I can't see the future anymore

Hi eveyone,

I am not sure if this is the right place to talk about my current depression, but I am really breaking down and have lost a lot of motivation.

I am a 30 year-old man. I previously worked at a financial institution in Hong Kong at a risk-related but non-technical capacity. I was very emotionally abused by my last job in Hong Kong which I have left for 5.5 months already. Unlike the US (where I was born), Hong Kong is a city with very bad worker’s rights, employers can pretty much abuse you in whichever way they want. If you find it hard to believe, you can look up the World Economics Forum report for reference… Hong Kong is ranked almost at the bottom for worker’s right while hiring/firing practice being at the top.

Despite having contributed to a quantifiable whopping 40%+ of the workload in an 8 person team in my last job and taking charge of many big change projects delivering a lot of results, I was not given a promotion for two years straight at my job and even had my raise frozen for a year. I wanted to leave the company the year before, but I was threatened by my director that he would give me a bad reference if I do that. In order to manipulate me, my director pretended that he was guilty of threatening me because I was very needed in the company, he lied about giving me a promotion opportunity for the next year (which is this year) which I deserved but never received. After finding out that the director is giving the promotion to the girl he’s been hitting on instead, I quitted with the job with rage in my heart. My whole world was shattered. I thought these were literally drama plots. After learning from ex-colleagues that it is actually quite a common practice for directors to retaliate critical employees with a bad reference check after they have left the company, I was able to secure a good personal reference letter from my senior to offset the harmful remark that I might be given to for my next job’s reference check.

After quitting my job, I took a 2 months break to backpack around Asian countries with my wife and have both decided to hit a reset button, switch career and move back to the US. While in the progress of waiting for my wife’s green card to arrive, I have picked up coding again which I had some experience with back in high school and college.

For the last 3.5 months, I slowly picked up HTML CSS, SQL and the fundamental of Javascript on Udemy. Right now, I am currently learning React and Redux. However, after learning how tough the junior dev job market is in the US, I have really gotten anxious and feeling self-conscious that I may have been learning too ineffectively. For the past 3 weeks, I have been stuck on React-Redux. I am learning much slower than my initial pace I felt like I am stuck in an infinite looping tutorial purgatory. I code along with the udemy tutorial, but don’t understand everything entirely. When I tried to do the FCC exercises, I was able to complete a lot of the exercises, but when I tried making a simple to-do list from scratch with React like I did with vanilla js, my mind went completely blank and I failed to do that.

As a result of the setback, I begin to lose motivation, but I know I can’t because I made a promise to my beloved wife that I will be ready before she receives her green card. I began crying silently at night in the bathroom as I am losing my confidence. I am really afraid of my effort being wasted again like my previous job. I am afraid that even if I finally understand the React-Redux tutorial completely and even the upcoming modules in MERN stack, I probably still won’t be enough to land a dev job. I took the suicide route and peeked at the coding bootcamp graduates’ project online, I ended up feeling like absolute shit compared to them.

I really don’t know how to get through these tough times with a lot of these reality checks. I forgot how success actually taste like. I am having tons of suicide thoughts in my head that I shouldn’t be having. I am really ashamed of myself…

I really need help… sorry for being so negative, but I am really lost…


First things first, if you’re having suicidal thoughts, you need to seek professional help. Call 1-800-273-8255 (source: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/).

Once you get past that first roadblock, you can continue to learn. My advice is to try to take very detailed notes as you learn course material. It is nearly impossible to remember everything. Even for myself, I take very detailed notes when learning anything, whether it be coding-related or not. As you practice and reference your notes, you will begin to remember the things that you do often.

After that, get really good at referencing documentation and tutorials to understand both ‘how to do things’ and ‘what things you can do’. I’d bookmark a lot of useful links for yourself in your web browser. It helps.

I wish you the best of luck in all of your efforts and hope that you find success!


