View Full Version : ADD & working as a software developer

04-11-16, 11:32 PM
I studied environmental science and now I suddenly get offered a lot of jobs as a software engineer. The applications of the software from these companies is relevant to my study background, but I have no experience as a software developer. This should be clear from my linkedin profile. However, I have had some relevant jobs, one as a helpdesk guy & one as a consultant, serving as a bridge between a developer and a client. And I have developed some software ideas of my own, and I have even considered to develop one of these as a startup. Also, in the last month I have started to fall in love with programming and I am putting more and more time into learning programming languages that seem to be useful for my career. So, I think this path connects to my interests.

Now, the question is: how can I thrive in this environment, despite my ADD (or perhaps it can be a net positive? one can dream, right?).

The first question the company that sounded most interesting asked (in their email) was how good my skills were in a particular programming language. Fortunately, this particular programming language is my best language. Unfortunately, I have only about 40-60 hours of experience with it (spread over a year) - I did a few courses and workshops and I used it a bit in my work & life. I will make improving my knowledge of this language my #1 learning goal - even if I don't get this position, I am sure that this knowledge will come in handy later.

Do you have any useful advice for me? How did you manage to get a good start in your career, what problems should I expect and how can I deal with ADD in this new phase of life? (fortunately, I have been working as an unpaid trainee for the last months, so I already have a bit of experience and I have made quite a few mistakes in a safe environment, where I could learn from them without bad consequences - I hope to take those lessons with me, but I am sure that there are many trials ahead (and that is not necessarily bad, but hopefully positively challenging and interesting).

Also, are there people here with ADD who work in as software developers and how do you feel that ADD affects your work (positively and negatively)?

04-12-16, 12:29 AM
Little addition: when I described my current job as a trainee and what was good about it I only mentioned that I was able to make mistakes in a safe environment and learn from them, and while that is true, what is even more important to me is that I have learned to see my strenghts and that they are valuable for the company and for my colleagues. I have often feel appreciated at my work, both for my skills and my personality. That is something that I did not feel much during my studies and it's something that I really needed, it is really good for my confidence, which was quite low, especially during last autumn and winter.

I even feel that my ADD can be a good thing, sure it makes it tougher to focus and to organize myself, on the other hand I am always scanning the horizon for new opportunities, always brainstorming for new ideas and always enthusiastic to meet new people and learn new things. I think this could help me in my career.

04-13-16, 10:29 AM
check out this thread:

I know there are others, but that's the only one I could find at the moment.

Short answer is yes, we can thrive in an IT job, as long as we can find ways to be passionate about what we do.

04-15-16, 06:00 PM
Thanks Karman! Very interesting thread.

Yeah we really need to be passionate about our work to be able to thrive! Fortunately I feel very passionate about this job. I have several options now, but the job that I seem to prefer combines at least 4 things that I am very passionate about - environmental science, (geographic) data science, startups/entrepreneurship & IT. They want to hire me because I have that combination of expertise and interest. I feel very excited about this. I will have to learn a lot, especially related to IT, but this onlymakes it more interesting to me. I love learning.

What do you do? You mentioned that you have worked in IT, but I understand from the thread that you moved to another field.

04-19-16, 03:16 PM
Now I work in peer support in a mental health unit in a hospital. I love the job in the sense that I'm constantly learning, I'm making a tangible and positive impact on people's lives, and I've seen change in a system that so desperately needs it. It's a unique role to help people find their voice and power in a system that's generally set up to strip it away.

For me I ended up in peer support after a mental health crisis, and the fact that it wasn't psychiatry or councelling that got me on the path of recovery, but the mutual support of a friend who was struggling at least as much as I was. That shared experience and acceptance of my struggles did amazing things for me, not least of which was being able to forgive myself for things that I needn't have blamed myself for in the first place... And to step away from the blame long enough to start working on a solution.

I've thought about getting a master's or a PhD, but I love what I do, and I can't see a "professional designation" that wouldn't at least partly take away from what I love about my job.

04-20-16, 06:51 PM
If you're working as an unpaid trainee, I'd say you've got nothing to lose by taking the plunge and accepting the most lucrative offer you can get.

Oftentimes, I don't know if I'm passionate about something until I try it. "Passion" can depend on a lot of factors too - work environment, camaraderie of co-workers, competence and supportiveness of management, clearly defined job role, work hours, flexibility, benefits, etc., in addition to the actual work itself. It sounds like you have good opportunities to develop yourself career-wise.

Only fear of failure can hold you back from eventual success. It is scary to leave a secure gig and take positive risks, because they're no ultimate guarantee of success. But success will never come without taking risks.

Congrats BTW on the job offers. :yes:

04-21-16, 02:39 AM
In meetings, always speak last, and always ask the questions that no one thought to ask.

04-29-16, 12:41 PM
I am undiagnosed Adhd-Pi.I am a computer engineering graduate.Don't ask me how I managed to finish.Amount of attention to detail is huge for me.Plus I can't articulate what I read.One more thing I suck at small talk.what a package. What type of job would you recommend?