11 Reasons Why Software Engineering Isn’t a Stressful Job
Very unpopular opinion
Everyone talks tech these days.
Software engineers are being raised to the skies in terms of their abilities and work complexities.
But sometimes, it feels like we forget about all the other professions. We ignore their difficulties by focusing on our own.
Instead of that, let’s focus on the positive sides and acknowledge that our job isn’t stressful.
1. We can prioritize time
A major cause of stress is uncertainty. If you don’t know you’ve worked well or done enough work, you could be stressed.
I don’t know the processes inside your company, but it’s highly likely that you set your bi-weekly/weekly/daily priorities for everyone.
That’s said, you know exactly what you should work on. Thereby, you can prioritize it.
When I was starting my career, I didn’t know how much is enough. OK, so I did 4 tasks today; should have I done 6 of them?
Those questions caused stress.
Today, I plan my work in the morning before I start with anything.
When I’m done with it — I’m done! I often grab something else to do, but I’m not stressed about it. I know that I did everything I should have.
On rare occasions, some extra work might pop in and disrupt our plan. You need to learn to adapt it too, and not care about the overhead.
We are almost completely in control of our day-to-day work; we can put it on paper and schedule it.
2. The demand for us is ridiculously high
You can be stressed because you don’t like your job. Or, you might think that you’ll get fired.
But become aware: everyone needs software engineers.
We need to build this invisible world and there are no limits. We’ve just started.
On a typical week, I receive ~10 email/LinkedIn messages from recruiters, with the best offers on the market.
That means that we can go wherever we want, do whatever we like. There are so many options, and everyone’s grabbing for us.
There’s not enough of us, we’re exclusive.
We know that we’ll do well, all the time.
3. Flexibility is underrated
My company offers a free subscription to the co-working spaces in London. Some of those locations are the best in the whole city.
Because of it, I worked at The Shard yesterday, London’s highest skyscraper.
Last week, I was in Croatia, working remotely from the beach.
Today, I’ll work from home and go to the rooftop at some point because the weather is so nice.
And on Thursday, I’ll go to the office because everyone will be there and we’ll have drinks after.
We can do whatever we want. The only important thing is to finish your work. If you bring value, nobody cares where you are or when you started.
4. Work-life balance just rocks
Let’s face it — Software Engineering is a highly paid job. Sometimes it’s right on par with Lawyers, Doctors, and Investment Bankers.
However, those guys can sometimes have crazy working hours; 80 per week and even more. And I haven’t even mentioned the night shifts.
What about us?
Well, after our 8 hours, we can go wherever we want — especially if we did everything we needed.
Sure, sometimes deadlines force you to work a bit more — but it’s nothing compared to the other highly paid professions.
Even the low-paid ones have a much worse working balance.
Again, we’re in a sweet spot.
5. Everyone is just joking around
I’ve been working with 5 different companies so far — and all of them were having fun all the time while working.
Sure, there are some serious moments, but most of the time it’s just laughing, making jokes, sending random images, GIFs, and reactions on Slack.
Not that we don’t work — we’re incredibly efficient. However, we feel better this way and enjoy our work more; that way, we work even better.
And how about those random beers during work hours, or meetings that turn out to the joke warehouse? All of our socials?
I sometimes feel like we’re all just smart children — doing great work and laughing all the time.
6. All of our problems are solved online
The community we live in is incredible.
Need to build something? Google it.
Have an error? Paste it to Google.
Can’t find the answer? Ask it on StackOverflow.
Finding the right solution is a valuable skill. But we have that option. We can find help anywhere.
Even if we can’t do it online, we’ll ask our team members for it.
7. The best tools are free
Our friends from other professions have to pay crazy subscriptions to use some tools. It can be $10k+ per person, just to use something that we created!
I’m a Frontend Engineer; let’s see how much I need to pay for my tools.
VS Code? Free.
Powerful extensions? Free.
Let’s face it, almost everything’s free.
We obviously need to pay for hosting services like AWS, but almost everything until that point is free.
We can experiment as much as we want and create prototypes with zero expenses.
Ask other, non-CS engineers how costly their prototypes are.
8. Our equipment is so cheap and light
I’m probably an exception — I use only my MacBook Pro to work, without any external monitors, keyboards, or anything else.
But let’s say I want all those things. Even with them, the cost of equipment wouldn’t go above $2000-$3000, and I’m talking about the best devices on the market.
Everyone else has similar costs because everyone needs a laptop or PC. However, they need a lot more expensive subscriptions and ridiculously expensive equipment.
Science, Mechanical Engineering? The costs can be $1M+ for those.
And you have to be in the office to use it most of the time.
9. We all speak the same language
The best coding practices are the same across the globe.
We all speak English because of resources; the code is in English itself. That’s why we don’t have any obstacles in communication.
Our skills are so valuable because they can be applied anywhere. So unique, but also so general. It’s insane.
10. Oh, that salary
Money is important.
Most of the things you have and use right now were exchanged for money.
But not only material ones; all the wonderful experiences like traveling, eating, dating, and much more.
Software engineering gives us the ability to experience the world whatever we want like. We don’t have to stress about the money.
I moved to London recently, one of the most expensive cities in the world, and I can live an amazing life in a top location without thinking about the costs too much.
I even have enough money for investing a decent amount every month.
Not only that — what about equity and bonuses? That can end up being higher than the base salary itself.
Because of high compensations, banks will give us a mortgage easily. We’re their top customers! So we can easily buy ourselves homes or invest that money.
Don’t forget — we earn a lot. People in their twenties will probably earn more than others ever will in their whole lives.
11. We can see our impact immediately
I create a feature, merge the code. Using the benefits of CI/CD, this feature is shipped to the customers in 1–2 hours.
I can see them using it immediately! Something that I made is making others so happy!
It’s motivating. It’s meaningful.
Even if it’s not shipped to customers, we have a feeling that we created something every day.
We live in amazing times. This is the gold rush of modern time.
But instead of mining, you need to learn to code.
Sure, it can be tricky. It can be hard. It can be exhausting.
But most of the time, we’re just making jokes and doing great work. From anywhere in the world.
Let’s face it, we don’t have too many reasons to be stressed. If we are, we need to take control over it.
Because we can.
London based Frontend Engineer. Always questioning the obvious.