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My typical weekday as a software developer [OC]

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622 points · 7 months ago

Funny, I'm also a software developer but my job is for the government. Shrink the actual work to about 20 and move the reddit, YouTube, etc up to the work area and expand by about 500. That's pretty much my day.

Im a software developer at a consulting firm and I find my weeks tend to jump back and forth between the two with little middle ground...

You poor poor person. And I say that not because you have busy periods (trust me I wish I did) but because you work for a consulting firm. Couldn't pay me enough to do that.

I feel the same way. Consulting sucks. Im gonna be looking to get out of this business in the coming months. Its felt like a dead end job since I started 3 years ago, and I only hope this company hasnt wrought such damage on my development as a programmer that Ill actually be able to find something else...

And dont get me started on the giant stick in ass company culture

When it became clear in my previous consulting company that they gave raises based on how many people you recruited / how much exposure you gave the company, not how well you performed at the customer, I just quit.

Mine does a lot of the same stuff. Also, being Indian gives you a major advantage. Lots of issues with reverse racism here...

I'm about to do the same. Any advice?

I can't even interview at places while I'm employed because of how much work I have. I've saved a lot of money and plan to live off my savings while I look for a new gig back in industry.

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I love consulting. As an actual job. Not so much the consulting firms.

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Do you guys frequent any software developer reddits? I'm planning on becoming one. Shifting from a business syytems analyst role (the middleman in financial instutions) to software Dev. And I want to start surrounding myself with the dev world. Sorry for the copy paste. Just wanted to ask you too

I personally don't because I don't see a reason to but I'm sure many would disagree. Developers tend to argue to much on those forums. Every developer has their opinion on what is the best software to use, proper way to code and so on. Then comment on how everyone else is wrong and stupid. Developers can be a narcissistic bunch. I have seen hiring managers who were developers comment on how developers should strive to use complex procedures to reduce the amount of lines of code. That's how you know they are the best developer. My opinion being that unless what your doing is going to cause a substantial hit to performance, I would rather the code be easier to read with 2 or 3 lines instead of one. This makes it easier for junior developers or people new to the language/framework to work on it.

I have seen developers argue over the dumbest shit imaginable. My advice would be don't look for reddit of developers but look for a reddit of the technology you want to use. The big ones being .Net and Java right now. Yeah somebody is doing Python and it's a handy skill but it's not as wide spread as those big too. Also don't dismiss older languages. Plenty of people are behind moving with the times and if you are the one guy who knows FORTRAN, you can make some money. Lastly almost everything is web now, so learn HTML and how to make a form and some JavaScript, especially JavaScript.

Thanks a bunch! That was really thoughtful of you. I love the "a day in the life of a software/web developer" stuff.. so if you do randomly think of a Reddit that might have that. Please do drop me a line or reply to this.

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I'm really surprised by the other two answers to this, so let me balance that.

In about a year I taught myself programming with no prior experience and am now employed as a full stack developer, a LOT of my learning comes from the multiple programming subreddits. Reddit won't tell you how to program, but it will totally tell you where to find the information, and what information is relevant right now, which I was paramount in my learning.

Awesome.. so which programming reddits do you think are worth a gander?

I frequent /r/cscareerquestions and it is pretty maddening. If you are going the traditional route (school, internships, job), then it's pretty good for resumes and general advice--but not a word more. After that it starts to get toxic with "you are making $x an hour at a shit company? You should never accept that." Truth is, sometimes you have to accept a bad job to get into a good one. You should take whatever you can get--within reason of course--and then after that opportunities will open up and you can say things like "You want me to take an 8 hour assessment? I have to charge you for my time."

There are sane people there, but it's hard to distinguish unless you've been in the field. My advice would be going to a meetup with real developers. Grey beards who have been in the industry for a while. College students at tech universities. Startup devs. Just sit and learn and eventually people will notice if you are persistent. It'll also help you see what the actual field is like, which is actually an immense benefit because universities are not great at representing what the CS field is like. You don't have to necessarily create projects with huge followings or have a degree from a prestigious university. Just seem reasonably easy to work with and eager to learn.

Awesome insight. Much appreciated!!

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Im subscribed to the game development subreddit. Other than that, not really

Same, except im a credit risk analyst. Its either 100% 100 hour week overdrive, or 100% recreational internets.

