The Great Resignation is here. What does that mean for developers?
[Ed. note: While we take some time to rest up over the holidays and prepare for next year, we are re-publishing our top ten posts for the year. Please enjoy our favorite work this year and we’ll see you in 2023.]
Nearly two years into the pandemic, many Americans are reevaluating their relationship with work. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.5 million Americans had quit their jobs at the end of November 2021, while 10.6 million jobs were open.
Software developers—even though their jobs can typically be done remotely and should, in theory, be more stable during a pandemic—are leading the exodus.
Some analysts have suggested that the number of people quitting white-collar office jobs is modest, and that the Great Resignation is about strong demand for workers, rather than a rethinking of labor. While it’s clear that some industries have been hit harder than others, it’s also true that higher-paid knowledge workers like developers are playing a prominent role in the Big Quit.
Harvard Business Review conducted an in-depth analysis of over nine million employee records from more than 4,000 companies across industries and found that resignation rates are highest in healthcare and tech. The study found that, generally, “resignation rates were higher among employees who worked in fields that had experienced extreme increases in demand due to the pandemic, likely leading to increased workloads and burnout.”
Resignations among healthcare workers, who have been on the front lines of a pandemic for nearly two years, are not a surprise. But what’s driving developers to make their exit, and what challenges does the rising resignation rate entail for individual contributors, managers, team leads, and companies who want to protect against knowledge loss and ensure business continuity?
Let’s get into it.
Increased demand equals burnout; burnout equals resignation
In tech, the resignation rate rose by 4.5% last year, according to Harvard Business Review. Eighty-three percent of developers report suffering from burnout, and 81% say it’s gotten worse during the pandemic. The top reason for pandemic-related burnout among developers? An increased workload.
The pandemic has contributed to an increase in demand for developers, even as it’s nudged many to quit their jobs. Beginning in March 2020, organizations accelerated their digital and cloud roadmaps to allow employees to work remotely. The resulting increase in software adoption and growing reliance on software across industries has increased demand for developers.
In some ways, of course, this is good news: when demand exceeds supply, skilled and seasoned developers can expect more job offers and more attractive compensation packages. But high demand can also cause developers to become overwhelmed and burn out. In fact, so many developers are resigning that a shortage of software developers is likely—not just in the United States, but also elsewhere.
A cultural shift
Burnout isn’t the only explanation for the rising resignation rate. The shock of the pandemic, lockdowns, and a complete shift to remote work caused many people to fundamentally change how they see work. As UC Berkeley economist Ulrike Malmendier argues, “The pandemic and rise of remote work have changed the way we view our lives and the world.”
Texas A&M psychologist Anthony Klotz, whom NPR credits with coining the term “Great Resignation,” says “pandemic epiphanies” are inspiring dissatisfied workers to give their notice. Those epiphanies take many forms:
- I could make more money somewhere else.
- I deserve better working conditions.
- I need more vacation time.
- I need a better work-life balance.
- I want to do something completely different with my career.
- I want to start my own business.
And those epiphanies often end with the words I quit.
“We can do better”
While quitting might seem like an expression of dejection or an admission of defeat, in many ways the Great Resignation is more about growing confidence, a sense that the dynamic between labor and employers has shifted, and that workers have more choice and control. The Atlantic suggests that while “quitting is a concept typically associated with losers and loafers,” the Great Resignation “is really an expression of optimism that says, We can do better.” In fact, we may come to see the pandemic as “a crucial inflection point” in American attitudes toward work—and even the inception of a healthier work-life balance.
We’ve realized that our relationship with work needs, well, work. As Vox points out, “the pandemic—as well as government social safety nets like extended unemployment benefits—gave people the time, distance, and perspective to reevaluate the place of work in their lives.” And this reevaluation is “especially notable for Americans, for whom work is considered a part of their identity and who put in more hours than most other industrialized nations.”
