3 facts why software engineers react to job boredom faster than ever
December 1, 2022
min read

3 facts why software engineers react to job boredom faster than ever

Ana Gospodinova
Ana Gospodinova

A software engineering career can be perceived as a road trip. It’s not always smooth and, in many cases, it’s a bumpy ride.

The profession is perceived as stimulating in terms of advancement possibilities, constantly changing tasks, and of course, hefty paychecks compared to other non-technical roles.

The working process looks like engineers spending their days solving multiple problems. Some are small bug fixes, while others are bigger chunks of work, but in general, software engineering relies on decisions made during the creative process.

Whether finding it out through direct touch with software engineers or by reading different surveys or micro-polls, it’s common knowledge that sometimes they can get into the loop of repetitiveness.

When that happens, the same as with the tip of the iceberg, it's a sign that a bigger problem lies below. The problem is generally known under the two occurring terms - job boredom and burnout.

Why do we deal with job boredom in tech?

Sometimes software engineers just get fed up with their work. It’s nothing new but a fact of life.

Projects come and go; some are done with a greater sense of personal contribution, while others with a lack of it. Once one sprint is over, there is always another one to come.

At some point, no matter how the company is forward-thinking in developing a healthy company culture, developers may start feeling exhausted, disconnected from their work, and incapable of performing their tasks.

job boredom burnout software engineers

According to a well-accepted definition, burnout is a syndrome related to chronic workplace stress that hasn’t been successfully managed. It’s usually described through:

  • Energy exhaustion
  • Reduced productivity
  • Increased mental distance from the job, or negativism towards it.

Burnout is a common challenge for startups and big tech companies. It’s caused by huge workloads, perfectionism, and a lack of communication and support.

Both terms are usually described through ‘not enough’ terms. It’s widely accepted, but it sublimes the core of the problem: being unhappy with the job, company, startup, colleague(s), or boss.

The additional load comes from knowing that employees prefer to work remotely or via a hybrid regime today and that additionally increases the burnout risk by 2%.

There is no more time to be a reactive employer. Instead, you must become a proactive one!

Our recent developer survey brought game-changing findings that in case of job boredom, every second survey participant (52%) would start looking for a new job after just one or two months.

job boredom software engineers

Shockingly, these findings become even more disturbing once we digest them from another angle: There is no more time to be a reactive employer. Instead, you must become a proactive one!

job boredom burnout software engineer

A promising fact lies in software engineers’ active approach, where 4 out of 10 (40%) would first try to mend issues with their employer, and then seek a new opportunity if that fails.

Best practices to minimize job boredom

Software engineers name three stressors contributing to job boredom or burnout rates: a sense of slow personal progress, lack of personal appreciation, and a lack of being able to visualize the bigger picture.

As previously said, and fortified with our recent survey, employers don’t have time to act after their employees notice that something is wrong with them.

This means that companies must act faster and reengineer their cultures to become more appreciative of tech workforce contributions.

job boredom burnout software engineers

As developers are similar to artists and often considered perfectionists, there isn’t much space for maneuverability. Companies have to minimalize burnout inside their tech teams fast.

We can recommend some best practices to improve the overall condition:

  • Build your community: Close relationships with peers and improve workflows, as when software engineers are stuck, they will be more comfortable asking for help.

  • Train superior managers: Spotting and preventing job boredom or burnout early signs becomes essential in a proactive instead reactive approach. Develop ‘mental health days’ to relax and disconnect your employees from work. For example, one of the forward-thinking companies has introduced a wellness workweek for all its employees.

  • Time off: Encourage your tech team members to take time off as a proven way to alleviate burnout.
  • Eliminate stressors: Usually the most difficult and long-term task, but achieving it will help your employees to approach work in a pleasant and, most importantly, calm way.

Summing up, you must listen and be compassionate with your team members.

It’s a founding stone to obtaining great retention levels.


Building an open and evolving company culture is a priority. Learning to diagnose and then act accordingly is employers’ only chance to retain scarce human resources such as tech talent, at the same time developing their companies to become attractive ones for the promising talent on the market.


#Wanted and #Misunderstood: A Developer Survey 2023 (Full Report)

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#Wanted and #Misunderstood: A Developer Survey 2023 (Full Report)

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