AboutDeveloper (almost the wrong side of 50), married father of four, part time musician
Joined devRant on 4/27/2017
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After months and months of unrealistic deadlines, pulling late night shifts coupled with an insane commute and two very small children at home I had a total burnout. Turned up to work one morning, and stared at the Java code I had been writing for the past couple of days and it might as well have been written in Martian. The more I stared, and the more I tried to keep things together internally the less I was able to make sense of anything - just a random jumble of characters on screen that were as intelligible as the green scrolling lines from The Matrix.
My office manager saw that I was obviously in some distress and took me into a meeting room to have a quick chat - and there I was, a grown man of 35 bawling my eyes out like a two year old. Not the most edifying moment of my life.
However, the company couldn't have been more supportive afterwards; one of my colleagues drove the 100 miles to get me home in my car and took a train back up to the office; my GP signed me off work for six months and treated me for severe depression; the office instituted stricter working policies - not on the developers, but the sales/PM teams that were handing down ridiculous timescales simply so they could get a sale.
For my part, I've learnt to push back and say "NO!" - work is not your life, it's an important part of your life, but my no means everything. Don't feel beholden to a company to meet unrealistic targets that you haven't agreed to. Talk.3
When I was about 10 years old, my maths teacher at school brought his Sinclair ZX80 into the classroom at the end of the Summer term to show his pupils. He'd written a couple of Math quiz programs that he showed us, and for 99% of the students that was enough - it was nice curiosity and diversion and the end of the school year. I however was fascinated by this little white lump of plastic.
When I came back to school after the summer holiday, everything had changed in that classroom.
Around the edge of room were about eight brand spanking new ZX81s with 16k RAM packs. They were all connected to a single tape deck in the corner of the room, into which our teacher could insert a cassette with the latest Maths program he'd written. All the pupils would be instructed to type LOAD "" and he'd press play on the tape deck - early networking!
From there I got my own first machine (a 16k ZX Spectrum) but I've never forgotten that initial contact.1