Money matters—but it’s not the only thing that matters
Often programmers quit because they can make more money elsewhere. Compensation structures often incentivize developers to change jobs: the experience a person acquires in the role becomes more valuable than the incremental raises most developers can expect every couple of years. The spike in demand for digital transformation, coupled with the Great Resignation, has created an increasingly competitive hiring environment for software talent. This has boosted the compensation offered by employers looking to make critical hires.
Our own data shows that about 75% of developers are either actively seeking a new job or open to new employment opportunities. Of these developers, about 65% said compensation was the main reason they were looking to leave (or open to leaving) their current role. But money wasn’t the only factor: 39% wanted to work with new technologies, 36% were looking for a better work-life balance (including benefits like remote work and flexible hours), and 35% wanted better growth or leadership opportunities.
A tendency to view developers as technical resources rather than people (interchangeable, effortlessly rechargeable) causes some managers to neglect their employees’ job satisfaction and professional well-being. This attitude drives devs to quit. Almost universally, people want to work where they are valued and where they have an opportunity to grow their skills and advance their careers. For a growing number of developers, that means working for themselves.
Entrepreneurship is taking off
Many people quit their jobs over the last two years to become self-employed freelancers, consultants, or entrepreneurs. In the words of The Wall Street Journal, “The pandemic has unleashed a historic burst in entrepreneurship and self-employment.” Some people want better-paying or more flexible jobs; others are anxious about COVID exposure, need to be home to provide childcare or supervise online learning, or are simply done with the rigidity of a 9-to-5 in the office.
The number of unincorporated self-employed people rose by 500,000 since the beginning of the pandemic, reaching nearly 9.5 million, according to Labor Department data. In other words, the number of self-employed people has risen by 6%, even as the overall employment rate in the US continues to lag almost 3% behind its pre-pandemic figure.
Americans also registered more than 4.5 million new businesses from January through October 2021, up 56% from 2020—the largest number on record dating back to 2004, according to the Census Bureau.
Developers are reinventing how they work
Our own 2021 Developer Survey found that fewer professional developers were employed full-time (81%, a decrease from 83% in 2020). The percentage of professional developers who were independent contractors, freelancers, or self-employed rose from 9.5% in 2020 to 11.2% in 2021, suggesting that some developers are worried about job security or want more flexible work arrangements. So while the resignation rate is high, not all of those programmers are leaving the workforce; many are simply reinventing how work itself looks.
One consequence of this trend toward self-employment is that companies will likely find themselves working with contractors or consultants for certain roles and projects—increasing the potential for confusion as people come and go and distributed teams need an effective, asynchronous way to collaborate and communicate.
A focus on skills over pedigree
In tech, economic power may be shifting toward labor. This means a focus on skills (what can you do?) over academic pedigree (where did you go?). Over the last 20 years, content platforms have allowed non-developers to build their skills and enabled experienced programmers to work more effectively. Some programmers shifted to creating tech companies, which allowed more people from non-technical backgrounds to enter the tech workforce. This gradual sea change has altered the way the industry works. For some programmers, it’s driven them out—or pushed them into business for themselves.
The rise of remote work, even before the pandemic, planted the seeds that are now bearing fruit in the form of the developer exodus: developers exhausted by corporate hierarchies, long commutes, expensive cities, and corrosive company cultures have been shifting to remote self-employment for a decade. The pandemic has accelerated the exodus, especially among developers 30-45 years old. These people are more senior in their careers and therefore more likely to launch their own businesses than to join another company—particularly in the face of age discrimination and high barriers to entry.
Challenges for managers and team leads
The Great Resignation presents particular challenges for people who manage developers and lead development teams. For one thing, trying to hire and retain talent is time-consuming and resource-intensive, especially when so many people are no longer settling for jobs that don’t check all their boxes.
A high turnover rate is a related problem. Companies invest time and money onboarding and training new hires, but when those people leave, they take their institutional knowledge with them and create a vacuum that needs to be filled with another qualified candidate.
