Dragos Nedelcu — Software Developer & Trainer at CodeWithDragos

How To Escape A “Soul-Crushing” Developer Job In 3 Simple Steps

Dragos Nedelcu
4 min readMay 28, 2021


Are you are still fixing WordPress bugs?

Stitching PHP code in legacy systems.

I know, it is part of the job and you don’t mind doing it. But, not the whole damn day. You wanted to build something big. To work on interesting projects and get paid generously for it. The “promised land” of software developers.

What did you get instead?

A hamster wheel!

Yes, those tasks are part of many developer jobs. But if that’s 80% of what you do, you are sabotaging your developer career without even knowing it. I am sorry to tell you, but you are far from the “promised land”.

See, it is not your fault.

As a developer, it is easy to get stuck in a ‘soul-crushing’ job. To become just a cog in a machine. You can blame the lack of management or that legacy code that’s still around. Anyhow if you value your future, you need to get out.

As a developer, it is easy to get stuck in a ‘soul-crushing’ job.

The good news?

There is a way out. Yes, the well-paid developer job that allows you to work on an interesting project and to constantly improve your skills is not a myth, it is real. Now, I have to be honest with you. Keep reading, because it will take a bit more than determination, skills, and luck to get out.

To get out of a crappy developer job, you need an “escape plan”.

The following three proven strategies are consistently helping our clients escape “hamster wheels”:

Strategy 1) Move to a different team/department

You can be in the right company, but in a bad spot. Maybe you want to move to more technical steam. Maybe you want to do Backend instead of Frontend. Or maybe deployment and DevOps is your thing. The smart thing here is to talk to your manager and ask for a move. Before doing that, make sure you understand what the new position requires.

Develop a visible interest in the direction you want to move, and communicate this to your manager.

Now, you must develop both a visible interest and skills in that direction. Afterwards, find the courage and approach your tech lead/manager with the proposal.

If you’d like me to coach you to help you go from coder to engineer with a step-by-step action-wise plan, get on a 45 minutes call and let’s chat.

Strategy 2) Switch to a “pure” software company

Unlike agencies and software shops, companies whose main business is software like SASS, eCommerce, or platform companies, see software engineers as an asset. That means they are more likely to support your career growth.

Because they see themselves as “pure” tech companies, their engineering cultures are usually more mature and their commitment to the software craft is higher.

Pure tech companies have a more mature engineering culture where you can thrive.

Tech companies will also expose you to larger projects and unique technical challenges for a longer period of time. They are the perfect environment for ambitious software engineers. (pro tip: I recommend companies in the SAAS and fintech space)

If you’d like me to coach you to master your craft as a software developer, book a call with me to hear about my coaching program.

Strategy 3) Become a freelance or contractor

You hate sales and don’t know anyone out there. What if you don’t get any clients? Freelancing can be daunting, yes. But, it is easier than you might think. You need to start small, do some work for friends or ex-colleagues, and spread the word around. Referrals will start flowing and you will build a reputation.

Freelancing can be daunting, but it is easier than you might think.

Then comes the portfolio and in no time you will have more clients than you can handle. To scale you will have to specialize in one type of customer that you can serve really well.

There you have it.

Use these strategies will get you out of the “hamster wheel” and accelerate your tech career. No more grey days counting hours at a desk patching god knows what version of PHP. No more navigating millions of lines of spaghetti code just to add more spaghetti. You were meant for much more and you need to get going.

Remember, there is always a way out.

Last week, two of our customers used these same strategies to land better-paying jobs and even switch countries :)

If you want to know the exact steps for your particular situation, then click on the link below and schedule a FREE consultation call with me. Together we will build a step-by-step plan to help you get to the “promised land”.

I look forward to consulting you personally soon.

Click here to learn more.

Together we will analyze your situation and build a step-by-step plan to help you get that developer job you dream of.

We usually get in touch with you within 24 hours.



Dragos Nedelcu

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