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When Is Work, Work? Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 6:53 AM
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GPO (6/24/2013)
Well, a lot has changed since 2008. BlackBerry! Who remembers that! Hilarious!

BBs are still quite popular in the US financial industry, along with 6-figure DBA jobs and 50+ to 60 hour work weeks without additional compensation. The bonuses have dropped from mid-five-figures, though.
Post #1466722
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 7:42 AM
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As I like to say, make your job what you want it to be. I want it to be 40 hours or so, therefore it is. Else I woulnd't have time for kids, workouts, and sports, and house projects. I didn't figure that out at my first job I worked at for 8 years, but at my current job that last 5 years, I dont think I've worked over 45 hours 1 week. We are severly short staffed in developers, me the only dba/developer, system admins, after hours support/help desk. But all is well, the company has been growing and making money for as long as I've been here.
If not 40 hours at this job, them somewhere else. Its not like doing IT work is getting any easier, and long hours only gets you more long hours.
Post #1466741
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 7:48 AM


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I get personal email on my phone and that is bad enough. Between that and texts from friends and work, I have some days where I feel I am being constantly interrupted. However, being ultra-connected has become more common every year and I see companies blurring that line between work time and non-work time more and more. It seems people hesitate less now than they did before to reach out on a weekend or even during your vacation to ask questions. I am still of the opinion that unless it is a mission-critical failure and no one else can fix it, you should be left alone during off hours. Especially when the company does not compensate you for overtime.

In IT most of us work too much already and there is no need to speed up the burnout process.
Post #1466746
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 8:17 AM
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Interestingly enough, I had read a while back that when RIM was selling the BB to firms, part of their sales pitch was a claim of a 12% to 15% increase in productivity. Part of the gain was workers working during their personal time, and part was a reduction or elimination of lag time waiting for email replies - especially great for international firms or companies spread across multiple time zones.
Post #1466764
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 9:20 AM
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A colleague, while on holiday, apparently decided it was a good idea to place his company mobile phone on the gunwall of a rowing boat. Predictably, when someone called he accidentally knocked the phone into the water. Sadly that left him completely uncontactable for the rest of his holiday. I'm sure he was very upset.
Post #1466791
Posted Monday, June 24, 2013 3:09 PM
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Question Guy (6/24/2013)
As I like to say, make your job what you want it to be. I want it to be 40 hours or so, therefore it is. Else I woulnd't have time for kids, workouts, and sports, and house projects. I didn't figure that out at my first job I worked at for 8 years, but at my current job that last 5 years, I dont think I've worked over 45 hours 1 week. We are severly short staffed in developers, me the only dba/developer, system admins, after hours support/help desk. But all is well, the company has been growing and making money for as long as I've been here.
If not 40 hours at this job, them somewhere else. Its not like doing IT work is getting any easier, and long hours only gets you more long hours.


I've learnt that there is a certain amount of brass necking at managerial level. Pretend that something is more critical than it really is and that someone higher up the food chain has personally blessed it when they probably haven't.

One of the good things about implementing agile is that the team must be able to sustain the pace indefinitely which means that overtime is the exception rather than the rule. As DBAs can you honestly tell me that you can sustain 60 hour weeks at an intense pace? Personally, I put in 40+ hours but if I reach to 50+ then I'm not performing at my best. The extra hours are wasted hours and actually detract from my usual performance.

As a wise man once said "Render unto caesar what is due unto caesar...."


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Post #1466921
Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 2:01 AM
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I work for a consulantancy/contracting firm so right now, my billable time to a client has a direct effect on our bottom line, but in my previous job there was no overtime and we were expected to perform 25-7-365. The pace I was working eventually lead to a burn out, at which point I decided to switch jobs. For me that type of demand and pressure was not worth the price I paid. The changing point was when the CEO made promises on timelines without consulting us and expected us to just work weekends and late nights to keep the unreasonable deadlines. Bottom line, your time is precious and I would rather spend mine with my family than in front of a PC screen. When overtime becomes the norm, then planning was an issue; and as Jeff Modem rightly asks "Why should your lack of planning affect me?". Truthfully, I'm a much happier person in general now, the new company is family-orientated, and my personal time is respected. Overtime is the exception and not the rule.
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Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 4:30 AM
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"It's also a young person's game. Once you have a family, not sure you can make those trade offs and feel good about it. "

Sorry - but I take exception to this - the mythology that somehow IT belongs to the under 30's is just plain wrong.
During my career I've gone from Cobol programmer to mainframe dba to sql dba , still managing to be a family man despite often putting in some pretty daft hours - still do and I'm more than capable of "keeping up" with the "young" - its bad enough when you have to put with this attitude from recruiters but on this blog people should know better - apologies for the rant
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Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 4:45 AM


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geoffrey.sturdy (6/25/2013)
"It's also a young person's game. Once you have a family, not sure you can make those trade offs and feel good about it. "

Sorry - but I take exception to this - the mythology that somehow IT belongs to the under 30's is just plain wrong.
During my career I've gone from Cobol programmer to mainframe dba to sql dba , still managing to be a family man despite often putting in some pretty daft hours - still do and I'm more than capable of "keeping up" with the "young" - its bad enough when you have to put with this attitude from recruiters but on this blog people should know better - apologies for the rant


No need to apologise - I quite agree!

I've now got to the stage where my youngest (of five) children is now 22 and have never felt conflicted between work and family. Fortunately age discrimination is on the decline, especially since it's now illegal in the UK. I was 50 before taking my first permanent role.

You might as well say it's not a trade for women because they'll all go and have babies and miss a critical leap in technology
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Posted Tuesday, June 25, 2013 11:44 AM
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Richard Warr (6/25/2013)
geoffrey.sturdy (6/25/2013)
"It's also a young person's game. Once you have a family, not sure you can make those trade offs and feel good about it. "

Sorry - but I take exception to this - the mythology that somehow IT belongs to the under 30's is just plain wrong.
During my career I've gone from Cobol programmer to mainframe dba to sql dba , still managing to be a family man despite often putting in some pretty daft hours - still do and I'm more than capable of "keeping up" with the "young" - its bad enough when you have to put with this attitude from recruiters but on this blog people should know better - apologies for the rant


No need to apologise - I quite agree!

I've now got to the stage where my youngest (of five) children is now 22 and have never felt conflicted between work and family. Fortunately age discrimination is on the decline, especially since it's now illegal in the UK. I was 50 before taking my first permanent role.

You might as well say it's not a trade for women because they'll all go and have babies and miss a critical leap in technology


I think this depends on the culture of the organisations you work for and your own personality.

With only one exception the organisations I have worked for have had the attitude that learning new skills and keeping up-to-date was something you did in your own time and when you have a young family your time is not your own.

In the contracting role you have to be much more self-sufficient as you are effectively running a business with yourself as the primary asset. The concept of your time as a billable resource is ingrained. The cost of training and education is a business expense. This must give you an attitudal advantage even if a physical advantage is only in the mind.


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