that I can do to achieve the most dollar value for my time. Most people above a certain IQ threshold can learn any skill or career they want. It’s all about motivation and being able to adapt to new market environments.
When trades can compete in compensation I would gladly come back and quit my programming job. I love cutting and nailing real wood.
The metaverse is nothing in comparison to the user experience of real life.
Work / Life Balance in the Metaverse
Now days, I am about 6~ years into the tech game and approaching my 30s… I am starting to seek different things in my life. Family, time outdoors, health, real estate ownership, consistent pay cheques and a balanced lifestyle are key.
I don’t think the 24 / 7 / 365 Github contribution coder lifestyle is healthy or productive.
Most people doing it are not actually creating useful tools or products for the market. Although I am guilty of doing some of it myself… I have made little projects that have gone nowhere, mainly: “just to keep busy”.
Google this: Surrogate Activity
The majority of people are spinning their wheels, coding junk commits for brownie points so they “look active”. Possibly a side effect of bad public school education.
I thoroughly reject this. I code to make money. My time has monetary value. I don’t care if that offends billion dollar corporation’s HR department. I am only interested in solving real world problems and refuse to spin my wheels or do circus coding tricks for the elite class.
I am a builder and I own my inventions.
Devs Need Outdoor Hobbies
Many developers are guilty of this…
“Ahh finally some free time from my 60 hour a week coding job…
What should I do this weekend? Make another open-source pet project? Obviously.”
Will you have the discipline to resist the Pod? It‘s comfy.
Undoubtably, I do not get enough outside time as a full-time lead software engineer. This could be solved by putting my PC setup in a outdoors location or utilizing skylights / greenhouse style lighting.
I have concerns about posture and eye sight using computers for long periods of time. Getting direct sunlight and using your eyes to track long distance targets, more complex then a computer screen, is required for healthy eyesight.
My Response to our Technology Overdose
I am getting more into carpentry and hiking while hyper focusing my time spent on coding to be as productive as possible for real life benefits. I’ll let the eventual AI crank out all the useless lines of code we need in open-source.
Software should be used to make our real life better.
Not as escapism from our failed reality.
There is plenty of “real” work to accomplish. Do not let yourselves get pigeon holed into being “only a programming” or “only a farmer”. This new age will bring new talented humans.
The age of techno-homesteaders is here!