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Even after six years of experienece I am still doing the things which I was doing six years ago. Working on the same mundane CRUD stuff. Nothing has been real challenging.

Since I am working in a small company, we dont even have a proper development process. We don't even do unit testing, for example.

I am feeling like I am just not going to the next level in my career.

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closed as not constructive by George Stocker, Jim G., NickC, ChrisF Jul 31 '12 at 8:02

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"Be the change you wish to see in the world." If your company isn't unit testing, then why aren't you? You want to. Do it. Another pithy quote: "You can change your company, or you can change your company." –  George Stocker Jul 31 '12 at 3:14
@George Stocker. Its not just about unit testing or the lack of any proper process. I feel like repeating my first year for five more years. That cant be undone now, but what should I do now to keep myself updated. –  anything Jul 31 '12 at 3:17
Or another pithy quote: "There's a big difference between five years of experience, and five years of Java experience." –  Greg Hewgill Jul 31 '12 at 3:22
@anything Uh oh... "Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Fear is the path to the dark side." -- On a serious note, are you challenging yourself in your own time? If you feel you've outgrown your workplace, and the company is not showing promise of taking on new challenges, what's keeping you there in the first place? –  iDontKnowBetter Jul 31 '12 at 6:42
I was in the same boat for about 4 years. Then I just made up my mind and started doing everything that I knew was needed if I wanted to get any further (testing, using version control, reading a lot, keeping up with the latest C++ standards, ....). There was room for it at my job, so if there is at well at yours I suggest you do the same: I'm happier than ever with what I do now, though I actually left my collegues behind. –  stijn Jul 31 '12 at 7:35

3 Answers 3

I have been in software development for 20 years, I do the same thing, solve the same problems every day - and I find it fascinating, I am more of a passionate bastard than ever! :-)

I am programming, I translate a set of requests and ideas to working systems in different platforms, as good as I can. The challenge is not WHAT you do, but HOW you do it. I constantly search for the best solution, the best internal structure that I can achieve. I have searched for the answer to the most important question (at least for me) all along these years: what is programming? The answer is in writing programs, and it always meant building frameworks, toolkits, like a transparent persistence layer, GUI data binding, etc.

You have not wasted these years, you have gained experience and routine in doing your job well. What is your problem anyway? What a painter, a scientist, a carpenter or farmer does? The same thing all days - but if we really like what we do, we do it each day a bit better, and this makes us happy. This is called LIFE.

If you don't like what you do, weight your knowledge and motivations, find a position in your current or another company that better fits your needs. Do what you like AND you are good at, as long as you can. For motivation, see the Time Management lecture from Randy Pausch.

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In 6 years you should become guru of tools/frameworks that you are using daily, otherwise you are wasting your time and life and future perspectives.

Hopefully, you are self-motivated and can make change when there is a call. Basically, if someone is doing the same things over a year without any learning and progress, then he is lowering his competitiveness for the next cool project which might be passing by.

Anyway heads-up! It is not the end of the world! We still can save ourselves from apocalypses, the question is how ? :

  • By googling for local professional group meetings or visit community megaphone.
  • Visiting meetings, learn current trends and hot things that other developers are using in their projects.
  • Trying to practice/apply those new skills in the current work place
  • If we face resistance to changes in our work place then we look forward for the company that shares our passion and interests.
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Becoming a guru in 6 years? When programmers I know talk about gurus, they mean people with 20+ years of experience. –  stijn Jul 31 '12 at 8:00
By guru - I just emphasized that technology stack used over 6 years by same developer should be mastered at very high level. –  Yusubov Jul 31 '12 at 14:34

First of all, I think you probably realize yourself that you need to change jobs. You've spent six years doing basic CRUD work, with no real complexity and no proper process. You feel like you've had one year of experience repeated six times over rather than six years of experience. You're probably being paid less than you should be six years into a programming career, too. You need to go somewhere where you can grow.

And when you do, you need to be vigilant that you don't fall into the same hole. Take some of your own time to stay abreast of new tools, technologies and techniques in your field - and actively look for opportunities to apply them in your work. And don't be afraid to switch jobs more often than once every six years if you find yourself stagnating again!

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