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What is the schedule of a computer programmer?

What is the schedule of a computer programmer on a day to day basis? Do they make their own hours or does it depend on where they work? How long is an average work day?

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Janet’s Answer

This varies widely and can be different from company to company and from week to week. A job that a computer scientist holds is typically a salaried position, not where you get paid hourly. You could work weeks where you put in 36-40 hours and other weeks, close to deadline, where you work 60-80 hours. The pay is typically the same each week. I have always worked at companies where I mostly had normal working hours (8-10 hours a day including time for lunch and breaks) and periods of time, usually no more than 12 weeks a year, where the hours were closer to 60+ hours/week. This is mainly during times when a project deadline or release was approaching. nights and weekends could be required to get the job done. At times, the management would grant compensation time off after several weeks of overtime work or I could request it. If you land a position where you are routinely (most of the time) working 60-80 hours a week in a salaried position, this is known as a "sweatshop" and you should look for another job before you burnout or have a breakdown. This is not fair to you or your loved ones. Look for a better company that treats their employees better. All professionals should expect to put in some extra time to make it to a deadline, but life at some point should settle down to a normal pace. Hope this helps. A career in Computer Science can be lucrative, interesting *and* manageable (work/life balance). Computer Science graduates are in high demand. Best of luck!
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Fred’s Answer

It will generally depend on the company you work for. I have worked at places where:

- you could come in as early as 6a and leave at 3p, or come in as late as 9a and leave at 6p
- No specific defined hours, but you need to work mostly during the daytime

And my current employer has people in the USA working mostly 8ish to 5ish. However, we have employees around the world. Some folk in India work late hours (come in at noon IST, leave at 9p IST), which lets them overlap our shift by a few hours. People in other countries again may shift to overlap USA hours a bit. I


And then, of course, there are always special cases. When major releases happen, we may work nights, weekends, and longer hours. f there is a customer reported incident, you may have to get up in the middle of the night and work to fix the problem.

It also can depend on the maturity of the company. A small, startup may push you to work 10-12 hour days, and work 7 days a week. A more mature company (my current employer has been around for over 50 years) is extremely good at on requiring/expecting about 40 hours a week.
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