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How much stress does a software engineer deal with?

This is a discussion on How much stress does a software engineer deal with? within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I want to be a software engineer after college. But I've been reading online about it and some sites say

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Old 08-28-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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I want to be a software engineer after college. But I've been reading online about it and some sites say its in the top 5 least stressful jobs, and others have said its one of the most demanding and stressful jobs.
Which is right?

I've also read that they can work up to 80+ hours a week.
This can't be true can it? That seems so unrealistic.
And if it is true, is that paid overtime at least? Or is it like a teacher how they can grade papers til 10 pm but only get paid for their normal hours?
I also read a lot of posts saying that the most common stress is unrealistic deadlines. Is that really the case? It seems like a lead project manager should have experience in my position and understand what a realistic deadline is.
I also plan on having a family after I have a career.
But I don't see how I can make time for both if I'm working myself to death like these articles make it seem.
Does anyone here have insight on this? Because I don't know how credible these sources are.
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:05 AM   #2
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Workplace policies vary from one employer to the other... and stress tolerances vary from one individual to another. Of the programmers I know, some work 40 hours a week, and others are overworked. Some are constantly stressed out, and others genuinely enjoy their work. So it is impossible for me to tell you what you are going to encounter and how you will be able to deal with what you encounter.

The best advice I can give is this: do what you enjoy doing. That way, work won't seem like "work". :) If an employer doesn't offer good terms, don't accept the job. If an employer starts being unrealistic, discuss your concerns with them, and if they don't address those concerns, start looking for a new job. That's true of EVERY field, not just IT... so you're not going to escape by running to something else.

Hope this helps. :)
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #3
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It depends if you can handle it.

If you can handle lots of people asking you the same dumb questions about a million times a day and changing the parameters and scope of the coding and doing the same repetative things for days or weeks on end then you will be ok.
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