Mental Health as a Software Developer (Software Engineer)

Rakesh Purohit
Published in
5 min readJul 16, 2021
A stressed developer working (Source)

“Phew !!”

This is the word every developer, programmer, designer, coder, software engineer or any personnel working in tech says nowadays when finishes work or get home.

And as an individual, I have also experienced it sometimes. Having a perfect work-life balance may feel like a great utopian dream! At some point, we all have felt it. Pandemic has made us work from home strictly.

There are issues like stress, digital fatigue, depression, workload, family responsibilities, deadlines, bugs, releases... Well, this list will keep going if I allow you to contribute to this article as an open-source project.

Disability Status

Among the respondents, almost 15% said they have some type of anxiety, mood, or emotional disorder. When looking at differences in physical ability, around 2% of respondents are differently-abled, such as being blind / having difficulty seeing or being deaf / having difficulty hearing. This underscores the importance of creating accessible software and creating companies that accommodate differently-abled people. Read more…

Stack Overflow Survey 2020

So, Let's talk about the main obstacles developers feel in their daily life.

  1. Deadlines

A familiar word, right? Deadlines are one of the factors that cause stress. Achieving results on time is very important for the era in which we live. In this highly competitive world, we all want to be ahead of our competitors.

Defining tasks into SMART standards (Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, Time-bound)and meeting them is also challenging! And completing them on time is a promise. However, missing deadlines are always frustrating. It questions productivity, ability, teamwork, efforts and what not. Missing deadlines is not a crime but today it is something questionable.

2. Bugs

Developer’s favourite nightmare!

It is like Thanos is saying to Iron Man AKA Robert Downey Jr., “I am inevitable!”. Errors always affect the deadlines and make your manager yell at you. Development and bugs go hand in hand. And solving bugs take more time. The longer time reflects the cost and sometimes credit too! Even reproducing the error is very time-consuming.

3. Releases

OK! This is a very serious matter. Because it is related to the end-user. It is important to make sure that everything works perfectly at launch. But if not, the whole team must take them seriously and resolve them.

This may lead to digital fatigue or mental stress (or possibly headache). Resolving bugs and moving to production can put a lot of pressure on developers.

4. Performance

We all work hard to perform well. We all want to excel in our careers. We all need to have our own lives and enjoy ourselves. Maybe we are interested in reading books, playing the guitar, watch soccer with friends, buy that favourite bike or go on the date with our loved one.

But we are tired of the workload, we may fail in some professional events. This is part of a roller coaster. However, it can confuse people’s minds, failing to be ahead of colleagues or failing to perform well in our careers.

5. Dependencies

While waiting for back-end developers to complete their part as front-end developers or vice versa, we found it extremely difficult to complete tasks and unit tests. You know what I mean. Well, you can be a designer, advanced or junior, and the dependency is also a matter of time and energy consumption. This is something very special that we notice in our day-to-day professional lives, but we can’t do anything about it.

This can also cause us anxiety because we cannot provide the best service we want. This is an obstacle for us.

6. Family

Going home, eating and sleeping will disappoint your family. They waited for you all day and you had a difficult day at work.

So who’s in a good mood when you can’t be with your family? Everyone wants to spend quality time with family and friends. However, the work we do all day has never given us the time and space that we want to give to our family or self, which is the most painful for us. After all, we all work for our beloved people and their happiness.

7. Overtime

Spending more time at work will never make you efficient. All we have to do is what needs to be done. We all messed up the code we wrote, then sent the untested code to the branch, or merged an uncensored branch, and worked day and night to solve that problem. Our own mistakes have caused us problems.

Yeah! But what’s the solution?

  1. Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing can help you relax your brain, help you work better, or focus on what you are doing and flows oxygen in your blood. Take a deep breath and count to 10 and exhale.

2. Take a walk or Healthy breaks in between

Taking a walk or a healthy rest can quickly restore your mood. In my experience, it gives the interpreter running through his mind time to work out the critical mistakes he’s been thinking about. (Rest time should not exceed 5 to 10 minutes)

3. Music

Music always helps clear up your mental confusion. Listening to the concert of your favourite artist makes you feel better and relaxed, so you can continue completing the task and complete the task before the deadline.

4. Be Creative

Reading, trying handicrafts, drawing, sketching, photography or writing a diary can allow you to express your emotions and help you manage your emotions.

5. Laugh

A day without laughter is a day wasted. — Charlie Chaplin

Watching your favourite comics or movie shows or clips can help you relieve emotions and stress. I always find myself relaxing in this way. Reading a joke or watching a funny clip will make you feel better and more relaxed.

6. Communicate

Communication is the most effective way to get rid of this harsh mentality. Talk to your colleagues about your code, it calms and gives you a unique perspective.

7. Sip a Coffee/Tea/Water

Pick the one that suits your health, take a sip, enjoy it, and keep working. Coding is a passion. As a programmer, I think it’s very special to build something for the world that has an impact on humanity.

I think I have written a lot for the day! I hope it helped you.

Thank you for Reading!