But why? I feel like youre probably exaggerating some, but damn muh tax dollars.

Not as much as I like. I'm actually leaving for another job because I'm just sooooo...bored. Seriously you have no idea to the extent these people waste money. The mother fucking head if the division was arguing if "Cyber" was a word or not. I'm a .Net developer and it took 6 MONTHS to get visual studio. Go find a .Net developer what he can do with notepad++. Hell that same division head even admitted to pissing away 250k for two developers with nothing to do but surf reddit for 6 months. Then say "Oh Well". Yeah not exaggerating all that much.

27 points · 7 months ago · edited 7 months ago

Yeah man people love to glorify jobs where you just sit on Reddit all day but those are the worst. Either you're constantly bored with no work to do or you feel stressed because you feel like you should be doing work.

There's definitely a sweet spot for the amount of work to do in a day. Finishing and pushing some troublesome code is so satisfying it makes browsing YouTube so much better

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Dude.... Do we work in the same office? Or maybe for the same branch of government? I bitch constantly about how much time/money is wasted. We have a conference call every Monday that 24 people are invited to. It's a monumental waste of time.

And recently, we ended up having four separate meetings because the 9 people in the meeting couldn't agree on a very small piece of code that I was working on. It's sickening.

Shit, maybe. That does sound like my office.

Fuck man. I can't encourage you start whistleblowing this shit enough. I know on a per case its minor, but I wouldnt be surprised this kind of shit adds up significantly.

Whistleblow to who? My boss, my boss's boss, my boss's boss's boss. They all know what's up.

If you’re in federal, the GAO. Heck, you’ve probably got an ombudsman for just this kind of thing

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I was going to say OP appears to have accidentally put the "Reddit, internet stuff" entry outside the "at work" section.

5 points · 7 months ago · edited 7 months ago

Unfortunately this is me right now. There just isn't much to do, so I'm spending time learning new technology stacks and actively looking for a new job. It's soul sucking to drag yourself to work knowing there's no challenges, sit there all day accomplishing nothing, then going home.

I'd rather be super busy every day than have nothing to do. And my skills are stagnating...

4 points · 7 months ago · edited 7 months ago

Developer at a nonprofit whose previous job was dev at a state university here. It's the same. Our work consists of "Let's get this done now!" to never having it mentioned again. Especially the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I've spent a week here just reading.

So what we learned here is that the government really wastes your tax dollars and if you want a job to sit on your butt, get a government job.

Yep. At both places, I came out of the gate running and eager to work and learn. A year into both jobs, all of my motivation is sapped because most of what I work on never gets used. At my government job, we had people that would leave at like 10 AM and never come back until the next day. No one knew or cared where they went.

8 points · 7 months ago

I came in to comment that the day seems utterly wrong. As a software engineer, I spend maybe 50% of my office time on a good day doing actual work. The other 50% is Reddit, tinkering with desk "toys" (Rubik's cube, paperclips, etc.), jacking off, shitting (usually immediately before, during, and/or after jacking off), communicating with my husband, occasionally dozing off, and chatting with coworkers. This unproductive segment of my time often extends to 90+% when I particularly hate the project I am on at the time.

Looking around the office, it is pretty obvious that this is the standard for most people I work with, and it has roughly been the standard throughout my adult life in every job I've ever been in.

Thusly, I call hijinks on OP.

2 points · 7 months ago

Damn that would suck to be that bored at work.

Is that public service or private, if the latter which industry ?

2 points · 7 months ago

Both sectors, various private sector industries.

Same here. Also add several more coffe breaks and expand the lunch break

Do you guys frequent any software developer reddits? I'm planning on becoming one. Shifting from a business syytems analyst role (the middleman in financial instutions) to software Dev. And I want to start surrounding myself with the dev world.

So What are some good software Dev reddits?

/r/programming /r/webdev /r/java /r/javascript /r/javahelp

Those are the main ones I'm subscribed to. Of course if your language is different, there's probably a sub for it.

If you want to learn more about the job itself, try /r/cscareerquestions. It's kinda overrun by college kids looking for internship help, but you'll learn more about interviews and what it's like to be a software engineer.

Poifect! Thanks Paddington. I hope you found your button. You were always one off my faves (the bear)

I don't think I could ever work for a company after working local government.

