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have just graduated and am looking for job in the field of Software Development. Since, I like to go with application developments. Well, being a Software Engineer; Can able to survive personal family life.

I am single :) Once I get married. Will I able to spend time with my wife and kids? I see, nowadays many Software Specialists are not returning to home at nights. due to the workload. That makes their wife to scary about in someways. How the understandings will go?

How do you compromise your personal life?

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marked as duplicate by gnat, GlenH7, Rein Henrichs, Kilian Foth, Joris Timmermans May 3 '13 at 9:02

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6 Answers 6

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Find a position that has ordinary working hours. That's what I did. Companies where the developers work 40 to 45 hours per week are out there; you just have to find one.

But during the first couple of years of your career, you may need to be willing to pay your dues by working the extra hours. I did that too.

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Product companies have better working hours compared to Service Oriented companies –  pramodc84 Dec 15 '10 at 5:10
Agreed with the above comment. –  Manoj R Dec 15 '10 at 5:29
+1 it's not so complicated to do that since you still have the choice to refuse (or quit) a position that doesn't match that simple requirement. –  user2567 Dec 15 '10 at 8:44
Companies take advantage of eager grads and workahlic tendencies. Just refuse to fall into the pressure to extend hours. If companies can't deal with that, then your better off looking for a new employer. –  Casey Dec 15 '10 at 10:07

My experience is that software development generally follows the same pattern as most other office professions for a given society.

The stereotypical long hours culture and massive workloads are mainly a thing of startups and the Silicon Valley culture. But you'll find that in more typical corporate roles around the world (ie what 90% of software development jobs are), the standards are generally no different to any other office profession.

For example: here in Australia you can generally expect a 40 hour work week, similar to most other white collar professionals. If a lot of unpaid overtime is happening, that's generally seen as a job smell, and not something you should put up with as a normal part of the profession. I get the feeling that it's the same in North America and Europe. At least generally.

That said, according to your profile, you're in Singapore. And I know that SG is notorious for a long hours office culture. At any rate, if I was you I would just try to fit into whatever seems to be expected. Work out what the cultural expectations of the profession are in the place where you're working, and try to find your niche. There'll always tend to be certain roles and companies who are better at work/life balance than others.

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Decide now that work/life balance is a priority, and do whatever it takes to find it.

When I couldn't get it from the companies I worked for, I left. I did consulting, then got involved with some start-ups. Here in the US, big companies (except a few Silicon Valley players who have gotten wise) are the ones pushing for long hours and no time to have a life.

One of the up-sides of helping to found a start-up is that you get to influence the corporate culture from the start.

The more talented you are, and the more you are willing to stick up for your priorities, the more successful you will be at finding those jobs that let you still have a life.

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Robert is right, there are plenty of software-writing jobs with normal hours.

When interviewing at new jobs, it would be good to find out what their overtime policies are.

If they have real overtime policies that involve giving you respectable amounts of money for working late, they're probably not as likely to ask for 60-hour work weeks (though I would try to talk to other employees there to get an idea of what actually goes on).

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My assumption is that as time goes on it will become easier to find employers who have a no-overtime, don't overwork yourself policy, as it is starting to become a trend.

Here's a tip that may work. Become a Ruby on Rails developer and find a company that develops in Rails. Most of these companies are likely influenced by 37Signals, who's founders write books and often speak on the importance of not working long hours.

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+1 for creativity. –  tjons Nov 26 '13 at 17:18

It depends completely on how you handle the situation and your skill. However, to survive in the any kind of stream, you should invest your time for atleast 2 to 3 years in that domain and understand clearly. Then you will go into a better position in that stream and you can do well with balanced life. I mean, after you understand clearly about what you do, then only you can prioritize the work properly and can live balanced life with work and family. There are lot of companies which expects only 40 hours of work. Even there, if you fail to deliver, you should put more time and complete the work.

Bottom line is you should have proper knowledge about the work, proper prioritizing the work and complete the work on time.

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