Hey, firstly hang in there :slight_smile: - I can’t imagine the tough times you are going through but please believe me you are worth living, your life will get better, you’ve made the first step talking about it already. Reach out to people in real life, be open, talk.

With regards to the threatening of bad references, atleast where I live it is illegal to give a bad reference I believe. It’s defamation of character, at most they can just not give you a reference.

I get my motivation from creating personal projects, anything really. Something I might use, something I don’t, or something to show off, or something to practice.

Set small goals, that you want to reach each week or month and try to get there. Try not to focus a year or 5 ahead of time as so much changes nobody knows.

I hope you have a good day/night and you are able to talk some more with people about anything and any issues you face.

<3 Stay strong


Stay in there and be courageous. I am from Korea and I am familiar with how brutal work environments could be there in East Asia.

My advice is at any moment you get stuck in tutorials, immediately pause, rewind back until where you know what’s going on and try to understand what’s happening. Repeat until you get it. Look for other resources to help you if you still don’t get it after multiple tries.

Building a solid foundation is important before you familiarize yourself with other topics.

Work hard at it, looks like you have a good reason to too and it will pay off.

Wish you best luck! :+1:


Hi kwolo.
By far, you are not alone.
Four years ago I decided to learn programming. When I started I thought I was a very smart person. My goal was to write a student information system app, I though it could take me six moths to learn and do it.
The last four years I had learned one very big lesson: You could fell stupid, but you should continuous.
Maybe I have dedicated more than two thousand hours learning code. The English is hard for me, so is this duplicates the difficulty.
Last night I went to the bed felling very stupid, because I didn’t understand how the “Named group regular expressions” work in Python. I am learning Django a that’s a very important subject for its url mapping system. It took me 12 hours, and read a tutorial in the middle of the birthday’s celebration of my nearest nephew and godson, to understanding. It was a piece of cake, but like everything in programming documentation, if you don’t know some concept your are loosed.
This is so common that exists a concept to name it, the impostor syndrome, goggle it.
Even Quincy Larson, the founder of freeCodeCamp has felt this:

My advice for my experience:

  • Be sincerely with your wife, simply you can’t know where you could be ready for a dev job.

  • I have worked in the same job for the last four years, I don’t hate it, but I really wish work in programming, that’s frustrating, but I will do it in until I feel ready to work coding, if that’s the price for put food on the table, we have to pay it.

  • Use every minute you have to continue studding code, with the time you will fell confident about it, and most important, you will improve your tolerance to failure.
    now I work for systems, not for goals. I decide to code 15 to 20 hours a week, I can’t do more, with the time I hope I could be a good programmer.

I hope my words help you.


Hey all,

So I have finally taken Rigo’s advice and have talked to my wife. I am very glad I did.

My wife pinpointed what she observed about me.

She told me that I am very masochistic when it comes to learning as if I am constantly competing with people when nobody is around. I would lock myself in a room, skip food, skip sleep, skip social media, and skip interaction with people as if I am punishing myself for getting stuck.

I took a whole-day break today and thought this through and get as much help as I needed.

I have come across a threads in the forum and have found a Coursera course on learning how to learn and have discovered that I have been learning exactly the most inefficient way possible. I will try to continue my study tomorrow and see how it all goes.

Thank you all of you for the advice and pad in the shoulder. It’s been a long time since I have gotten this much support. It means a lot!



It sounds like your wife is a great person! You’re a lucky man.

The Learning how to Learn course is a good way to start learning in a different way.

But it is also very important to take enough rest. Your brain can hold only so many different new things. If you put too many in there it will use an already occupied slot by throwing that knowledge out to make room for the new stuff. That won’t help you with your study.

Also, we humans need rest, playtime (do what you really like to do) and enough sleep. Only then we can be productive in an efficient way. Make sure you don’t study all the time, it won’t help.