From an organizational perspective, companies need to protect against knowledge loss as employees come and go, expedite the onboarding of new employees so folks can start adding value quickly, and enable remote collaboration in an increasingly remote-first workforce.
But companies and managers also need to make avoiding developer burnout a priority, since that’s a contributing factor to many of these challenges: overworked developers quit, and the resulting churn consumes resources and causes knowledge loss. Valuing the developers on your team by recognizing and rewarding their hard work (and by investing in their professional development) goes a long way toward reducing burnout and attrition.
Plan for the boomerang effect
Managers who create a positive work environment often find that employees who left for another company or to work for themselves want to come back after a short time, having realized that the grass wasn’t really greener after all. Self-employment is not without downsides, and it’s a rare company that doesn’t have a few drawbacks. To encourage these boomerang employees, managers need to build the right culture: one that values employees holistically.
“There is much value in recouping strong, previously-trained talent, but it is critical to let them know before they leave that the door could be open for a return,” explains SailPoint CEO Mark McClain in Fast Company. “Leaders who consciously establish from the get-go that work is a choice and that personal situations or great opportunities may warrant a job change make all the difference in encouraging boomerangs.”
Developer managers should take this advice to heart. The chances are good that some of the developers who left their jobs in 2021 will want them back in 2022—if they are welcomed back with open arms.
An inflection point
The Great Resignation is reshaping the labor market in ways we’re just starting to understand. One thing is clear, though. The fact that developers are resigning at such high rates should nudge companies and managers to reevaluate how they treat these employees: how they’re paid, how much respect and autonomy they have, how flexible their jobs are, and how much work is demanded of them.
For developers, this is a moment to consider what is and isn’t working for you about your job—and whether you’re tempted to join the Great Resignation yourself. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.Tags: career, career development, culture
Although you raise all the good points, I am disappointed by the fact you completely missed the hiring process in your arguments. Tech companies are too selective in their hiring processes, all engineers know the hiring is badly broken!!
Good point! Something for us to explore in future blog posts.
One crucial thing that most people tend to miss – you can’t work on a classified project from home ! You must be be in a secure environment that requires having special access. You typically have to be at a govt or contractor’s site that has been “cleared”. The computer systems are isolated … not accessible from outside of the SCIF. You can’t work on these systems remotely ! You can’t just magically start your own business to work on govt. contracts … especially those requiring access to classified information. Projects must be controlled/supervised by a Security Officer.
But how many private companies are out there doing a govt contracts though? I dont think any of the security engineers are complaining about their job not being remote because they understand the importance of being onsite and before they signed a job contract they usually know what they’re getting themselves into.
Yep. In previous rounds of me looking for a job, it was common advice to apply to jobs where you had 50% or more of the skills in the job description. My last round in 2021 made me quickly realize that if I didn’t have 90-110% of the skills listed, I wasn’t going to get a callback, let alone an interview. The problem is made worse when the job description lists 20-30 or more skills, like specific languages, libraries, frameworks, hosting options, and more. Not “or more”, it’s definitely “and more”.
And when the 50% or more of the jobs listed are asking for 10+ years professional experience, that’s not exactly easy to hit as a job seeker. You can’t just learn that in a couple months. You can’t go through a tutorial or take a test to get that certification.
I’d never seen such demanding job descriptions before covid. I’ve used over 40 languages, libraries, frameworks, etc. with a total of over 200 computer skills (yes I listed and counted them) since I started learning programming and computer repair nearly 30 years ago (including 9 professional years of coding experience), yet that’s apparently not enough to satisfy many employers. It’s no wonder that people entering the workforce from college aren’t getting jobs. It’s no wonder that people are leaving jobs where they have to wear so many different hats they get burned out.
