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Computer Developers and Anxieties

Computer Developers are probably more likely to become anxious than people of most other professions. With the irrational working hours (see Evan Robinson’s “Crunch Mode” article ), tight schedules, tactless or unfriendly co-workers, bad software management practises, bad code and lack of craftsmanship, irrational management that demands the impossible, too few vacations, and other factors - it is probable that they will feel trapped, resentful, unhappy, and as a likely result, anxious or depressed.

As a software manager, it is your job to keep your software developers happy. This means doing the exact opposite of the above-mentioned points. Refer to an essay which I started writing titled “The Perfect IT Workplace” for more information on how to do that.

As opposed to common belief, treating your software developers with superb conditions, will make them much more productive, not less. So make sure you read my article above (and the links pointed to from it), and integrate its recommendations into your workplace.

Naturally, this is more difficult to do if you’re a regular programmer who isn’t in management. However, you can still refer your boss to what I wrote if you feel he’s reasonable enough. If not, it may be a good idea to quit or even to relocate to somewhere with more job opportunities. Some jobs are worse than being unemployed.

Obviously, from reading Feeling Good, it is evident that depressions, anxieties and hypomanias are not limited to programmers, and actually predate programming by a long time. Many retired people also find themselves the sudden victims of these mental ailments. However, I feel that due to the bad state-of-the-art of software management in the world today, it is especially common there, than in most other jobs.