Are y'all miserable?
Summary of why:
- Software takes a lot of ability to do well.
- In an actual work environment, the self-promoters will always do better than the good workers.
It's endless frustration, especially if you're good at it.
April 15th, 2017 2:42pm
The only ones I can think of are ones where supply is restricted by a licensing cartel.
I.e., a doctor doesn't normally have to worry about being backstabbed by his peers, getting unfairly fired, or rejected from a job for a stupid reason.
April 15th, 2017 4:27pm
Rise above the rest a bit, and no matter what environment, some people will try to pull you down.
I've come to believe for awhile that software development has the seeds of misery built into it as an integral feature.
If you're any good at software, you're a perfectionist. This makes you absolutely miserable because you never find all problems. Every commercial solution you help build is laced with mediocrity just because of entropy, even if nobody else is at fault.
And the perfectionism alienates you from anyone normal. You're the OCD one who demands that something not be used or shipped because it's not "right." This trait also makes you completely vulnerable to politics.
This is in addition to the drift to the bottom nature of SW development today. You make yourself miserable with work that isn't even that stable or appreciated very much at all.
Number one issue in the article is "being stuck in problem solving", followed by "time pressure". The two issued represent 70% of all unhappiness causes.
And not surprisingly, since a concise description of them is given by the word "deathmarching".
"It's interesting that the first factor on the list is something that's just inherent to the job. Solving problems is the job, really. And, yeah, you get stuck. But getting unstuck—figuring a hard thing out—also happens to be a highlight of the job."
It's very similar to being a soldier on the frontline. The glamour and excitement of the propaganda fades quickly faced with the grim realities of the trenches. You're fighting a brutal war for the benefits of the higher ups, with slim to none chances of making it out. You've no control on the causes of the war or at least on the strategy or even tactics to carry it. You just need to get up over that trench and bayonet-charge the enemies (old bugs and another rushed and barely standing end-of-sprint release). You'll be killed (fired) if you don't take out the enemy (deliver what you "commited") and even if you elude death this time too, barely, it's almost certain you'll get badly wounded (exhaustion, depression, tons of technical debt). And no time to recover, all that awaits you at the end of a bloody fight is regroup, sprint report and planning of another charge which, implacably, starts next day.
Did any of you read the article?
"So, no, programmers aren't miserable at all."
I guess they should probably add with the exception of COT members.
> In an actual work environment, the self-promoters will always do better than the good workers.
I don't understand this. Nobody likes shameless self-promoters who are totally detached from reality, I agree.
What's confusing about this claim is that you simultaneously believe your work is of impeccably high quality and deserves to command top kek pay for its greatness, yet you're also too shy to tell anyone who matters about it?
Who in this world is happy?
A friend of mine says that the smarter you are, the harder it is to be happy.
The problem with programming, like most creative endeavors is it's impossible to measure. This means people substitute political skills, drama and attendance when evaluating people, hence those factors get gamed.
However most good programmers are their own worst enemies, they won't shout about what they have achieved. One of the habits I developed while contracting that served me well was sending an email to my boss at the end of every day summarising what I had done that day.
> One of the habits I developed while contracting that served me well was sending an email to my boss at the end of every day summarising what I had done that day.
I like this suggestion, but you're stating it as though IT and software development is a rational, human and humane enterprise.
I really believe that in IT and programming you have to study your immediate local work environment and then adopt behaviors that are as inoffensive and non controversial as possible.
For a contractor what you're saying _might_ be OK. But on the other hand, in some dysfunctional environments, you could be perceived as a lazy self promoter who blabs constantly about his wins. This could be especially true if you report to a manager or team lead who is a somewhat disgruntled ex-programmer.
Also, there are tremendous anti-incentives built into most IT workplaces to act like a well rounded normal professionl. The management TELLS you they want you to be well rounded and to have a grasp of the business mission. But if you dare mention any relationship of that biz mission to your own technical job, you're often targeted for a hard smack down for not focusing on your own work. And you're perceived as arrogant.
There's really no solution to this. IT and software development are blue collar occupations masquerading as professional employment.
"A friend of mine says that the smarter you are, the harder it is to be happy."
Ask him if he feels happy.
"IT and software development are blue collar occupations masquerading as professional employment."
You maintain machines, right?
That's a blue collar job.
Pshaw. "Maintaining the Machines" is what the hardware group does.