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How to strike a good work life balance..

 
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Recently I joined a product development company in Bangalore....The methodology that is being followed here is iterative development cycle..Every month there is a demo that needs to be presented by every developer...My team manager sets very aggressive deadlines...Now to meet these deadlines most of the folks in my team slog a lot..On a average people here work for 12 + hours and recently for the past 2 weeks this has spiked to to 15 hours/day..

I am OK if this happens occasionally,but based on my interaction with other folks who have been with the company for quite a while it looks like this will be the scenario for the major part of the year...The product I work is in the top of stack and there is lot of dependencies on other products...So when something goes wrong in some other module my work would get affected...So lot of time is gets wasted everyday in fixing environmental issues,running builds,un installing,installing etc...

I don't feel comfortable working in such an environment.My health is getting affected...I want to strike a healthy work-life balance..Money and other monetary benefits are secondary..So I am planning to make a switch..But it has just been only 3 months since I joined the company..Invariably the question why I want to switch in just 3 months will come up in the interview..Will telling the truth help me in the interview or will it work against me..

Any suggestions on how to strike a good balance without jumping to another company..
 
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Rambo,
Can you suggest ways to make things better? Like mock out calls to the dependencies so you can get your own work done in isolation. (and therefore faster.)
 
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Yayaya!!! what jeanne said.

Make a "buffer" class wherever you need to interface with something external. Your buffer class will return fake values for now, but your module will not care. Modify your buffer class to get real values from external modules when they are ready.

You should be able to fully test your own module and prove that it works, meets requirements, etc. Your module should not have to change even if there is a bug in the external classes. Unless of course the design of the interfacing itself is wrong and needs to change.



Also... don't think that the crunch time has anything to do with iterative development. I've had MAJOR crunch time on waterfall.
 
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I'm not sure mock objects will work because I don't think this is a code problem.

The managers aren't naive (or if they are, get out of there), they know the hours being worked and find it acceptable. It doesn't matter what you think of 12 hour days, it sounds like the company feels it is appropriate and Mr. Prasad does not. If the company is actively saying "we're inefficient and need to change this" there is hope; if they have been doing 12 hour days for years on end it would seem to be part of company culture and if he gets his work done and leaves after 8 hours I suspect it won't be seen as not putting in enough hours.

In terms of what to say, I can't speak to the culture in your locale but in the US I recommend to people be honest about it. Ask about work hours in the company and tell them your expectations. Smart candidates and firms know that lying about this only leads to missed expectations and an unhappy relationship. When I hire I give my expectations for both regular period and crunch time and how long I expect crunch times to last.

--Mark
 
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if they have been doing 12 hour days for years on end it would seem to be part of company culture and if he gets his work done and leaves after 8 hours I suspect it won't be seen as not putting in enough hours.


It's true. You might have seen few threads in which people say they work at least 12 hours a day.
This depends on company culture very much. If company culture is like people are expected to work 12 hours and if someone leaves office after 8 hours ( does not matter if he is more productive in 8 hours than 12 hours a day), his manager will be asked question by his manager's manager like "Why your team is leaving early now a days? Don't they have enough work?" So manager has to make sure his team work 11-12 hours everyday. This is with few companies.
Since Prasad has joined this company 3 months back and finding this culture as not suitable for him, obviously in other companies he was not used to work 12 hours a day as a regular practice. So this very much depends on company culture does not happen in every company.
 
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Mark Herschberg wrote:I'm not sure mock objects will work because I don't think this is a code problem.


I don't either. But quitting after 3 months and quitting after 4 months while being able to say you tried doesn't seem that big a deal.

I think there are two possibilities:
1) The management cares about face time (and my suggestion is useless)
2) The management cares about a certain amount of work getting time and the 12 hour days are due to poor planning.

The reason I even suggested it was the phrase "So lot of time is gets wasted everyday". If nothing else, it's good experience to see if you can do something about that. Now, that will likely lead to #1 where they just give more work to fill up the 12-15 hours. If nothing else, it makes a good interview story. I'd rather hire someone who tried to improve things rather than just threw up his hands in despair and quit.
 
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
The reason I even suggested it was the phrase "So lot of time is gets wasted everyday". If nothing else, it's good experience to see if you can do something about that. Now, that will likely lead to #1 where they just give more work to fill up the 12-15 hours. If nothing else, it makes a good interview story. I'd rather hire someone who tried to improve things rather than just threw up his hands in despair and quit.



I think you mean the same thing as me, but to take your statements at face value we don't.

mock out calls to the dependencies so you can get your own work done in isolation. (and therefore faster.) says to me "save yourself!" If the development team was 10 people, I'd agree with you, he's perhaps trying to solve the problem--poorly, but trying--by example by hoping they'll notice what he does. If the company had say 80 developers, I'd think, "his attempt to use mock objects totally misses the root cause which is a broken process/culture." For me to be impressed in the latter case (and honestly, to be impressed in the former) I'd want to him say to upper management, "the process is broken, here is how we fix it...." Now maybe he does that day one, maybe he does it day ten after using mock objects and then showing how it saved time. But the point is I'd rather hire someone who said "I'm calling out a problem and proposing a solution rather than someone who says "well, at least I know better." In short, it's whether or not he takes the proactive step to alert the powers that be. I suspect you're implying that, but it needs to be explicitly done, otherwise it's not much more than hoping others see the light.

--Mark
 
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Mark,
Fair enough. I should have enumerated more. I was thinking next step like. You're thinking all the steps .
 
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