Top 10 things which make programmers unhappy

A new study has revealed that being stuck in problem solving, time pressure, and bad code quality and coding practice are the main causes of unhappiness among programmers.

The study involved quantitative and qualitative surveys of 2,220 developers, yielding a “rich and balanced sample of 1,318 complete responses”.

The results were published in an academic paper titled On the Unhappiness of Software Developers.

The researchers said happy workers – including software engineers – are more productive.

“Psychological disorders such as job burnout and anxiety could also be reduced by limiting the negative experiences of software developers,” stated the study.

The results showed that software developers are a “slightly happy” population, but there was a need to limit their unhappiness.

What makes programmers unhappy

The researchers produced a list of 10 factors which the survey responses most often cited as the causes of unhappiness.

Top 10 Causes of Unhappiness
Cause Frequency
Being stuck in problem solving 186
Time pressure 152
Bad code quality and coding practice 107
Under-performing colleague 71
Feel inadequate with work 63
Mundane or repetitive task 60
Unexplained broken code 57
Bad decision making 42
Imposed limitation on development 40
Personal issues – not work related 39

Now read: What programmers love, dread, and want

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Top 10 things which make programmers unhappy