To give you some background: I spent 4 years getting a PhD in a second-tier university in Europe, struggling heavily with no input, mentorship or encouragement from the PI. Then I did 3 year of postdoc-ing in even lover-tier university in Canada, which I had to quit, because I wasn't able to sustain myself any longer on poverty-level wage. It is over 7 years, plus undergrad and M.Sc. before that.
Today I browsed through job ads for programmers on StackExchange. Wow! Just wow! I wasn't able to handle it. I was really ashamed of myself. There are jobs with 6-figure compensations, there are companies that pay your relocation and sponsor your visa!!! There opportunities to work remotely, there opportunities in interesting places like Tokyo! I am thinking that even if I didn't have brains to become a Senior Dev with decent salary (not everyone has the talent!), but at least I would have FREEDOM -- I could change my job, if I didn't like it (like most of normal people). Only if I had chosen the right path years ago. For someone with a "life science" PhD there only "cookie-cutter" postdoc openings from NatureJobs with crappy salary and guaranteed 60 to 80 hr workweeks with no raises and overtime. On top of that, I am often advised to scrap that PhD off my resume altogether, to increase my "employability". It is really tough on days like this! I keep asking myself "Why? Why did I do this myself?" Am I really such an idiot? Have I been lied to? Have I been blind? Why in the world did I spend 7 years of my life on useless crap that drags me down? Am I the worst person in the world? I cannot imagine what I could have achieved if I spent as much effort while learning to code, as I spent doing all those useless experiments? I really cannot stop blaming and hating myself! I have botched my life by trying the academic route. Sometimes I do not know whether it is even worth living further as this life science PhD will keep destroying me till the end of my days.