Struggling a bit at work

Hello everyone, I’ve been having some lingering thoughts and figured it’d best if I asked for some advice.

So, I’m currently in a job it’s been over 3 years now. While things have been hectic at times, it feels like it’s been more than in the past lately. We’ve been working on the same project it’s been many months now, and likely will be for many more months too. And I’ve been finding myself feeling very frustrated with said project.

Overall, the project is pretty complex, and it keeps growing on its complexity. Nearly every day we have to deal with some sudden error that we struggle to find the cause of. It’s become sort of a common thing to find ourselves trying to deduce what happened because we just can’t recreate the error ourselves.

Bottom line is, I’m feeling pretty tired of it. Although I don’t know if such scenario is actually normal for project development (please do let me know if it is). And more than once I’ve just felt like quitting.

I don’t intend to quit, as doing such would only cause troubles, not only for me but specially for the company. Still, I’m making plans of doing some work in the background, such as do some rework on my portfolio, maybe start some small projects on my own… Let’s say, build a base so I can feel safer to take a big decision once things calm down later on.

I do hope I’m not taking too much of your time with this, but I’d like to know what your opinion on this case would be. Is this stress normal? Any recommendations on how I could do some self improvement as a developer?

Working on a large complex application is a pretty common thing in software jobs. Especially if you’re maintaining a legacy application, which it might sound like you’re doing? That kind of work (and software) is actually prevalent enough in the industry that you could potentially & easily end up doing that type of work again, unless you’re careful enough to avoid falling into that trap.

If you truly do want to quit and find another job, and would prefer building up more greenfield types of software, you need to seek out smaller early-stage companies. Maybe not the super early Series A-type startups, who often need the most senior developers possible, but it sounds like you want something more like a Series B or C company - i.e., generally (but not always) companies that have at least 20 employees or more. I would probably say the sweet spot for a company that will allow you to actually “build” software is one that has anywhere between 10-100 employees. Naturally, the smaller the company, you’ll be expected to have more skill and wear more “hats”.

But you shouldn’t have to quit your job if you can find a meaningful open source project to contribute to. An open source project sounds like it could be a great way for you to improve any skills you feel are lacking. Either that, or I might recommend freelancing.

Thanks for your feedback! I had forgotten about open projects. Surely something I’ll look into. :slightly_smiling_face:

And yes, our company is relatively small, so the “many hats” part feels quite true. Even though I prefer the front end, I’ve been working a lot on the back end. Even had to work on some iOS mobile app project (which traumatizes me to this day :joy: ).