In this article I won’t tell you any secret magic which counts down with all the stress during your work and I don’t wanna write like a “positive energy coach”, because I think it makes totally no sense without some more concrete points. But if I ask any of the good software developers about that what is the most difficult part of their work, some of the following expressions will be part of the answer for sure: pressure, stress, too much work. So I think it makes sense to talk about this topic.
The stress if there for everyone, the most common sources of stress are time pressure, technically difficulties, bugs and communication with colleagues and customers. Some of the developers can handle stress quite well, some of them have a worse stress handling skill. Usually the ones with better stress handling can reach better positions during their career, better work-life balance and all things considered they are happier.
When I was a beginner sometimes I had the feeling, that I’m the only one who is under stress and the more experienced colleagues are not under pressure. Later I realised that it was not true at all. They were stressed as well, but they could handle it. Later on during the years I learnt to handle it in a better way, but sometimes I’m still having difficult weeks. These are the most important points in my view:
- Always know what is your motivation to work there, why you are doing it at all. For example my motivation is to bring the best life quality to my family what I can. For that I need a job with a good salary and with good work-life balance. Next to that it is making me fun the develop my technical skills. Find what is your real motivation and think about that in difficult situations. It’s giving you some energy.
- Try to always do your best, but not more than that. So if you have a challenging task first of all try to understand before starting with that if you are able to achieve it in time and if you have the needed skills or not. If not ask for support in time. After that try to do your best during your working time. But if it is not enough to finish the task in time, don’t worry, always think that you did your best.
- Always communicate in a clean way. If you are seeing in advance that you won’t be done in time, just tell it to your team and manager, avoid surprises. But of course always make sure them that you are doing your best. Unless doing it in this way the others will think that you are not motivated enough.
- Don’t let yourself stuck in uncomfortable situations. If you’re feeling yourself uncomfortable, because of your tasks, colleagues etc. always let your team lead/manager know that you are feeling uncomfortable with the current situation. That is the way to give it a chance to change your situation. But you need to know, most likely it won’t change immediately, sometimes it needs some time.
- Never communicate in an aggressive way with your colleagues and customers. If you are angry rather go down and walk a bit or drink a coffee before writing your e-mail or talking to your team mates. Always try to tell them your point in a calm way. Aggressive communication is just generating a stressful working environment.
- Don’t think that other projects are running better. I was working at different companies on different projects, but one thing was common: the project was always behind the schedule. As I was talking with other programmers they had similar experiences. It’s so because that’s one way how managers are trying to let work done faster: if something is running on schedule let’s reschedule it and let the project have less time/workforce.
- Never forget: if you are a good developer you will have a job even if your project or company is failing!
- Go through on previous articles about How to manage your work time and How to estimate your tasks.
These were all of my points, but I hope you can extend them with some new ones!
All the best!