Wanna here the real story of how I became a professional developer? I actually was a freelancer after working at that non-profit, I took the developer job because the medical bills piled up. And stayed because they never went away.
It’s hard for me to admit, I know it’s hard for a lot of people. I know there are others working as developers for the health insurance or to support their families. Even James Damore, who became infamous for his claim women are less represented in tech because we are less interested in it, admits as much in a CNN interview:
“part of the reason so many men go into tech is because it’s high paying, I know of many people in Google who weren’t necessarily passionate about it but it would provide for their family and so they still worked there”
If I won the lottery would I still code? I would, but it would not be like work. It would be projects I enjoyed. And it would be fewer hours.
Over the past decade it has worn me down. I have regular painful migraines triggered by working long hours. I have the beginnings of arthritis in my neck. I’ve tried standing desks, balance board desks, treadmill desks, special diets, exercising more before and after work. Doctors, physical therapists, massage therapists of every stripe. I’ve spent thousands and thousands of dollars. I’ve hidden it because I was afraid it would make me unemployable. I’ve worked those long hours in intense pain. I’m not sure desk jockeying for these kind of hours is good for anyone, it certainly wasn’t good for me.
I also have to say that there is a toll to the constant backlash against women in tech. […] And reading the reaction to it on websites I frequented and from people I once counted as friends was very hard. I can’t pretend this didn’t contribute to being demoralized.