Do you ever feel your job is too demanding compared to other software engineering jobs?

I've worked in two companies for now.
First company, Kotlin microservices and we had QAs, didn't have to write a lot of tech specs and no post mortem or on call at all (not yet atleast), it was just talk to PO, he tells the business requirement, we work together to make tickets, no legacy code so was easy to know what to do for tech, no monolith to handle or anything, much easier, just code and meetings.

Current job is meetings with PO telling you what he wants, have to write a full on tech spec and also know business requirements and product knowledge as the current PO doesn't know anything about how the products work, writing huge tech specs, communicating on requests sent my clients on slack, pretty much always firefighting, the system is so fragile and legacy, coding is actually less its mostly spending hours finding out how this shittt legacy flows work (no docs) , PO pretty much does fuck all, just wants meetings and wants us to do very very stupid tedious low impacts projects. This bundled with oncall and onpoint and the absolute sheer amount of incidents our team is involved in (on average we have 4 a week LOL, varying size but they're all very annoying) and the overtime oncall benefit is so bad too, if you do get paged out of hours, you just get that hour back during work hours. In other companies like friends, you get paid for the whole time you're oncall, whether you get paged or not. I can't go out anywhere on weekends or anywhere at all during on call in case I get paged, which happens a lot. Its a cluster of a mess. This bundled with manager stoll not wanting to promote me to IC3 despite all I've done so far.

My question is, is this more normal than I think it is? Is this just how crap our career can be? Mind you I'm in the UK so not getting those mind boggling US wages sadly either. Have US colleagues in same team doing same job but obviously getting more

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    I always feel that my job is too demanding - but compared to other software engineering it actually is pretty chill.
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    Boomer designed company wants to run at boomer rate, with current workforce and non willing to downscale in fear of Losing. Classic.
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    It's easy - if your job is making you not have your weekends to yourself - yes it's too demanding to be sustainable. It's definitely not "normal", at least anymore.

    In every company sometimes such situations come up during actual firefighting periods... But this being a regular thing isn't normal.
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    In my experience this is ABNORMAL.

    My view is that most programming jobs are just 40 hours per week all the time and pretty much to zero hours over-time, zero on-call duty, zero contact after work hours.

    At least - if you don't voluntarily sign up for it. And by that I don't mean taking the job is signing up. It's usually something like "hey, we need 1 person in your team of 10 to be on call for five hours on march 30th. Anyone up for it? you'll get the next day off"
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    That being said: I've experienced lots of stressful projects with all the things you mention: shitty PO, unclear requirements, bad communication, firefighting fragile systems, bad developer experiences overall.

    But it was always contained to 40hrs/week.

    So the pressure was mainly due to the dev team wanting to perform as well as possible. But if it was 5PM and we had a problem it was just "Oh that sucks, we'll have to deal with it TOMORROW" - we wouldn't work overtime. Even the managers would encourage us to relax and not over-work.
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    @Oktokolo yeah that's what I wanted to confirm by asking around, my last job for instance was less stressful for sure
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    @max19931 it's meant to be a bit non boomer e.g. the ceo loves remote work
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    @RikaroDev yeah the oncall weekends really get to me, it's really not good when I asked around and everyone said oncall is great doctors have it worse, only to realise they're getting paid a lot more for doing it
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    @jiraTicket yeah many organisations I asked around do it voluntary and they still compensate very well (like 2x pay)
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    @jiraTicket yeah this gets a bit trickier when our product and team is very US focused, we've already altered the work week for 10-6 but they still set meeting at 5:45 that obviously run over -_-
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    @pandasama That sucks. I'd argue meetings at the last hour of the work day are unproductive. People are tired and you lose so much when you can't start looking up things directly afrrr the meeting, and forget some things as you wake up the next day.

    We pretty much don't schedule any meetings after 3:59 PM despite most working past 5PM
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