Option Paralysis: An Unexpected Consequence of Completing a Full-Stack Bootcamp
Option paralysis: When you’ve got so many options that you become overwhelmed and instead do nothing at all.
When I graduated from the first-ever Houston cohort at DigitalCrafts, I was elated about the future. “I’m a full-stack developer now! I have so many options!” I thought. But as I started perusing job openings, I started to lose that enthusiasm. Each job listing asked for something different, a different technology, a different framework, a different meaning of ‘full-stack’ even. And everything seemed so cold, so… not me.
I then decided I wanted to set out on my own and try freelancing for a while. And that’s when it really hit me. Was I going to pursue developing entire websites? I don’t like backend work. How would I set up dynamic sites with no backend? I really like CSS, maybe I could just focus on web design? That’s kind of a dying area with all the DIY design options out there now, do I really want to deal with that? The pay is getting more and more scant by the day. Maybe I could do UX? Well they never really taught any of that at code school, so wouldn’t that mean you’d have to learn a whole new skillset? I like video games, maybe I could do UI design for games? Hm, then I’d have to learn Unity, yeah? That’s a lot on it’s own. Maybe I could build and maintain static websites for clients? Yeah but then you’d have to deal with a lot of non-technical people and then you’d be tied to updating these people’s sites FOR-EV-ER. Not to mention the infinite back-and-forth emails that most of the time go nowhere. Etcetera, etcetera.
Almost two years later, I still haven’t found my niche. I haven’t found exactly what it is that I want to do with all this knowledge I’ve obtained. And it’s frustrating. It’s frustrating and disheartening because I am passionate about programming. I’m passionate about design. I love building things. But it’s starting to feel a lot easier to not do anything related to programming than it is to figure out exactly where I belong in all of this. That’s option paralysis.