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Software Engineers and Life

Harshana Dias
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 11, 2007
Posts: 327
Hi,

If you reading this post i know you guys have the real passion of SE...But software engineers long working hours plus the stress...because its not like writing a book and deliver..when errors comes developers have to spend hours for recover and that time is not calculate in project deliver (and management care little) and the poor developer has to find his own time..mostly week ends or stay office till 10-11 pm (at least no bonus). Its discouraging to see what managers do and get the same benefits as tech leads (development people)..even funny thing is developers have to report to those guys those managers primary skill is speak good English...where developers have to sit in front of computer until late... and after go home they need to read some books or articles if the developer dont have experience with working technology..life would be more simple if developers do a MBA and move in to management i guess as a PM or what ever..what you guys thinks..read this article also

Thank You.

Even now SE don't even get paid well because if you met 10 people and out of them 6 are SE's..:-\
Maneesh Godbole
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jul 26, 2007
Posts: 10167
    
    8

You can plan for a project, adhere to the timelines, be flexible and deliver on time but you cannot plan for your personal life?
A bit difficult to digest, no?


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Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
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Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60764
    
  65

You make some generalizations that, as all generalization, are not true for everyone. For example:
Harshana Dias wrote:But software engineers long working hours ...

I've only worked one job where more than 40 hours per week was required; and I knew that before-hand.
Also:
because its not like writing a book and deliver
When I'm working on a book, I find it much more stressful than my day job.
when errors comes developers have to spend hours for recover and that time is not calculate in project deliver

This sounds like simply poor planning.

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Harshana Dias
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 11, 2007
Posts: 327
Bear Bibeault wrote:
I've only worked one job where more than 40 hours per week was required; and I knew that before-hand.


Good for you Bear..usaully in asian countries (specially india and sri lanka..now all major clients in Europe and USA invest in those two countries because low cost and high intellectuality developers...well but the company only gives us US$ 1.5 for hour and bill the client US$23 for hour and thats for junior engineer..really you wont believe even i didn't believe until i saw the project cost doc ) its mandatory 9*5=45 and practically 12*5=60 hours per week.. by the way i just thought i will never quit SE because its my passion and i like to be an intellectual employee in my life rather than being a routing job guy who not make use of his brain..best for me is to move to a better country where good working conditions and good pay for SE.
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30068
    
149

Let's be fair to management too. Management is NOT easier than development. It is different. Responses to your post:
  • A good manager does care that you are working extra hours. In some cases it is because they want you to be happy and productive. In the sweatshop mentality, it is because you could be getting more work done and not losing time on this project.
  • Managers do not "get" to work less hours than you. They get to work different hours. Managers tend to work off hours via BlackBerry and on conference calls. And I imagine if they are working for a US/Europe customer, they are talking to them outside of the office.
  • Worrying about what can go wrong and how to solve problems, remove dependencies, negotiate with the customer is plenty intellectual
  • "what they do is mostly preparing time lines and asking what are blocking issues" - and then what? Surely someone doesn't get paid to create a list of issues without thinking and trying to make things go smoothly
  • "the only think those managers know is speak good English" - don't devalue this skill. Communication is important


  • I am not a manager because I choose not to be. I have enough of an appreciation for what management does that I respect them though.

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    Deepak Bala
    Bartender

    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 6661
        
        5

    As noted by Jeanne and others, there are some generalizations here that are simply not true. You cannot term all apples bad because the one you ate was rotten. Would it be fair for your manager to think all developers are bad because one of them introduced a bug into the system ?

    Perhaps you are stuck in the wrong job ? Working 12 hours a day for a bad manager does not sound great. You may be drawing another generalization here by juxtaposing your situation with that of every employee that works as a software engineer.


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    Bear Bibeault
    Author and ninkuma
    Marshal

    Joined: Jan 10, 2002
    Posts: 60764
        
      65

    Yeah, I didn't even want to touch the management thing. Been there, done that, won't ever do it again. Being a good manager is very, very hard work.
    Andrew Monkhouse
    author and jackaroo
    Marshal Commander

    Joined: Mar 28, 2003
    Posts: 11404
        
      81

    Harshana Dias wrote:
    ...well but the company only gives us US$ 1.5 for hour and bill the client US$23 for hour and thats for junior engineer..

    Yes, that is normal the world over, and it is not actually the problem that you think it is.

    The reality is that for most companies that provide services, the main (only?) income is from the people being outsourced. However any normal business has a lot of other expenses - rent, equipment leasing, non-leased items (e.g. desks, chairs, lights (many of which have to be replaced every few years even though they are not leased)), heating, cooling, other electricity, water, garbage disposal, cleaning costs, internet connectivity, telephone connectivity, HR staff, legal staff, management staff, administrative staff, sales people, system administrations, off-site backup storage costs, legal costs, banking costs, insurance fees, ....

