Web development is not for me?

Hi all!

I had a look around the forum and I wasn’t able to find a topic on this question (also, it’s probably very specific to me), so hopefully I am not repeating anything.

I have been working as a back end developer for a couple of years now, and whereas I enjoy certain aspects of my job (for the most part I enjoy programming itself), I find it very mundane and repetitive. Overall, I don’t think this has anything to do with the company I work for as I have been postponing searching for other job because I like working for them.

I struggle identifying value that I bring to the table, when all I am supposed to care is about website performance, efficiency, caching, servers and etc, which are all important and something that a person in my position should care about… but I don’t.

I recently came into situation where I was asked to make improvements on a website for someone really close to me, and whereas I did accept, I realized that I know very little about what makes a website look good, convert, let alone how to implement those changes on the front end. Switching to front end is something that I have been considering for a while, because in my unexperienced eyes, it feels that maybe I could have a bit more impact on the client’s business itself.

I think this is where it all stems for me - I want to help people, potentially go into a route of helping small businesses bring more revenue through well designed and built websites. Because of this I have even considered moving to design, but there is a part of me that genuinely enjoys programming, and since it’s a skill that I have been working on and developing for a couple of years, I feel very reluctant to abandon it. It also feels like small business and individual people would be less likely to hire a company to improve their website but rather a single person, who could do the majority of the improvements for them.

But my pondering doesn’t end here [insert facepalm emoji].

Because of my weird need to bring value to people/society through my work, I have been also considering and exploring other options for a tech career. I am curious about data science, learning more about AI and machine learning, but I yet still struggle to make my mind as to which route I should.

Again, I understand the value web development has, and I don’t want it to sound like I think it’s meaningless, but it just doesn’t bring the right kind of satisfaction to me. I struggle to talk about this with people, because everyone seems to so passionate about web development, or want to move to web development from all sorts of different careers.

I guess, the whole point of this is to see if anyone has faced with similar issues or feels in a similar way about their jobs? Any advice/feedback/critique is very welcome.

Thanks in advance, and apologies if this is repeating any of the previous posts.


The first thing i can see from profile is a role as a full-stack engineer. Think of it this way you already have the skills as a backend engineer and with the supplement of Frontend skills you will be a well rounded engineer.

Web developers work slightly more with the moving parts and hence more interaction with the customers hence bringing value to them immediately.

  • I will edit this post later about the roles with machine learning/data engineer etc -
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thank you for your reply, at this point, I didn’t expect anyone to answer this really :smiley:

not going to lie, I considered full stack as an option, but I think what stopped me from pursuing this is the general assumption (maybe just on my part?) that it’s way better to specialize in something and that by going into full stack development one might become more of a generalist. But I guess this also somewhat depends on what type of company one works at.

Either way, I am very keen to hear/read your insight into machine learning/data engineering positions :slight_smile:

Some argue that the full stack engineer doesnt really exits. Its more like a good backend engineer who can do frontend or the other way round. Rarely is there a person who is equally good at both frontend and backend. In your case, you are already good with the backend with a few years under your belt. Now you need to polish up your frontend skills ( which will take its time) and start working as a full stack engineer.

A generalist imo is a person who you can throw at a problem and he/she will come up with tools and solve the problem ( throw a problem and you will get some sort of a solution). You on the other hand have expertise and i assume preferance on your choice of tools and languages.

My take on machine learning / data engineer etc comes from looking at people working with it ( i might be totally wrong here and this is an opinion after all), these roles are people who like more often than not like to sit in the background and churn up data, build models etc. As you have clearly stated you will like a more value creation and fast, frontend seems to be a very good choice here.

You can also check those day in the life of a * for a sneak peak on what sort of tasks they day on a day to day basis.
Suggestion : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXKiG1DcKe8

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Thank for your suggestions!

I think part of my problem is that I find it very hard to make decisions just based on research online, as it’s always a bit hard to know what the actual jobs entail.

I think data engineering jobs look very interesting, but I think you are right in saying that if it’s a job that’s a bit more in the background, it might not suite me well.

I just like to get more involved with the causes we are working with as a company (well, the company that I work for) rather than be always concerned with the same technical problems, and which packages are best to use to solve particular problem (which you are right, I do have preferences).

Thank you for your suggestion, I will check out the video and further investigate!

It sounds to me like you have already made up your mind. You are just needing confirmation. Tell me if I am wrong.

I get why it might seem that way!

I wouldn’t say I am quite there yet in terms of knowing what I want to do next. I more or less know what type of company I would want to work in, which I guess is half the battle.

But I am not sure which direction I want to steer my career when in comes to actual tech or position choice.