Yeah, it’s been a long time in the making, decades by my count, but it’s finally happening that people are calling out just how badly broken the hiring process is due to it completely falling apart lately. I’ve thought for a long time that tech unions would make things much better. Unions aren’t a 100% fix, but a 50% or even 10% fix would be better than the complete mess it is now.
Thanks for the great experience and time to share your thought about the hiring process , I gotta ask you personally is it a good decision to start programming carer. My Telegram handle is Sameeralpha love to hear from you buddy
I’m surprised to hear that your experience has been that things are getting WORSE on that front. I certainly believe you, it’s just an unexpected direction for things to be moving in. The kind of things you’re describing SHOULD be buyers’-market tactics, the kind of stuff companies could get away with when they *aren’t* hemorrhaging qualified employees. I mean, unrealistic expectations aren’t completely new. The old cliche about job listings calling for “15+ years experience with ” has been around for… well, way longer than 15 years now.
You’d expect that, in the current market where employers can’t really afford to be so picky, things would be easing up some. I mean, they’re going to HAVE TO, at some point. But I guess companies are slow to react, or reluctant to make big changes to their process while there’s still a sense of pandemic uncertainty about… everything.
That should’ve been “15+ years experience with (language/software first released 12 years ago)”.
(Note to self: Don’t use angle brackets around text in comments, even when there’s no possibility the contents could be parsed as HTML.)
Sounds like, even senior dev are getting dunked in the hiring process, how should us noob break into the industry?
Agreed! Now tech companies are looking for full-stack developers who should know everything from frontend to backend and from DevOps to automation testing.
I filter out the “full stack” business. I mean, how many MS Developers actually even know Analysis Services? Companies need to get right with their job descriptions. If they mean, they’ll take someone with a good grasp of their core technologies, then say that. Most companies seem fine in listing 10 or more skills which virtually no one will ever apply knowing all of the skills listed. I don’t know where this came from because maybe ten years ago and earlier, the job descriptions were more realistic. I’ve applied for several jobs with numerous skills listed only to be told by the people actually doing the hiring that most of skills they never actually used to any substantial degree. If I’m going to sell a car, I’m not going to describe a wish list of everything the car could have and expect to sell it. You’d think employers would be smarter than this.
Great article! Nice use of data.
Hiring is so important, IMO one of the most important things a company can do. Hiring one bad apple can have a ripple effect on their co-workers and can lead to even more turnover.
Rotten apples are purpously left to rot!
It was addressed by the link near “high barriers to entry”.
> The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 4.5 million Americans had quit their jobs at the end of November 2021
How many were hired? There is difference between people stopping working and switching jobs.
Are you sure that these people actually quit or were they forced out by vaccine mandates? 3 people in my immediate family were placed on “unpaid leave of absence” because they don’t want to get “the shot”, even though they worked from home during most of 2020. Of course eventually they resigned from those old jobs when they found a new one, but they would have all stayed at their original job had they not been forced out.
1. Companies pay money for hiring process not for successful hirenment latest 5 years. So HR agencies not interested in closing positions.
2. Companies looking for young nerds (preferably without family) who can work extended periods of time.
To resolve this government need to ask companies to share hiring data by age & family status.
Companies should reconsider terms of the work with HR agencies.
The traditional hiring process failed to select good or even basically qualified candidates, so the PHB solution is to apply the traditional hiring process even more stringently.
Unions exist primarily to shield incompetent workers from accountability. Unionization would drive out the few remaining competent developers and collapse the entire tech industry.
Be more balanced fella – unions exist to counterbalance the power dynamic between employers and individuals through collective power, *but in recent years some union reps have abused their power to shield incompetent workers from accountability*
We in tech don’t need unions *at the moment* because we are in demand, but give it 20 years of automation and we will wish we had unionised to get the retirement packages we will need when most code is written by machine…
Tech will never be unionized with an offshore model in place for thousands of companies. If they want experience, they will have to pay for it. Employers often try to say there’s no one with the skills available to get H1-B visas and get a lower salaried worker who often lies about their qualifications to get the position. Why don’t they invest in an employee to learn the required technologies? Maybe there needs to be clauses that a worker can’t leave after the employer pays for certifications/training after a defined time. I won’t look at a job that has 20-30 skills, it says you will be overworked or understaffed to know all those skills.
