Are web developer masochist?

I have been asking myself this question lately. I have been a web developer (in agency and production company) for nearly 5 years now and sometimes I wonder why I willingly submit myself to this (most of the time I am really happy, but sometimes…). Two things come to mind: first, if the timeline has to rape someone, it will be you and secondly it is part of your job description to say no.

Timeline having you in sight

If you think about it, developers are at the end of the production chain. This is a known fact and I still chose this job. This mean that if anyone fucks up before you, it is your time that they are eating up. By fuck up I mean designs not being ready when you’re supposed to start, bad┬ámanagement, ┬ábad estimate of time (ok dev can be blamed for this, but I have never seen a place where they actually sit down with you at the end of a project and tell you how you did with your estimate), too many clients reviews, etc. And these things happens; a lot.

You’ll always have to say NO

Yeah, creatives say yes all the time, but they don’t get to actually do the work (ok, ok they do, but creative director offload the work to designer so). They can go crazy with ideas and that’s pretty fun. On the other hand a developer can go crazy with ideas but there is always a little voice in his head telling him that he his shooting himself in the foot. In the end, because of the project timeline, you end up saying no a lot. Way more than you say yes. And after a while, it gets to you. I want to build the best experiences ever too, but not at my expense (or not so much at my expense). I am willing to stay long nights and weekends, but there is a limit.

So that’s why I was asking myself if developers are masochist. Maybe we start out with a taste for pain and hard work. Maybe it’s in our personality. The other question is how long can you put up with it. I have been to a couple places and I have never seen old web developers. Maybe they couldn’t stand it anymore and switched to software dev… I don’t know.

Will I go on being a web developer? Yeah for a couple years. Am I thinking of what comes after? Hell yes!

  1. #1 by Pierre - November 23rd, 2010 at 20:56

    Definitely masochist. Plus also a very high level of obsession, otherwise how will you be able to track down at 4 o’clock in the morning that nasty bug in your development that has been nagging you since 9am?

    So yes, 100% masochist obsessive. No wonder it is not a very feminine job.


  2. #2 by Edwin - November 25th, 2010 at 05:09

    I feel you man. I feel the same all the time.

    We don’t want to say ‘NO’ all the time too. We want to be a “YES” man like Jim Carrey too. o.o

  3. #3 by jon the great - January 27th, 2011 at 15:25

    I completely agree – I’ve been doing this shit for over a decade… last 5+ yrs I got lucky at an easy job – which is still insane sometimes… For a few years I was doing graphics – it was FREAKIN easy compared to the web / application development!

  4. #4 by Iason - March 15th, 2011 at 06:26

    I don’t think we are all masochists. I say often no and I’m thinking of my self! He don’t get me wrong I really like my work and sometimes I stay longer at work to get it done. But only when I know I can get it finished within a view extra hours.

    The most people are forgetting they work to live, it’s not the other way around you guys. And don’t be afraid to say no if you don’t want to. If you give in to it, the will abuse it, is my experience!

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