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I used to get calls at 2 A.M. when I wasn't even listed as being the member on call. Having to get dressed and go to the office that early in the morning, sucks. And no consequences (not even a comment) for the guy who was supposed to be on, and take the call, didn't make it any better.
What are your opinions on on-call, especially work/life balance goes?
It was a requirement at my first job, which quickly no longer applied to me. Slept through some calls, and whenever I didn't I would still have to wake up some coworker to get anything done. You'd get paid extra for it, ofcourse.
There's no such thing as work without pay. That simple sentence is a kind of auto-balance system in itself
Bastard Programmer from Hell
If you can't read my code, try converting it here[^]
I wouldn't mind being on call if paid overtime. My previous job and the one from Amazon are not. Being on a fixed salary and they expected 60+ hours out of developer and even I spend 3 hours support at 3 am, I expected to show up for work at 8 am. No over time paid.
I was on call form about two years, and hated it - you couldn't plan anything without considering what would happen when the phone rang.
But ... in two whole years the only call I got was one night on the way back from a lads night out when a little drunk. From my boss who was just as inebriated and in the back of the same car... B*st*rd.
Bad command or file name. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaaay...
I moved as a developer in manufacturing and utility environments since 1986.
For the first 13 years, I was on call for the items I developed/supported, and that was 7x24x365. There was also 24x7x365 on site coverage by a separate group - they 'operators' if you will. They had a manual for each system describing common issues and how to address them. We would only be called if there was an issue they couldn't resolve.
Even at that, having in depth knowledge of the system, we could resolve most of the issues without having to log in.
Then.. new position - not on call for the first 7 years while I was a contractor; the last 5 years were as an employee and then I was on call for everything in the department, and that was about 1 week out of 8.
In my position now, I am on call every 10 weeks. All 'calls' are handled as text messages and support can be done remotely - I take my laptop phone every night.
So... on call? I like what I do for a living; I develop relationships with the rank-and-file and they appreciate the service they get.
I also work in the manufacturing industry and have had many years of on call support. Even though it is not always fun, it was very valuable.
In the manufacturing industry (industrial robotics) it really helps to understand the environment in which these machines operate. It is important to also understand all the different kinds of users.
This domain knowledge is what differentiates the great developers from good or average developers. The code we write is not always that difficult, but without an understanding of the context, it is easy to make the wrong technical decisions.
I am glad I did the on-call support early in my career. Definitely....
I don't do "on-call", I don't do more than eight hours per day unless I decide that I need/want to, and I don't work weekends.
How do you make that happen? Write good code. It also helps if you're a bit of a prick.
I once walked out of an interview when they said, "We expect you to work at least 60 hours per week."
I responded, "On salary? Are you out of your f*ckin minds?", and I was out the door.
".45 ACP - because shooting twice is just silly" - JSOP, 2010 - You can never have too much ammo - unless you're swimming, or on fire. - JSOP, 2010 - When you pry the gun from my cold dead hands, be careful - the barrel will be very hot. - JSOP, 2013
That is kind of what I did. They sound almost the exact words.
We were going to schedule a visit the their office, when I learned that they really expected 60-70 hours with on-call, I cancelled the trip.
You can tell them off while getting out of your chair and walking you know.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, waging all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
I don't hate my work, it has plenty of fun moments and is fulfilling, but I wouldn't do it if I didn't get paid. There are dozens of other things I would be doing if I didn't need the money; family, friends, enthusiasms. It's an amazing world out there beyond my programs. That's how I see it.
That reminds me of a great quote about the "world" though not specifically relevant to the discussion.
" You can't take a little bloody nose, maybe you ought to go back home and crawl under your bed. It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's not for the timid."
- Q, Star Trek Next Gen