And last but not least: I think you should read your own post again. It says you learned HTML, CSS, SQL, JS, REACT and REDUX. That’s a lot of code in just 3,5 months, even if you’re still a beginner at most of them and struggling to learn (like all of us). And you did this all on your own, not in a class with the help of teachers.
That’s a great job. Well done!!!

Your future employer in the US will be looking for someone who can learn fast and someone who doesn’t mind to put a lot of effort in studying new code. A really good employer also wants someone who knows when and how to ask for help.
It sounds like you are on the path to a nice new job in coding.

Good luck and don’t give up!


I myself am guilty of being extremely hard on myself and having the Imposter syndrome every now and then. Its not easy to reskill and seeing your porgress i can say you are doing a great job, just be kind and patient with yourself too. We need to treat ourselves with kindness and respect too every now and then which may mean taking timeouts and enjoying with friends and family. The sort of backpacking trip you took after getting done with a bad job is what you need to do every 2 weeks to avoid getting back into this feel bad spiral. This comes back and will come back, be ready the next time. Happy learning and relaxing!


I hear ya’ buddy. Going thru something similar myself. Maybe this could help.

Check out the skillcrush website for sidehustle ideas to make money while learning the more advanced stuff. Take Care : )

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If you’re having suicidal thoughts, you should be seeking professional help. I know how Asian cultures sometimes don’t take mental health seriously, or even frown on mental illness as weak-minded, but that is not the case. Sometimes we need help and it’s okay to get help if that’s what you need. At the least I think you should be talking to a psychologist until you get out of this dark place.

I’ve been in a dark place myself. But I believe that with programming, you have an opportunity to transform your suffering into something productive and hopeful. For a long time, my career life felt like it had no direction or light at the end of the tunnel. But with programming, I can take that negative energy and invest it into bettering myself. You had a bad job but programming has given you a new hope for a better future. So understand the hope and purpose that programming has given you and hold onto that.


Everyone, even those who understand code and has had a developer job like myself has been where you are and sometimes can go back. Don’t do it and always talk to someone.

If you don’t have time to create a design doc, do the next best thing, pseudocode and rubber duck it. Then google the crap out of what you want to do. Chances are you will find it on stackoverflow.

Take it one day, one step at a time. Also bootcampers frankly do feel like absolute shit all the time. So if you’re using their curriculum that’s not uncommon so you’re absolutely fine in that regard unfortunately.

My advice is the best thing you can do for yourself is if you are beyond fcc, go udemy and take grider’s react. And if it’s all foreign for you, you’re not made to have a photographic memory. Through time and repetition, you’ll eventually remember it. That’s how we all are so no you’re not an anomaly.

PS I’ve lived in Hong Kong and understand how it is. I learned to develop a thick skin but i still have scars. Just don’t let ANYONE or ANYTHING get to you is the mantra I’ve said to myself 24-7


Ey, man! It’s been a year since you wrote your post. Because I’ve been in a depression hole, I know that it is very possible that you are still there. I really believe that if you are still depressed, you got to take care of your soul first than anything. I think depression makes you feel things like you described, but it doesn’t matter if it is in a code field or anything else, the lack of motivation comes from your soul condition.

I’m 32 by now, but 3 years ago I was really in the hole. By now I’m out (with the help of professional help and regular bicycle exercise) and I have the feeling that I can face the code difficulties, since that I’m a beginner in code and I’m just introducing in Front End and Java. But I really want to make an emphasis not in programming stuff rather than in your soul care. This is the foundation of your feelings towards your work and learning.

I just wanted to point at something. I hope you are feeling better than a year a ago.


I wrote a long post with advice and then found your reply saying you already did what I wanted to recommend you.

Good job!

Keep it up and you’ll make it!



It’s OK to feel bad and to take time to heal. The reason of this repository is because many of us are in the same boat: https://github.com/dreamingechoes/awesome-mental-health

I know is hard, but try not to compare yourself to others. Compare yourself to yourself only. You know for sure that you have way more knowledge than 3 months ago.

