I suffer from mild depression on and off. Usually a bad bout once every 18 months or so.
At the moment I’m feeling overwhelming pressure at work for one simple reason: nobody else seems to care about the product.
We’re a small team with no designer, our UI work is weak but serviceable. The owner of the company insists on micromanaging everything which is a problem in itself but also bad when he’s the designer/systems guy/accountant etc etc etc. He also has the not particularly easy task of running a company to deal with.
What this boils down to is generous deadlines that become impossible when he finally gets 5 minutes to look at something two days before release, announces that it’s terrible and wants it completely changed.
We’re good at resisting and managing expectations but it still puts a huge amount of pressure on.
Most recently the product has been lacking any direction. We have no user metrics, feeback or up until very recently not even an issue tracker so we can find out what our helpdesk spend their time hearing about.
It’s led to a very bad episode over the past few weeks, I feel like I can’t cope with this annymore and the thought of work at all gives me those tell-tale stress tingles, hollow feeling, etc.
I’m reasonably employable with a few years’ experience now but looking for work in the area is a bust. Huge recruitment problems in the region.
edit: I realise I didn’t actually address the problem in the headline, basically I don’t get why everyone is content to sell a rubbish product, it’s maddening. Everyone just wants feature Z instead of making sure A-Y actually works properly first.
I definitely don’t think you’re alone. For a while I was collecting little bits about this from rather well known folks in the industry on my blog/wiki - (this page title probably needs a refactoring): http://clabs.org/blog/MakingBadProgrammersCare
I think many people are coping with a big stack of personal issues, and a lot of what we see on the top of the iceberg at work just doesn’t leave much bandwidth for caring about the craft. And then I think there are enough people who frankly could care more but don’t care to try. And then there are those who do care, but hold different things more valuable than other things. Judging between and among these different contexts is difficult. And even if I could clearly see the various motivations at play, there’s often times little I can do to change these things.
But still, there’s room for myself to work on being at peace with what I can and can’t influence, and finding a balance between my caring, but guarding against others’ apathy bringing me down. It’s not easy, and ultimately some work cultures are doing myself more harm than good, and I should seek out other places to be.
And there are times when my frustration can actually get in the way of me looking and seeing ways that I can influence the culture of my work. To hold on to my ideals AND to work within my current constraints is something I still struggle towards, and I think the better workers out there achieve some measure of balance here.
Anyway - that’s all a bit rambly, but what came to mind. Thx for sharing your struggles with us.
I feel the same about the story bout the product management. We are 4 Pgrammers. 1 experienced. , a new semi-senior, a new junior (me), and a student. I see our company in every single sentence of yours. The problems we struggle with are overwhelming. And when I see my boss dev deploying snapshots to productive I start resignating as this is a no go for me. And now a new tale could start off here…