If companies wanted a plan for a boomerang effect, they must implement a 4-day-workweek and more paid time vacation days. Many companies in other industrialized countries like Europe and New Zealand are already implementing a 4-day-workweek and vacation days and productivity drastically increases by 90% and so does work-life balance.
If you could get 4 days for the same money, could you also get 20% more money for 5 days as well?
Don’t forget about how the companies totally effed us tech workers, while the rest of the company was relaxing at home, calling in, new laptops, sometimes entire new office setups – we were left scrambling… our workload skyrocketed while the remote people cried of slow connections and such. We, the IT folks, were over worked, and when the home users/workers threatened to leave, they were given a bucket of money to stay. while the IT crew had to remain at same pay rate, and even today, we are not even recognized for the additional work.
What the pandemic has meant for me is that I’ve been working from home. That is bad for my day jobs for a number of reasons – loneliness, boredom, lack of motivation to work when not surrounded by colleagues, time to think about what I’d be rather working on. Working from home for the past few years have made me increasingly keen to abandon working for someone else and take up my side-hustle of developing apps as a full time occupation. The only thing that has held me back so far is the fear that my side-hustle income is not going to scale up to be as much as my day job income, even if I commit 5 days a week to it. I dream of selling my house to get rid of the mortgage and living more frugally on just my app income, but that is still just a dream at this stage.
Same for me. Except I switched jobs last year. My new employer had some impressive talk about their corporate culture but there is none-of-that when we are working from home. Working from home has really resulted in a lot less pressure and scheduling flexibility. Which initially seemed nice. However, after a while it has (honestly) made me less productive. I’m not really into my career anymore. I feel less engaged. I suppose less-frequent communication has also turned into less-feedback. I started feeling less appreciated, but it is probably what I’ve actually earned. This also has translated into me feeling more self-conscious. This usually motivates me to “pack a parachute”, which turns into finding a new job. I have a feeling that it won’t solve anything because it is likely to play-out the same as my current job. Working-from-home has benefitted me as much as quitting-the-gym. I have more time, but feel worse.
You can still engage people while working from home, setting up meetings and chats. It varies by the person how they work from home, some are less productive when they roll out of bed and don’t have to go anywhere. You can screw around and chat to people in the office just as much as home. It all comes down to work ethic. I think a hybrid approach is the best way to tackle this – working from home has definitely ended any exercise benefit but the high gas prices keeps us from rising prices and stagnant salaries.
Tbh I am part of this but my company did provide the increase of my salary that I wanted. Otherwise I would seek my happiness somewhere else. Money was the incentive to refresh my will to work.
Somebody will say it was not correct but yeah it was, I felt undervalued after last rise I got. So my effectiveness was down and I focused more on how to get new job than work for current one. It wasnt really driven by pandemic that much. Tho the final raise I got was only due to inflation and pandemic. I would never gotten money I wanted otherwise. However I fully get that I will not benefit that much due to how inflation in my country grows.
I quit after 20 years as a software engineer, because I want to study for M.Sc. degree and move from engineering into research.
I also see the huge shift to cloud services (Azure & AWS etc), requiring the IT staff to once again re-invent their applications, add yet more technologies often with strange names (kubernetes, Prometheus, react, yaml, weave, rust, s3, elastic search) or names that you can guess what they might do – but without the usual ‘standards’ (e.g. nosql databases – couchdb or mongodb). On and on it goes – it’s certainly enough to drive some in IT away, as this swell of new layers over layers of stuff fragments the work to the point where it is difficult to access or make sense. But in other ways, after learning this stuff for a company – you can specialise in just one area and freelance. And with DevOps and Sprints resulting in dev work being divvied up into teeny tiny parcels – you can end up just being a piecemeal developer, never really getting ownership of a complete unit of work to really perfect.
