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The Stumblings of an IT Manager ...2 days before we go live and you want WHAT....?

Is it just me, or does being a developer suck at times.  That Lumburg-esque speech about having to work a weekend kills me.  If it weren't for the fact that so much of what I do coule be outsourced without a second thought, I would say that programmers need to be the next group to unionize.  Bad planning and over-promising in our industry need to be cleaned up.  Things should be done well enough in advance that meeting promised timelines is never an issue.  Finishing things hours before a final release has to go.

I know that at times, last minute work needs to happen; something makes it to production, and is a show-stopper, yea, I get it, it needs to be fixed right now.  But promising a delivery for a monday morning, and not moving the code until Friday night pretty much guarantees that you will work Saturday and if you have a nervous manager, probably Sunday too.

What gets me is working in a mixed group of contractors/non-contractors where you know (as the non-contractor) that you are giving up time with your friends/family, and not getting anything concrete in return.  In the olden-days, you used to get some sort of comp time for something like this (ie, you worked Sat/Sun, so you can take a couple days off after the release has become stable), but that has become non-existent.

I like what I do for a living, I enjoy writing code (back end or front end), I like solving problems; but I don;t like feeling like my employer is taking advantage of me.  And it's been too fracking long since I have felt that it was not the norm in the SWD industry.

Posted on Friday, February 26, 2010 11:40 AM | Back to top

Comments on this post: Life of a developer

# re: Life of a developer
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Sure, having to work nights/weekends can suck - but you seem to forget that your company NEEDS you more than you need them. If you feel like they're taking advantage of you, take a look at the software development job market. There are so many jobs available for qualified developers, and you'd be stupid not to look elsewhere for a better employer.

Of course, software developers are often allowed to dress casually, work off hours, and interact less frequently with pain-in-the-ass clients. These are nice benefits if you ask me.

In other words, it sounds like YOUR job sucks... not software development in general. Then again, maybe I just have a job that I like!
Left by Arthur Kay on Feb 26, 2010 12:47 PM

# re: Life of a developer
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agree with # if that is really killing you, search somewhere else. if you consider your job is affecting your personal life is time to explain that to your boss and have some agreement,,, or ,,, move on.
Left by davidecr on Feb 28, 2010 9:32 AM

# re: Life of a developer
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While I like my job and where I work, my company has been threatening us with offshoring for about two years. They actually even implemented it by cutting 30% of the staff last year in Europe to hire twice that amount of people in Shanghai.

Also, having been to China, I really do not see what advantages we have left in Europe or US? A Chinese SW engineer can be as good and sometimes better than Europeans or NA counterparts. They have a large quantity of SW engineers, so, proportionally, there will be more good engineers. And at current rates, the salary is twice less.
So, maybe working week ends and long hours, and being exploited by your employers are the only thing left to do if you want to code/design SW. At least that is how I am feeling these days...

It sounds more and more like SW engineering/design will go the way of heavy industry: to China/Asia...
Left by baboune on Feb 28, 2010 10:02 AM

# re: Life of a developer
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"Is it just me, or does being a developer suck at times."

I understand your blog post here is more a rant than a rational discussion about much. You're frustrated and you wanted to attempt to express your frustration with this post.

But I don't think it has anything to do with being a developer. I think a more accurate phrase would be

"Is it just me, or does being a yearly, salaried employee suck at times."
Left by Christian Posta on Feb 28, 2010 12:21 PM

# re: Life of a developer
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Talking about offshoring work to India and China, you should do that if what you need is someone to do some mundane work for you. While the labor in these countries is cheap, the saying that "if you give peanuts, you will get monkeys" does hold true. High quality software developers will cost you high whether it is the US, UK, India or China.

If all you want are IT workers, offshore by all means. But if you want high quality professional software, look for good software developers.
Left by Kevin on Mar 01, 2010 12:31 AM

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