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Cover image for How to know when to quit as a programmer?

How to know when to quit as a programmer?

poudyal_rabin profile image poudyal_rabin ・1 min read

Being a software engineer is a fortune in this digital age. Having an opportunity to work from the comfort of your home and getting a handsome paycheck is not only the upside. Solving the unsolved problems and giving exercise to your brain every day to stay relevant and up to date is like winning a thousand miles marathon.

Besides having all these benefits, sadly every software engineer needs to quit one day. Either the reason is personal or professional or emotional, choosing the right time to quit is actually an advantage to venture into the unventured part of life.

Just kidding... :D I am not talking about quitting the software engineering profession. I was talking about quitting to beat the imposter syndrome. Sometimes the problem just doesn't solve. You will feel like the end of the world and you can't see the road ahead. Quit that time. Quit for a day. Quit and go home, cook dinner, watch TV, relax and sleep. Let your subconscious crack the problem and hunt for solutions. The next morning wake up and take a shower.

Although this is not the direct solution to your problem, it works like magic for most people. Creativity and intelligence are fleeting states of mind. They are not there when you are tired, exhausted, and bored. If you try to solve the problem in that state, you will create a mess for yourself and your fellow programmers.

So quit. Quit every once in a while, quit when a problem doesn't solve. Quit intermittently, venture into something you never ventured before, and excel in your programming career.

Discussion (31)

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raphael_jambalos profile image
Raphael Jambalos • Edited

With work from home setup, there isnt any more a clear distinction between where you work and where you relax. For the past year, I found it really difficult to define when to “quit” for the day.

The most effective for me is folding the laptop and reading non fiction books. If the laptop is off, you cant code hehe. I also blog and lurk in dev.to

How about you? How do you “quit”

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Ted Ngeene

I also faced the same issue, especially when we transitioned to working remotely. I couldn't differentiate between my bedroom and work place. At times I'd find my self saying "one last bug fix on the bed or the table I'd set up". I realized I was getting drained and over time unmotivated since there was always something to be fixed. Eventually I stopped working from my room and made a makeshift home office in another part of my house. Also, "quitting" past 5:00, where I tend not to look into any work related code or code at all in general helped with the burnout. This greatly improved my efficiency and brought back the motivation I needed.

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raphael_jambalos profile image
Raphael Jambalos

I completely agree! Creating the artificial separation in space between work and leisure can really be helpful in combatting the tendency to just keep on going and not "quit" for the day

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

cool. thanks for sharing Ted

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Aftab Syed

I like the quitting past five. I need to do the same

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

Hi Raphel, thanks for your sharing how you quit. For me, it is generally going for a walk, or sometimes I also do the cooking, or sometimes I also go shopping. I mostly prefer to get the fresh air. :) :)

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Tim JK Strickland

I read a tweet that perfectly encapsulated the feeling of working remotely in these times:

twitter.com/erinblogan/status/1364...

It's amazing how exhausting being online all the time can be.

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Amelia Vieira Rosado

So true. It's been about a year since this new normal kicked in, yet I cannot seem to get used to WFH. Thank good for archery and outdoor activities, otherwise I'd have gone crazy!

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

Ya Amelia. Just hoping this to end soon. :) :)

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Peter Ahlgren

Its so easy to get burned out, when working as a programmer from home.
What works best for me is to force myself to close the computer and go out to take a walk in the nature. Its so good for emptying the brain and get some new energy.

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The Sharp Ninja

I'm less burned out working from home. I know exactly when I'm going to be seeing or talking to someone. There is nobody popping into my cube for god-knows-what-reason.

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

Ya I also do the same Peter

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Maximilian Henrich

Agreeing with what most people said about distinction between work and non-work that is getting hard to define especially with home office. I don't think work-life balance is the best keyword here are people are vastly different and satisfaction with both areas is much more important than how big they are.

I think most important is to have projects. Not work projects but personal ones – no matter what they are. Even if you want to relax, close the laptop but then don't have anything to do or think about you drift back to work stuff.
So having something to occupy the mind is #1 for actually stopping work mode. For me personally 'just resting' or quitting without a plan is a trap as I can't rest without eventually thinking about work anyway. Better to build that plastic model, paint the kitchen, go out or cook that meal.

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

aww. that's the trick. thanks Maximilian.

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Mario Kober • Edited

Since HomeOffice times begun I never stopped working - some weeks way over 100 hours but I still enjoy this drive - I made a lot of money. As soon as I feel tired I will stop and break down to a relaxed speed. I have many hobbies I can dig in, to reload my batteries - so there is no problem. I did this before even it never was for such a long period of time.
It will start to be a problem if it kills your happyness.

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

That's right Mario. Thank you for sharing your thoughts :) :)

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The Sharp Ninja

I have to say, every time this profession nearly made me quit, there were no technical reasons. I can say that I've worked with equal numbers of great and horrible people in this field. Sometimes you get that email at lunch on Friday that just makes you realize that Monday looks better for a job search than responding yet agin to people who don't pay attention.

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

wow haha. that's true. everyone in the industry goes through this soon or later. :D :D

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Siddharth Chaudhary

This works like magic

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poudyal_rabin profile image
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Marc Erwin Truong

This right to me as well. Once upon a time I promise myself I didn't quit until I solve it!
But life and environment never let you make it.

Yes, quit to be faster!

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Steve Whitmore

I was this way too. Then I was getting burned out often until I realized sometimes the best thing to do is walk away for the day or even a few hours. It can make all the difference in the world!

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

ya that's right Steve

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

Ya I agree :)

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Kinanee Samson

I do this some times when i run into mammoth bugs

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

Hi Kinanee, that's good to know :). Sometimes this works like magic.

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Aahnik Daw

strongly resonate. i have experienced this myself. taking a break is great.

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Sophia Nelson

Love this post.

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poudyal_rabin profile image
poudyal_rabin Author

Thank you, Sophia. :) :) It means a lot to me

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