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You're the most productive worker your company has ever hired. No browsing the web, reading, or just other time wasting at work? And 5 hours of sleep?

5 hours of sleep and 2 hours of personal projects and learning at home per day....but 80 minutes of YouTube/Reddit/Netflix/etc.

32 points · 7 months ago · edited 7 months ago

This notion represents a huge chip on my shoulder from transferring into tech from the restaurant industry. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exactly why I got out after 10 years, but it’s a brutally self- enforcing environment where you’re expected to show up to work early to get setup or get ahead, and work continuously, non-stop, near threshold for more than 8 hours, on your feet the whole time. If you do eat, it’s usually done standing for 5-10 minutes. Pulling your phone out feels like you’re being lazy, even if it’s work related or your wife telling you that your grandfather died. A lot of cooks resort to taking up smoking, just to have an excuse to step outside for 5 minutes, accomplishing nothing but recovery or a brief stint of guiltless browsing.

Same. I and my entire family come from a long line of working in the restaurant business. I'm basically the first one to break that streak; getting a cushy desk job after only working service industry since I was 16.

You're spot on about the polarizing difference in work environments. It's something I try to explain to some people but it's hard to sympathize for unless you're someone who has experienced both.

Some days I miss working at a restaurant. The tasks are simple, short lived, and urgent. In an office setting (anecdotal, take with a grain of salt) the tasks are vague, timelines no clearer, and the workflow comes and goes. I could be stuck for days or weeks without a task.

I wonder what others do, and I came to the conclusion that we're just getting paid for our expertise and availability, not for our hours worked.

Some days it just drives me insane.

After 10 years in the industry I hope to make the move to tech via coding. I already miss the pace but most days are just okay and the rest are hectic and stressful.

2 points · 7 months ago

Good luck, brother.

This is too real - chef turned software developer

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I’m jealous of all the people on here who can fit in hours of time wasting at work. What do you all do?

Comment deleted7 months ago(1 child)

Where do you think all the gains in productivity due to computers and automation over the last 20 years went? It sure as hell wasn't into our paychecks and while the bosses make a lot, they don't make as much as what came from productivity gains.

Currently at work wasting time by replying to your comment. I'm an IT consultant. I have my email open in my other monitor, just took a break from working on some documentation and sending emails. 5 minutes on reddit, then back to work!

5 minutes on Reddit

Yeah right ;)

Well it was somewhere between 5 and 50 >.>

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I call bullshit. There isn't a Reddit timeslot for while your at work...

Source: I'm a software engineer.

I also call bullshit. At the office for 9.5 hours per day and then goes home and works on "personal projects; gaining knowledge" for another 2.7 hours?

I just don't buy that.

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143 points · 7 months ago

Seriously you never procrastinate at work? Like for 5 minutes?

Don't look out the window to rest your eyes? Jeez..

62 points · 7 months ago

My work portion would be more like:

  • 15 - Get coffee

  • 15 - Settle in

  • 15 - Try to decipher what I wrote yesterday and figure out where I left off

  • 15 - Fix mistakes from yesterday

  • 45 - Get actual work done

  • 15 - Prepare for morning standup

  • 15 - Morning standup

  • 15 - Converse with people before lunch cause fuck it, we're not going to get anything done in the next 15 minutes anyway

  • 30 - Lunch

  • 30 - Digest and hate myself

  • 15 - Starting to recover and be less slothlike

  • 15 - Figure out where I left off

  • 5 - Oh shit there's a meeting

  • 10 - Scan through list of things I should know in case anyone tries to talk to me

  • 30 - Meeting that accomplishes nothing for anyone

  • 15 - Get back to desk and figure out where I left off

  • 60 - Get actual work done

  • 5 - The fuck another meeting??

  • 10 - Scan through list of things I should know in case anyone tries to talk to me

  • 30 - Another useless meeting

  • 15 - Get back to desk, look at clock, and try to get back into it for the next hour

  • 30 - Reddit

  • 30 - Feel bad about how little I got done and start throwing together spaghetti code cause fuck it, I'll just fix it tomorrow

17 points · 7 months ago

as a developer my one big gripe is if there is an hour sandwiched between 2 meetings that hour is useless for serious coding. so basically if you have 3 meetings spread across your day, nothing substantial is getting done that day. There are days that pass by and you feel at the end 'what the f*** did I do all day'!

