Developers Can’t Escape Their Job… Even in Dreams

Even when they’re asleep, developers can’t seem to put their jobs aside.

According to a new developer survey from JetBrains, some 52 percent of developers report coding “sometimes” in their dreams, while 17 percent said they did so “often.” Only 31 percent said they never coded in dreamland.

“The more people code at work (as a primary activity), the more likely they are to code in their dreams,” JetBrains added in a note accompanying the data.

Given how much they work, it’s perhaps unsurprising that developers’ work would spill over into their dreams: Some 87 percent of respondents told JetBrains that they code on weekends. A slight majority (51 percent) also said they worked on teams of 2-7 people, suggesting that they wear multiple hats on their projects.

It’s probably appropriate at this point to mention burnout and how it affects tech professionals. In a Dice Salary Surveyfrom earlier this year, some 35 percent of tech pros reported they were “very burnt out.” Some 36 percent attributed this burnout to a lack of recognition, just ahead of the 35 percent who attributed it to workload.

In an interesting twist, 28 percent said that unchallenging and monotonous work was the root of their crispy mental state. Nor is Dice the only organization to find that many tech professionals are fried. In mid-2018, for instance, some 23 percent of respondents to an anonymous Blind survey said that poor leadership and unclear corporate direction were the top reasons for workplace burnout; another 19 percent blamed it on work overload, barely edging out toxic culture at 18 percent. So clearly developers have a lot affecting them.

For those suffering from burnout, one key step is readjusting your schedule so you can have a full measure of sleep and exercise. It’s also important to work “relaxing rituals” into a routine (which could mean anything from video games to cooking). Ultimately, it’s about stepping away (as much as you can) from the office, both physically and virtually.

Once you’re centered, you might stop dreaming of code when you sleep—unless you’re one of those developers who want to dream of coding, of course.