3 Reasons Why Developers Fail (And How To Fix Them)

Dragos Nedelcu
4 min readJun 20, 2023
Image Credits: Shutterstock

In my 3 years of training and mentoring over 200+ software developers, I observed a strange set of patterns.

These patterns determine whether a developer will succeed or fail in their quest to reach their full potential.

Some of those principles are obvious, others not so.

Developers that ignore these patterns end up burned out and confused, never reaching their true potential.

On the other hand, if you use these principles, you will progress much faster. You will reach the best developer positions, job security, and high salaries. What I call “The Good Life.”

In this post, I will share them with you so you can do more things that will help you succeed and less of the things that will make you fail.

Number 1: no goals & no plan.

Most developers don’t wake up thinking what can I do today to be more productive. To achieve more.

And the ones that do, come up with a big goal like “I want to become a Senior Developer” but have no plan to reach it.

Success in life is rarely passive.

It doesn’t happen to you. You make it happen.

Having a clear goal will already put you ahead of most people. Having a plan attached to that goal means it won’t be only an aspiration, but it will become a reality.

So how do you do that?

Success in software development, like in most professional careers, is probabilistic. It is a matter of doing the right things for a long enough time.

You have to ask yourself: What causes will generate my desired outcome?

After that, success is a matter of pure commitment.

You can start by looking at people that already reached that outcome and reverse engineering that. Or by applying first principles thinking to the outcome you want to achieve.

Number 2: getting burned out and depressed.

Most times, when looking ahead, we only see the work we have to do.

Take getting to Senior Developer as an example.

One needs to master a whole different set of skills. From Fundamentals to Testing, Data Structures, Infrastructure, and System Design, to name a few. Faced with this reality, most developers fall into despair.


They only focus on the gap. The things they lack.

A better approach is what I call “seeing the gain.” Look back to 2 or 3 years ago.

Where were you at?

Most likely very much behind versus where you are now. I bet you made some progress. And even if you didn’t progress, I bet you learned something.

To avoid burnout, focus on that growth!

Number 3: no unfair advantage.

You see tech influencers on YouTube and Instagram telling you how they went from frying chicken to Senior Developer in 3 years and that you can do it too. That is a lie.

Trying to emulate their behaviour so you can reach the same outcome will only lead you to failure.

Why? No person is the same.

We are all different.

Different strengths and weaknesses. Different personalities. Different starting points.

That is why trying to imitate other people doesn’t work.

Linus Torvalds was a great programmer. He was also very demanding and, in many cases, a real jerk. So if I am a jerk, I will also be a great programmer. BS. Won’t work.

Instead, you should look at the resources and environment that Linus Torvalds had around him. How can you mimic that support System?

Nobody ever slayed a Dragon by themselves.

They had tons of mentors and help on the way. So, when you look up at other developers, think about their “unfair advantage”.

Who did they get advice from? What resources did they tape in that you don’t?

And talking about unfair advantages, a community like Software Mastery, with like-minded developers on the same path as you and dedicated mentors helping you all the way, might be just what you need.

I have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to one thing: mastering the causes and effects behind becoming a Senior Developer.

Of course, I am still learning and have a long way to go. But after more than 10.000 hours doing this thing, I think I have achieved certain mastery in helping developers reach that next level.

And we would like to help you if we find a fit.

But two things have to match.

First, you have to be committed. Second, you have to hurry. Because as you know, the first eight people that join us every month get an “incentive” price with a considerable discount.

We are close to capacity, but if you apply now, we might still be able to get you in. You can check a free training I’ve put together and see if you qualify using the link below.

You can apply here now to see if you qualify.

Take care,

P.S. I plan to write more, as many of you requested. But these posts take time to write as I want to ensure you get value from them. Let me know if there is anything, in particular, that you want me to talk about. Just comment or DM me, and I will answer personally.



Dragos Nedelcu

I help JavaScript Developers Get To Senior Level Without Endless Online Courses, Side Projects Or Burning Out By Mastering The Fundamentals.