Sorry for the ignorance, but wtf is a 'stand up'? I've seen it twice now. Is it some sort of team building/goal setting bullshit exercise?

Edit: a word.

Daily team meeting to have a fast recap of what everyone is doing.

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68 points · 7 months ago

From the entries in the diagram he seems to be using SCRUM or a related model so he got enough time wasted already by following the model

Uhm, I'm interested in implementing something like Scrum in a non-software R&D situation, so what is it about that method that lends to wasting time? Are sprints too 'rigid' in that people are not starting new work if they finish an issue/story before time?

  • Planning meetings after planning meeting where things never fully get sorted out.

  • "Spikes" where you basically have no idea what's going on, but it's time bound so you have to account for x amount of hours even if it takes more/less

  • Demos that help no one but mid management micro manage more

  • Follow on sync up meetings which are a repeat of the scrums

  • Somehow makes the teams more silo-ed

  • The fact that they encourage you to earmark 3 hours of an 8 hour work day as overhead

I could probably keep going but my scrum is about to start....

Fellow software developer here... What you do is carco culting and has little to do with a properly working scrum team. Yes, working scrum teams do exist, but they are rare.

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Comment deleted7 months ago(1 child)

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I have implemented that in a few cases, send me a pm if interested. Scrum does not make sense in every project, sometimes the benefits don't outweigh the 'overhead'.

Lets have a 30 minute meeting so we can be innovative and regurgitate buzzwords an hour after our second 30 minute meeting today.

Never followed scrum (not a dev), but the one dev manager i used to sit near seemed like he wasted so much of his teams time.

He probably made the mistake of using scrum the way he read in some hipsters blog without adapting it to the needs of his team.

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You brush your teeth a full 5 minutes? You're like a dental saint or something.

Why does it take half again longer to get home than it does to get to work?

I think 5 minutes isn‘t that much.

  • A few seconds prep time like taking brushy, wetting it and putting the toothpaste on it.

  • Actual brushing

  • cleaning brushy

  • flossing

  • flossing again because your floss got cut in half and some stuck between your teeth

  • mouth wash

  • check yourself out with that marvelous smile of yours

You're forgetting "singing Sia songs into your toothbrush microphone" and "rebrushing the same areas as a break from brushing your tongue because that was a hard gag"

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Get those disposable floss sticks, they don't break.

So much more waste. Just get some grade a floss, like glide.

You are now a mod at r/glidemasterrace

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They do if the gaps in your teeth are all fucked up, then they stick in and break when you have to rip them out. It's no fun.

They produce trash. Useless plastic trash. Think about the planet.

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2.5 minutes twice a day is pretty normal.

I’m guessing it takes longer to get home than get to work because of traffic. One commute is in rush hour, the other isn’t.

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445 out of 540 minutes is actual work? Only 60 minutes of meetings? Damn your ITE must be managed overwhelmingly good...

Definitely. I'm at 60 minutes per day of meetings I care about, 120 minutes of meetings I don't need to be in, and then probably 60 minutes wasted trying to get back in the zone after meetings.

Claims he actually works the entire time he's at work other than 2 coffee breaks and lunch, but posts this at approximately 10:40 a.m. I'm onto you OP.

OC: 1
Original Poster8 points · 7 months ago · edited 7 months ago

You should start getting used to the idea that there are people who live in other time zones too.


I was just joking. Reddit is not about the generous readings today!

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"Bob, the developers are all standing out in the hall again."
"Every day, just standing around talking, God, I hate those guys."

OC: 1
Original Poster59 points · 7 months ago · edited 7 months ago

Data: Manually collected by myself over the span of the last 8 days


Number in minutes.

Edit: To all the people saying I work my entire time while at work. That isn't true, I simply didn't think I needed to go into that level of detail.

Only five hours of sleep?

OC: 1
Original Poster32 points · 7 months ago

Well to be fair I do get some sleep while travelling to and from work.

cat naps are best imho

how does your trip to work take 60 minutes, but your trip back from work takes 90?

OC: 1
Original Poster37 points · 7 months ago

More traffic when I leave work.

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Good job, however why not using a sunburst instead?

do you, or anyone, know any good sunburst generators for someone who doesnt have excell?

I use D3.js. Think you could even download their sample data and adapt yours so you don't have to play around with the data too much.

