Wow, these comments are pure gold. The job market for software engineers is really messed up in a lot of ways.

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And this is a big reason why I keep trying to be an entrepreneur.

Because if I become a normie and get a "Real Job", the optimal strategy is to slack off as much as possible without getting fired. Because the workplace meritocracy is all bullshit. Your employer has a HUGE financial incentive to pay you as little as possible and your effort won't change that.

And I just can't not care about my work like that. I want to spend my work time doing something I actually care about.

@cuchaz this strikes a cord with me.
I know I'm under paid where I am. I know I could get paid more in a heartbeat. I have Amazon trying to recruit me every other month.
I turn them down because the job I have is special. I'm not a cog in a machine. I'm not a machine that spits out magic code.
I'm part of a team. I'm allowed to make mistakes and I'm allowed to fail, and keep my job, and learn. I'm respected by everyone and that's so fucking rare

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