I'm a software developer. In my earlier years I worked as a Java developer for 5 years. At first I liked the challenge but then I was not able to keep up anymore, for me it kind of got too complicated. Maybe it was me, I was not able to keep up with the requirement of learning huge frameworks just to fulfill a requirement.

Then I got a chance to work as a software developer. We used different tools such as node.js, pentaho, etc. Currently, I'm working with meteor js, Python and some Bash. Learning these tools is really exciting for me and I like it.

I really love the tools that I am using now. BUT the thing is the market in our region has a huge need for Java developers. Recruiters are desperate to find candidates and are willing to give a better package than my current work. Even though I am out of touch with Java now, they would call me up (Not sure if they really looked at my CV).

If it were you, would you take the larger pay but less exciting work? Or maybe take the better pay work and learn languages you like on your free time?


This post might get close as it's off topic.

But to answer your question, since I am a father of 2, I would take the route of Java developer more for it's stability and opportunities. Job security is far more important (IMO) for someone in my position.

Perhaps the reason you find Java not "fun" is because you don't understand it as well as other languages. Sounds to me that you lost interest in Java due to it's complexity. Do you think you would have enjoyed Java more if you grasp it as well as you did with the other languages?

  • 2
    Perhaps the reason niccolo.m thinks Java is less fun is that he's comparing it to Python. Some languages tend to be more fun than others, and Python users tend to be enthusiastic about it. In Python, simple things tend to need a small amount of code, but that's not necessarily true in Java. – David Thornley Aug 30 '18 at 16:24
  • After a couple of months, your answer still keeps going through my mind. And you are absolutely correct. I have passed up multiple opportunities with java that were near to me, just because I wanted to stick to learning python. Since I, too would be starting a family I'd prefer going for the job that pays better. – niccolo m. Mar 18 '19 at 21:58
  • Congrats on the new baby. Glad to help @niccolom. – Isaiah3015 Mar 20 '19 at 20:11

In my experience, you make your position. Meaning, your personal preference always reflect on any job you will have.

Impact itself, of course, depends on the flexibility of workplace and your manager.

IMHO, you would be able to augment your new, better paying position with current knowledge.

Or you can use offer from other place to update your current working conditions. Also, it can give you glimpse of your standing with the bosses.


If it were you, would you take the larger pay but less exciting work?

When I was younger, I wasn't looking for "exciting". And I wasn't always looking for the highest-paid.

Instead, I looked for jobs that would contribute most positively to my career in the long term.

I took less exciting jobs where I could learn more quickly. And I took slightly-lower salaried positions (particularly at startups) where I could do a lot and advance more quickly.

For me at least, that helped further my career a lot and paid off big time over the years.

In my later years, when I was no longer looking for career growth, I could pick and choose the more "exciting" jobs. Sometimes that meant higher pay, sometimes not. At that point in my life I could afford to be more choosy.

But your mileage may vary. You need to decide for yourself what is important to you at each stage of your life. And you then can measure each potential job against your career and life goals. Everyone is different, and everyone makes different choices. One size never fits all.


This is a really broad question, and there are many things to consider. I commend you for narrowing it down to software development (the discussion would be more time consuming if we compared becoming an artist or an engineer).

The things I would consider in your place:

1-Is your current pay-range acceptable for your quality of life standards and retirement plans? If you cannot afford a life you are satisfied with, then pay range grows in importance. If you can afford the lifestyle but you cannot save enough to reach financial independence on a reasonable amount of time (and this depends heavily on your age), then salary is a big concern. You may not be able to find a job when you are 60, so make realistic plans for retirement and execute them.

2-Do you intend to reach a management position? Managers in software should also know how to code, but if you are a manager maybe you won't need to learn a new framework just to meet a requirement if someone on your team can handle the issue. Maybe part of the job you don't like can be delegated. You'll have other concerns too, and pressure may much higher. You'll also be expected to deal a lot more with people. However, your salary should go up and the job market may remain more accessible as you age. The thing to consider is: Which workplace option would grant you better chances of developing the skills to work as a manager and which workplace would actually give you this role? It goes on a case-by-case basis.

3-How much you dislike or love less the higher paid job? A bit of stress is normal in any workplace. Not waking up excited to go to work is also usual. Depression isn't. Stress-induced health problems also cross the line. If every day for months on you think about quitting or getting a new job it is likely time to leave. Switching to a job because you believe it's super exciting may be good over the short term but in the long run the excitement may go away. The point being: Stay away from toxic jobs, but avoid putting too much faith on a job being extremely pleasant on a daily basis.

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