You know when you read blogs like Joel on Software or Jeff Atwood? Well, I'm one of the people they talk about when they say programmers who don't love what they do should leave the industry. I guess I'm going to have a hard time finding people who feel the same way on a programming forum, but maybe some of you have ex-colleagues who were the same, and could offer advice.
The thing is, I "know" quite a lot of C# and C++, and could probably fool a lot of companies into hiring me. I studied mathematics at university - this is how I came across programming actually. I had no great love of playing around with commodores or whatever as a 14 year old. If you ask me low level details about garbage collection or something in the CLR I can probably tell you, but only because I'm the sort of person who reads about that stuff, and if you want to throw some ridiculous pseudo-mathematical brain teaser at me, I'm going to be fine with that too. But when it comes to taking an idea and making an app work I'm completely useless... I'm not the sort of person to right click -> new project and just create something. I'm not a stupid guy, but it's completely inappropriate for me to work as a developer, because I'm bad at it and I'm stealing someone else's job, and a salary from my employer. I'd really like to find something where a little programming is maybe a "secret weapon" that can help me do something else, maybe a little more analytical than creative. I'm sorry if this isn't creative, but if you read Jeff Atwood maybe you think it is, because it'll mean there'll be one fewer bad programmer out there... Any ideas or experience?
Thanks, you've all been pretty kind in your responses, and raised a few issues I didn't think about e.g. maybe it's the specific environment/situation, not me. It's probably not that constructive to talk about me personally, because maybe other people think the same things and maybe they're right, (and maybe I'm right). It would be great to see stories about people who ended up doing programming as an auxiliary task, and how they made the move. Also it would be great to see more stories about people who were not having such a great time doing development in one place, made a move to somewhere more suitable, and what to look out for when deciding where else to work.