Like any other job, software engineering has its perks and its strains. The downsides of this job aren’t always talked about. This article talks about the ‘dark-side’ of software engineering I have experienced throughout my 3+ years in this industry.
Many times developers have to carry out mundane tasks over a long period of time. For instance, maintaining old software, fixing bugs (glitches that occur in software being used). It’s not always as cool as it’s made to look in movies. In real life, it gets boring.
Long working hours
When deadlines are looming, developers work into the night to get tasks done. Finding a solution to a problem can take longer than anticipated. It’s my worst part of the job.
Stress and burn out
When you end up working long hours for many days with barely enough rest, then the worst part of the job kicks in. Burn out. Unfortunately, sometimes it is necessary to work longer, but when it is as the cost of your sanity and rest then that’s where the line is drawn. No one is at their best when they are overworked and slowly turning into a ‘zombie’. I try and deal with this by having a plan every day and sticking to it. Exercising helps a lot too. My burnout story and how I dealt with it.
Learning is not a bad thing. However, technologies evolve, programming languages change and to stay in the game developers have to keep themselves up to date with what is relevant. Work + school + personal learning can take up a lot of your time, especially social time. I wanna stay relevant and on-demand in my career, sue me
Sitting for 8 hours+ staring at a laptop screen is bad for the back and eyes. Getting up and stretching every hour is my way of keeping my body in check. Looking away from my laptop for a few seconds every 25 minutes to focus on keeps my eyes less strained.
Meeting smarter people
This has its upside and a downside. Throughout a software developer’s career, they might meet a very brilliant developer whom they can learn from or who can make them feel inferior. You can use this to your advantage by not taking it personally and just taking it for what it is. That someone happens to be better than you and you can learn from them. It also teaches humility, which I think is a great quality to have in any line of work.
The silver lining
It is just a job. And like any other job, there are good moments and there are bad moments. Don’t let this discourage you from deciding to start a career in software engineering.
Comment below if you want to know the bright side of software engineering.