I just finished my graduate degree in Computer Science and have been working full time at a mid-size company (50 developer + 1000 working in manufacturing and fabrication) as a junior software developer for about eight months now. The pay is average. The project I was working is ending in a week or so and I really don't know what I would be working on after that but that is another story. There is really no master plan.

Over the past few months, I worked day and night and sometimes even weekends because I really cared about the deadline and most importantly I really like programming. Two weeks ago, my manager and team lead developer setup a meeting with me to essentially say: "I should not work when I get home or even during the weekend because it makes other team members stressful as the due date is approaching". But the sad thing is without me doing all those works and after hours they would not be able to deliver the project on time. I kind of lost my interest in the company after that statement.

The project is ending in a week and everyone is kind of enjoying their time as everything is practically finished but I am still trying to make last minute improvements and today my team lead developer told me: "take it easy, just do some testing ...". Today was basically all day bowling day. I don't want to become like other developers who are "taking it easy", I like to challenge myself. Company project is like a school project to me, I want to make it perfect.

Is this situation typical in a software industry or anyone had a similar experience? is it ethical to look for another job? what should I tell other employers why I left?

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    I suggest you read The Clean Coder. Sacrificing yourself by working overly long hours is not a personal success and don't expect others to treat you as a hero over this. You should aim at a productive 8 hours of work. If this is not enough then it is up to management to find a solution. – Corcus Jul 11 '17 at 10:54
  • If you work more than 35 hours in a week, something is desperately and bizarrely wrong. What you have to do is just stop it. – Fattie Jul 11 '17 at 11:35
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    If you burn out you won't be good to anyone. Optimize for long-term performance; staying in short-burst mode for too long won't do you any good. – rath Jul 11 '17 at 13:07
  • Never work unsolicited overtime. If you are paid overtime, this will just annoy your manager who doesn't have money in the budget. If you are not paid, it is still a VERY POOR practice because you are exhausting yourself when there is no reason to. If they wanted that effort, they would ask for it. For more than 100 years sudies have shown the deleterious effects of working overtime especially showing that it actually takes longer to do the work due to exhaustion. Don;t get into this terrible habit early in your career. – HLGEM Jul 11 '17 at 13:44

Last Minute Changes Can Be Dangerous

Just food for thought - on large projects we often have a "freeze" before software is shipped/delivered. This is to prevent the introduction of unintended bugs or features the users are not expecting.

Therefore, "taking it easy" can be a very wise thing - and your zeal for perfection could easily be misunderstood as reckless.

So if you do decide to apply elsewhere (I don't see why you should, your team seems reasonable), you should be careful how you frame your dedication to quality - it could easily come across in a negative light.

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    This remind me of this "The road to hell is paved with good intentions" – Leon Jul 11 '17 at 6:53

Yes, it's not uncommon to not want your employees to overwork and burn themselves out, nor is it uncommon to not want last-minute changes that could break things.

On that note, you should probably read up on burnout, because you're likely heading in that direction and it's a lot easier to end up there than it is to recover from it.

Also, perfection is generally not viable in the business world - going from working and good enough to "perfect" is not a good time/benefit trade-off.

How would / does others know when or how much you're working? Can you perhaps not just refrain from making commits or sending mails outside of work hours and strictly work from home during that time (to obscure the fact that you're doing it)?

It might help to find or start a side project which you can spend your time on in the evenings and weekends instead.

The ethics of leaving is something you need to decide for yourself.

Something like "others don't share my enthusiasm" seems reasonable to use as a reason to leave, where you can use the example of being actively discouraged from putting in a few extra hours to meet a big deadline (in those words).

Saying you often work nights and weekends probably isn't the best idea, unless you want to limit your job search to companies where that's not only accepted but expected (such a work culture is not typically seen positively and you find may other objectionable culture issues there).

You can also mention something about the work itself which you don't like and/or just focus on the positive of the new company.

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    Right, "perfection" is nothing more than "bad engineering", a simple misunderstanding of what software is. – Fattie Jul 11 '17 at 11:36

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