Personal Productivity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people wanting to improve their personal productivity. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

The situation:

  • I am at my second year in University. Where I live the Bachelours degree is 4 years, so I haven't gotten to the middle yet.
  • I started my first real job as a developer a couple of months ago.

People say that by working and studying at the same time I am getting the best of both worlds. I compleatly disagree with this. The best of both worlds is as it follows: (You may wat to skip the next few lines, since It's details)

  • University - understanding fully the material to it's smallest detail and being able to consult with your professors about what you find interesting and get guidance to achieve an uncommonly(among graduates or professionals with little to mid experience) high level in some of the subjects.
  • Work - being able to dedicate your full attention to your current project. To not only work on it by doing your best in terms of development, but to also do a lot of research on the things you are doing so you can offer alternatives or understand where exactly the weaknesses and strong points of the technologies you are working with are given your current task and to be able to make the best choices.

This is the best of both worlds, what I get is "A reasonable amount of both worlds". Basically I have enough time to understand most of the details on what we are studying and I am also getting advice for books and so on. I am not getting the guidance which I normally get, since I am not researching it at the moment. They are piling in my to-do list.

And now we finally get to the problem. Time. I don't really have much time to do any research on work. I usually study for university after work (university + work == 45-50 hours weekly, I often work on Saturday) and I can hardly put any research time for work related stuff at work. This shows in the decisions I make, like silly mistakes or just some things take me more time to do than I declare I will need (we have to give estimates) due to issues from lack of enough knowedge/experiance in the subject.

Any ideas how I can improve the situation ? The only thing I can think of is that I need to get my priorities straight and one of the two things will have to suffer in terms of dedicated time.

share|improve this question

Working and being in school is difficult simultaneously, especially if you care about your job in any respect. The first thing I'd say is not to be too hard on yourself. You're in second year, so anyone who hired a developer in second year at school knows that you're still learning, so you will probably make silly mistakes and take more time than someone else might take.

The two things I would say try to improve are time management and your work estimates.

The second being simpler, it sounds like you want to try to make them happy so you tell your work things will take a certain amount of time. You should always think of Hofstadter's Law, which basically says expect to take longer than what you think. When we quote work, even if its simple, we always give ourselves a buffer. Depending on the job this could be 10-20% buffer on budgets, timeline, and resources. This way we're always on-time, and on the occasions that you get something done early or under-budget, you actually look like a hero! Not much good comes out of quoting that you can do something really fast. Generally better to say it'll take a little longer and ALWAYS be on time, or be early.

In terms of time management, it's always a trade off. There are only so many hours in a day. You mentioned 45-50 hours a week of work between school and university? What do you do with all the extra hours in your day? 50 hours between Monday-Saturday is about 8 hours a day and you would have a free day, so it sounds like there's still plenty of time to consult profs and do research for work. Maybe try writing down what you do each day and how efficient you were at it, and see where in your schedule you're losing resources.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.