Sign #5: You Want Normal Work Hours
Programming careers fall into one of two types: 1) you work for someone else or 2) you work for yourself. Either way, it’s not uncommon to hear stories of late nights, long coding sessions, and an overall low quality of life.
Software development is a deadline-centric industry and deadlines don’t play nicely with traditional 9-to-5 work days. As deadlines loom closer, coding teams often enter a phase of “crunch time” defined by all-nighters. Even when working for yourself, you’ll have to pour in many daily hours if you want to stay ahead of your competition.
In addition, programming problems tend to get stuck in your brain and follow you around everywhere you go. You’ll be working through solutions while in the shower, while commuting, and even while lying in bed. Because so much of programming happens in your head, compartmentalization can be difficult if not impossible.
If you’re lucky you may be able to find a company that doesn’t do crunch time, but I wouldn’t count on it.