By John Arenas | April 29, 2014

This Class of Telecommuters Works Harder

Programmers face increasingly stiff competition, and are having to fight harder to win.

As one of the most telecommuter-friendly careers, computer programming and specifically, coding, offers professionals a real chance at a flexible lifestyle. Not only can they work from home, they are also well paid.

However, many programmers report that while they enjoy being able to do the job remotely, it doesn’t make the work any easier. Because open-source software continues to gain popularity, coders are usually evaluated by their peers. For some, this may seem better than the alternative; but for programmers it just makes their job more stressful and competitive.

Julie Bort at Business Insider explains how these circumstances cause many tech professionals to suffer from a condition known as “impostor syndrome,” which is best described as a constant feeling that there is always someone out there with better skills working to surpass you. Studies have led researchers to believe this condition is rooted in a tendency to hold oneself to extremely high standards, and that women are more likely to suffer than men.

So how do programmers deal with the pressure? They work harder, of course. Now the trend is moving towards becoming the “real programmer,” or in other words, coding and working in your spare time—for no extra pay. This type of lifestyle has actually become the norm in the developer sphere, and it’s creating a vicious cycle of working endless hours to compete with others and in the end still feeling defeated.

Furthermore, Nick Floyd, a coder and writer, has found a silver lining, and now makes an effort to spread awareness about overcoming imposter syndrome and the inner real programmer. He explains that professionals should adopt a new mindset and “Go for work-life awesome not work life balance.” On the New Relic blog you can watch his lecture, as well as the four part series, where he teaches people—not just programmers—how to walk the fine line between work and personal life.

To read more on creating a flexible lifestyle and fighting stress, check out “Illness or Stress – Why Are You Really Calling In?” and “Meditation: Pressing the Reset Button May Be the Cure to Workplace Stress.”

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