    Take anything out of the equation and all of a sudden you will find that you either do not have the capability of working, or you do not have the work to do. So the difference between the $23 being charged out and the $1.50 being paid to the developer is not going into managers pockets - most of it is going to keeping the business running.

    On some of your other points -

    It has been a while since I worked at a job that required more than 40 hours a week. That was a relic of the '70s and '80s. Management has moved on from that broken model.

    The article you referenced had an extremely valuable point: "MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING! THINK about what you REALLY want to do in life". It is my belief that people who are passionate about their job will be good at it, which in turn leads them to the better jobs (and a side effect is that they get good pay). Whereas those who get into software engineering because of the "great pay" or the "great opportunities for travel" tend to be mediocre at the job because they do not have the passion for it. And since they are mediocre they tend to end up in mediocre jobs with a mediocre pay.

    when errors comes developers have to spend hours for recover and that time is not calculate in project deliver

    TDD, proper integration testing, and proper regression testing should result in few bugs getting out the door. And all this testing should be included in the project costs. Then you only need to allocate a tiny fraction of ongoing development time to fixing what few bugs did get out the door.

    Jeanne wrote: Management is NOT easier than development. It is different.

    I agree with that 100%. There is a different skill set needed to be a manager, and it is so different that most engineers cannot understand it until they try to be a manager themselves.


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    Harshana Dias
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jun 11, 2007
    Posts: 327
    thank you for your post...i do agree with you guys..i have know a good PM from my last project and she was like a mother...by the way working late hours screw me up because after going home how can i practice soul sister from my guitar..or watch the TV series where i download recently or go to the gym.. all we can do is after going home with tired eyes (i hate this bloody monitors, there should be a law that every IT company should gives LCD's for there employees) is sleep and come again in the morning to work..work should be limited either 8 to 5 or 9 to 6..rest of the time need to enjoy the life...the problem in SE job is you cant have fix working hours like a another profession..bank or what ever
    ankur rathi
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Oct 11, 2004
    Posts: 3830
    Harshana Dias wrote: a good PM from my last project and she was like a mother...


    Women are good managers.

    Joe Harry
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Sep 26, 2006
    Posts: 9345
        
        2

    Harshana Dias wrote:thank you for your post...i do agree with you guys..i have know a good PM from my last project and she was like a mother...by the way working late hours screw me up because after going home how can i practice soul sister from my guitar..or watch the TV series where i download recently or go to the gym.. all we can do is after going home with tired eyes (i hate this bloody monitors, there should be a law that every IT company should gives LCD's for there employees) is sleep and come again in the morning to work..work should be limited either 8 to 5 or 9 to 6..rest of the time need to enjoy the life...the problem in SE job is you cant have fix working hours like a another profession..bank or what ever


    In today's world, if you are not willing to do this, then there is someone else to do it. So do it the way it is. You will one day become a manager too... atleast because of the frustration as a SE and your experience...


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    Jan Cumps
    Bartender

    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 2491
        
        8

    I work 33 hours per week (that is: 4 days per week). As a software engineer.

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    Karnati Sudhakar
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Aug 26, 2008
    Posts: 270

    Slogging longer hours in office and all this happens in countries like india,sri lanka...

    I talked to few of my friends who settled in U.S.,U.K. they said the work hours will be 8 to 5 in some special cases they will extend till 7..

    I think working longer hours happens only in countries which depend on Outsourcing..

    Given a chance..I want to get settled in U.S. or U.K.

    Thanks
    Sudhakar
    Deepak Bala
    Bartender

    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 6661
        
        5

    Karnati Sudhakar wrote:Slogging longer hours in office and all this happens in countries like india,sri lanka...

    I talked to few of my friends who settled in U.S.,U.K. they said the work hours will be 8 to 5 in some special cases they will extend till 7..

    I think working longer hours happens only in countries which depend on Outsourcing..

    Given a chance..I want to get settled in U.S. or U.K.

    Thanks
    Sudhakar


    I know companies in India where working hours are from 9-5. I also know companies in Singapore where people work for 12-16 hours consistently. As always, generalizations are hard to back without data.
    Jeanne Boyarsky
    internet detective
    Marshal

    Joined: May 26, 2003
    Posts: 30068
        
    149

    Karnati Sudhakar wrote:I think working longer hours happens only in countries which depend on Outsourcing..

    Given a chance..I want to get settled in U.S. or U.K.

    It varies extensively within the US. For example, a startup works as many hours as possible.
    nimish kumar
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 04, 2009
    Posts: 56
    Grt..... I have been working since 3 yrs in a top IT Indian co. To tell you frankly, i have no proper work from past 1.5 yrs, in begining i was happy with very less work, but now i am frustrated to go to office without having to do work, for this reason i am searching for jobs outside my organization. I have never been in situations mentioned by you folks, working long hours... wish to experience that ......


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