Do you frequent any software developer reddits? I'm planning on becoming one. Shifting from a business syytems analyst role (the middleman in financial instutions) to software Dev. And I want to start surrounding myself with the dev world.

What are some good software Dev reddits?

5 points · 7 months ago

/r/programming usually has some interesting news items. But maybe /r/learnprogramming/ is more for you then?

Myself I'm subscribed to /r/ProgrammerHumor, /r/shittyprogramming and /r/softwaregore because I like to relax while I'm redditing but am still a nerd.

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20 minutes for a Daily Stand Up?

That's what stood out to me, too. My group has an artificial limit of 15 minutes, when the next group comes into the same meeting room and does their stand up

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First there was the school kid, then the programmer. I know what I must do now, as a programming student.

This is the workday you show your boss. The REAL one also has time slots for procrastination and arguing. There isn't a single minute allotted for arguing for your solution instead of that idiot's down the hall. I have yet to see a software project survive without quite a bit of arguing.

I call bullshit. 15 min coffee breaks and 30 min lunch, and only 20-30 min in meetings? actual work getting done?? this is like one day per month where i worked, not an average day. pfffft.

Maybe he’s very junior or new enough to his current company that he isn’t invited to 3+ hours of meetings per day to discuss things that could be handled via email

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You aren't pooping at work, you're doing it wrong. In fact, where are those 15 minutes on your fancy graph?

3 points · 7 months ago

Other???? But we know what other is...

Don't take this as criticism. I used to work in software. It almost killed me.

Your daily exercise routine is shifting from one foot to the other during your 20 minute standup meeting? You only sleep five hour a night?

Ya gotta start somewhere. Maybe get a step counter. Walk down the hall and back once an hour and think. Sitting for hours is tough on the body.

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Why does it take you twice as long to eat breakfast as it does to make breakfast? That seems backwards

Cornflakes come out of the box a lot quicker than they go in my mouth

6 points · 7 months ago

He must be pulling them out one at a time if it takes 15 minutes

2 points · 7 months ago

What is he having for breakfast that takes 15 mins to make anyway? A full English?

3 points · 7 months ago

Ahh, i thought the headline said 'My typical weekend …' Would have been appropriate and hilarious at the same time. Regards, A fellow software dev

Huh. As a software dev, I would have guessed:

  • 2 Hour commute to and from work

  • 8 Hours of Work

  • 8 Hours of Video Games

  • 6 Hours of Sleep

Much more like me :P

3 points · 7 months ago

I'm at work for 8 hours (excluding lunch). I work on my commute and WFH to reduce my commute time to roughly 30 minutes per day average. If I can't work on the commute or WFH it booms up to nearly 180 minutes, but that's exceedingly rare now.

So that's 8.5 hours out. I sleep for 6. 14.5 hours. The other 9.5 or so I use to enjoy life. Sometimes I choose to have a lunch break so I can spend time with colleagues, sometimes I roll it into work so I can finish sooner.

I have an inordinate amount of free time for my age. According to Steam I spend 4 of those playing video games. The rest I spend socialising, learning or pissing about.

10 minutes of "other" is much more realistic than the 5 hours the school kid was claiming. That kid should see a doctor.

OC: 1
3 points · 7 months ago

5 hours sleep? You are popping deque from both ends.

This data is super ugly. I don't think this type of infographic is intended for this purpose, nor is it particularly effective at communicating anything.

The labels are in the wrong spot too. Eg. Full day is on the brown ‘at work’ section.

7 points · 7 months ago

Can we stop with these?

They're low effort and just stupid. No one has a completely set schedule every single day and whoever says they do is a liar.

He is literally doing nothing else but listening to music...every single day for 20 minutes? FFS.

And coffee breaks? There's not a single developer in the history of the world that doesn't just get their coffee and go back to their desk and fuck around or code.

Where do these graphs come from? Is there a particular app that tracks time and then generates these graphic representations?

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4 points · 7 months ago

you spend way too much time on transportation. i personally have to do that since im student but people i know are so much happier if they have 10 minutes to walk in the morning.

2 points · 7 months ago

Stand up for yourself and stop working 9.5 hours a day on average. You're not the worst offender but remember working long hours is not impressive.

I thought this was going to be sarcastic and was shocked when I found out this guy is pretty productive

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