Overtime and the myth of it being worth it

I really need to find a different job soon before I go insane. I was in a meeting the other day about the release that we just had and how much it sucks. Of course engineering knew this before it was released, and had said so, but does anyone listen to engineering? In fact, engineering told everyone that it would suck 3 months ago when we were told that we had to add X features and we had X days to get it done in. And now sales of course wants engineering to fix it, and in less than a week. After the meeting I was talking to some of the guys that have been around a while, and they were talking about how when VP of Engineering and the VP of Product Management were told they had to have the release done by a certain date, and they said that it could not be done, and they were told to shut up because it had to be done by that time.

There is just something fundamentally wrong with the company. I can’t keep working for a company that considers its engineers just a piece of equipment to be used. Why should the engineers have to work weekends and late nights? I don’t understand what the rational is – if they don’t, will they lose their jobs? if they do, and the company does well (not likely), what is the outcome? More work, even longer hours? Will the common people, the ones in the trenches, the ones that make it possible for sales and biz-dev to have something to sell, and to be able to make sweet contracts, ever make any real money even if the company does really, really well? Maybe ten or twenty grand on the stock, maybe? sounds good, but at what cost? Giving up your life for 2-3 years – how is that worth it? Why not take a job that pays the same, but you don’t have to work insane hours, and just get a second job at Starbucks or McDonalds? You could easily make 10-20 grand doing that, with way less time. How does this make any sense to anyone?

Of course maybe that is the point, maybe all the companies are the same way, maybe they all treat their engineers this way? I find that hard to believe. I do believe that many companies are that way, and that is the problem with the software industry. Can we change the industry by refusing to work the insane hours and insisting on being able to have a life? A family? The ability to do the things that mean something in the end? Another one of those critical mass things. Enough engineers have to stand up and say no – too few and they will just lose their jobs, and no one notices, and it does no one any good.

Ranting about my job

Not enough hours in a day.

Actually not true.

More like not enough minutes in an hour.

See, it is like this. In my job, I have to coordinate and give status on many projects. Problem is, there are so many meetings that I have to be in to give status, that I don’t have enough time to actually go find out what the status is for the said project.

The trite answer is to work harder.

Continue reading