Staying Motivated as a Software Developer

Nicholas Lee
February 3, 2022

Having worked at Arcurve as a software developer intern for almost a year, I can definitively say that I love my line of work. However, I often find myself feeling demotivated. It can be difficult to constantly problem solve and learn new technologies, especially in this virtual world we’re living in these days where there’s little to no actual human interaction. So, I wanted to share a few of the methods that I’ve picked up over the course of my internship that help me stay motivated working as a Software Developer.

1. Celebrate Every Step

Not every day will be the day I complete a major task. It can feel discouraging and even demoralizing to go a few days or possibly weeks with nothing tangible to show for my efforts. So, I’ve learned to take pride in what I was able to accomplish, even if on the surface, it doesn’t seem like much. What problems did I finally solve? What did I learn today? What potential solutions did I cross off the list? Every day can end in a positive way!

2. Take Regular Breaks

Ever faced a problem that you just could not figure out? Something you spent hours on with seemingly no end in sight? Then after a short break, you look at the problem again, and just like that, you solved it! As a developer, I get this type of “tunnel vision” all the time. There have been days where I worked on a problem from morning ‘til night, only to solve it immediately after stepping away from my computer. These types of high energy, low impact days really take a blow out of my morale. I have found that taking regular short breaks away from my computer throughout the day will help keep perspectives on the problems I face, and will even make the problem-solving process, overall, a much more enjoyable experience.

3. Fun Side Projects

At work there is generally less opportunity to explore tech and learn about other technologies outside of your project. The exciting feeling you had when you first started on a new project starts to wear off with time, as the amount you are learning every day starts to decrease. Having a fun side project allows you to explore the technology you are interested in and pursue the problems you are enthusiastic about. Working on my side project every now and then keeps me interested in coding, and ultimately keeps me motivated to learn more every day.

4. Taking Ownership of Your Work

Putting in the effort to make what you produce as good as it can possibly be will always make delivering your end product all the more satisfying. Additionally, pushing yourself to find the best possible solution, over a solution that is good enough, will provide you with another interesting problem in itself. Taking ownership of my task has really made work much more interesting even though the work I am producing is not always interesting.

Throughout my internship, I have used these methods to stave off burnout, and be enthusiastic about my stories. I hope that this post provided you with some new strategies to stay motivated throughout your tech career! Thinking about joining me in a career in software? Arcurve is hiring student interns. Check out our job postings here.

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