I think one way you can have quick wins while learning and making a bit of money is to try to do small freelance tasks . I have used Upwork, they have plenty of modular tasks. My only worry is that most of the people there want things fast. I don’t know if this is a good advice for you because I don’t want to put more pressure on yourself. In any case If you have any questions about this I’ll be glad to help.

72 Best Freelance Jobs Websites to Get Remote Freelance Work (Fast)

Take care and be kind to yourself.

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I’m 39 and have constant feelings of being too old for this. However, sometimes I think it’s helpful to look at the alternative. Give yourself some options. Let’s say I stop coding (which I love doing, like everyone else in here)… so then what? What else am I gonna do with life? Just carry on with my current job for the next 30 years?

There’s absolutely no need to compare yourself with people that have been programming for the past 10 years, or even other beginners. You learn at your own pace and need the patience and determination to know that you will make it one day. Whether that’s in a year, two years or more, it doesn’t matter. And by making it, I don’t mean just “getting a coding job”, I mean using your skills to make something that’s important to you, something you love doing.

Like movies? Make a movie app where you can search names/movies or whatever. Like music? What about some kind of app that shows what’s currently playing on multiple stations with links to them? Like backpacking across Asia? How about an app that shows your route with all the things you saw along the way, plotted on a map perhaps with nice images and descriptions, you can use your own photos even. I know zero react right now, but I bet it can do stuff like that. Get creative.

Side note: I think you’d be better off getting more into JS first, not just the fundamentals. Why learn React if your JS is shaky? React wont last forever, but actual programming skills are transferable. Anyway…

You’ll learn so much by making things. Split your learning into tutorials and a pet project which you love. As you learn more on the tutorials, you’ll find yourself applying these things to your pet project. Before you know it, you’ll be refactoring it all and getting well stuck in. At the end, you’ll have a project that you’re extremely proud of and will be able to talk about how it works, why you chose the technologies you did, why you structured it the way you did…

Once you start making these things, when employers see and hear you, the things you’ve been working on, they’ll know how keen you are.

You have your own interests and your own goals. This is a positive step to move back to the US and the future can be bright, if you stop beating yourself up. You haven’t got be “the best”. That perfectionist thinking is really negative and will hold you back.

Work hard, but remember to rest. Breaks are not bad, they let your brain process the barrage of information you just gave it for the last hour. Good luck! You’ve got this :smile:


Hi, man! I’m very sad to read that. In such momets I usually watch Nick Vujicic videostories, they help not to give up! Take care of yourself:wink:

you have been studying for 4 years and still can’t have a job?? this is so wierd !!

I am not searching a job, I want my own software company.
I decided to study programming 4 years ago, but I really begun two years ago. In all this time I have learning basic programming with “Learn To code MOCC”, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Lisp, Python, SQL and Databases and right now I am mapping everything with Django.
At the same time I have been working hard on my life, I lost 50 pounds of weight (working out), and I have pay the 50% of my debts(Shootings pictures) and improve my English.

I plan to start to write a Student Information System for sale it as software as a service the next years. And but the way, I live in a very poor country (El Salvador).

So what this is weird about it???


Hi Rigo-Villalta, there is nothing weird about studying for a longer period and not having a job yet.

I’ve been studying for a couple of years now on UX and Front-End. It took me some time to make the switch from human behaviour to tech. It’s a different mind set and I just needed to look at the whole html/css thing from different angles to get the ideas behind the rules.

I don’t like applying rules without being able to consider the alternatives. I need that theory to use the practical part.

But health problems also often kept me away from my study. And it makes it difficult to find a job.

I guess there are many people like us on this forum, who need more time to learn enough to get a job for whatever reason.

I like your reason: wanting to start your own software company.

Good for you! Go for it and make your dreams come true!

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No I don’t think it’s weird to study for 4 years.

I think it might even be normal for many of us, Code Campers. It depends on the circumstances, your goal and where you come from.

And as most courses are in English, students from non-English speaking countries need more time.