# how experienced developers can re-ignite their passion for learning ## introduction We've all been there... that first day starting as a junior developer, everything feeling so shiny and new. A deep burning desire and passion fills your body, driving you to learn more, do more, read more, and think more. The excitement and thrill of finally figuring something out or learning something previously unknown provides an outstanding feeling of elation. Little do you know, not every day will feel that way. Now you're a senior developer. You've worked in the job for a few years using the same tools, the same frameworks day-in, day-out. That once deep burning desire has left your body. While you're still learning, you're learning at a much slower rate because, although I don't believe anyone truly masters the art of software development, I believe you can know a lot about a framework and language. You begin to stagnate. You begin to #burnout. ## the stagnation phase Given what I've mentioned above, I believe we can easily summarise the causes of these feelings into the following points: - Repetitive tasks - Lack of new challenges - The plateauing of learning curves - Lack of interest anymore All of this leads to a profound psychological impact on us as developers. It leads to decreased motivation and decreased job satisfaction. Our industry is extremely fast-paced, and stagnation can affect your career trajectory, opportunities for promotion, and even personal fulfilment. We have to evolve constantly and learn constantly to stay relevant. It's safe to say, stagnation is up there with the worst things a developer can experience. ## strategies to combat stagnation ### pursuing advanced learning & specialisation We're quite lucky that we live in an era where everything is a Google or a DuckDuckGo search away. Sometimes, it can be hard to pick up programming tutorials as they are aimed at beginners when actually, we want to charge ahead. Finding courses that cater to our need for advanced learning is critical to help combat stagnation. In addition, you can look at specialising in emerging technologies like AI, blockchain, or cybersecurity. Personally, I find cybersecurity extremely interesting and it's something I hope to specialise in at some point. ### contributing to open source projects There are a multitude of various open source projects in the public domain. According to Github, in 2023, developers made 301 million total contributions to open source projects across its platform. Finding an open source project can provide new challenges and opportunities to pick up new programming languages and new frameworks. It can also be a way to meet new like-minded people and inspire you to keep on progressing. ### mentoring and leadership If you're in a position at a larger organisation, you might find it beneficial to take a junior developer under your wing to mentor and coach. This alone can help provide new perspectives and challenges. Furthermore, teaching and mentoring others can help reinforce your own knowledge and skillset as well as challenge you. ### switch domains or roles If nothing I've mentioned above has worked, then it might be time to look at switching roles, languages, or domains within tech such as moving from web development to data science, etc. Whilst switching domains is a last-ditch attempt to destroy the feeling of stagnation you might feel, I believe that switching languages or frameworks or looking into other roles could have a profound benefit. ## conclusion Actively combating stagnation for career longevity and satisfaction is extremely important, but it's not just important for your career. It's important for your mental health and your home life too. I encourage you not to view stagnation as a roadblock but as a signal to explore new opportunities and challenges. ## adhd sidenote I am part of the #adhd club (combined type) and I am unmedicated. I find that my ADHD means I run into stagnation hard and fast, or as I call it, _the rut_. My top tip for this is to experiment with something new, try to find something which takes your interest which you can implement here and now. Maybe there's a game you've fancied building which you can start in your spare time, or another side project never to be finished that you can start in a different programming language or framework. --- > [!info] > If you're looking for a developer based in the UK then look no further! You can drop me a line [here](mailto:[email protected]). --- tags: #non-technical