Add to this the waves of data leaks (regulatory implications) and (the threat of) ransomware attacks resulting in panic responses and never ending patches. It can be rather distressing at times.
Plus.. with the energy prices skyrocketing, both travel (fuel) and working from home (heating & work space) have cost implications that may now start to influence some work-placement decisions too. Our UK Refuse collectors are going on strike, a result of having to work through the pandemic and now that the shortage of HGV drivers have driven up wages in the private sector, the public sector are wanting the same. I’m sure there are, or will be, parallels between all these. A ‘spring of discontent’ is swelling up – and likely not just in the UK.
Wonderfully described. Many of the points stated here apply to several consulting positions in the Big4 firms. It’s definitely an inflection point to many partners at the Big4 to stop undervaluing their resources to avoid hitting the bottom line and the brand value associated to the firms
I believe there is also a cultural shift towards acceptance of remote work, which plays a big role for software developers deciding to change jobs. Companies who previously preferred on-site developers are now open to hiring people from a much larger geographical area. This expands the opportunities for developers who would have been interested in changing jobs anyway.
I find it a bit curious that this article doesn’t mention vaccine mandates
All the numbers I’ve seen have shown that a tiny minority of workers in any particular field refused the vaccines in the face of a mandate; even in the health care field, the average has been around 1-3% at most. It’s not significant enough to have an effect. Vaccine refuseniks get a lot of press out of all proportion to their numbers in health care, the airlines, large tech companies, etc. Also, when these folks DO leave their jobs for this reason, a) word gets out; b) other companies in the same field usually have the same rule; c) when the issue inevitably comes up in an interview it’s usually a negative result.
It wasn’t really the point but I also noticed the bit about health care industry workers was brushed over quickly. I believe it is more than vaccine and mask mandates- seeing your workplace/admins make morally questionable decisions and fostering fear to discuss it pushed many out because they refused to be a part of that. One of the main reasons I resigned from my position was the duck and cover culture that developed from a scared to make waves admin wanting to keep the money coming.
Also, “curious” is a polite way to say it 🙂
And yet there are developers with 2 and even 3 full time jobs, 40h/week with benefits bringing in close to $500,000 year!
The increasing of remote work or respectively working from home lead to a new understanding of labor. This happens everywhere, not only with developers. The issue is, that this new understanding is not compatible anymore with the understanding of labor on the employers side. They act as if since the pandemic nothing happened in the world. They still want us to come to the office although there is no need for it. The idiotic reason behind this is the outdated view, that only a worker who is present in the office is really working or that the work can only be properly done inside the office. This obviously has to do with the ignorance about the work that their employees do. So here we have the real reason of not valuing them and seeing them as “resources rather than people”.
I resigned last week without knowing all of this massive “movement” (i’m from Italy, where IT jobs are hugely undervalued) and for the precise causes described in this article, you got the point perfectly that better is impossible in every aspect! GJ! I sent this article to my managers so maybe at least my colleagues are going to benefit in some way. Personally i strongly believe that i can do and earn more just by myself, enjoying personal and financial freedom. YOLO
Quitting is not at all about losers and loafers; it is more often indicative of “moving out to move up” when there is no prospect of moving up in the current job, whether because of (for example) rigid structure, ossified hierarchy with people not ready for retirement, or flattened hierarchy without recognition of advanced “individual contributor” roles. At my very first job, my entire team of four left within weeks of achieving a milestone (product ready for trade show) and the promised reward (all of us attending the trade show) being cancelled, all young and ambitious and feeling cheated (and all going to jobs paying more).
Ahh this brings joy to my face, I was in the same position where after busting my ass off for a year and implementing everything almost 50% earlier I got, I sh*t you not a coffe and a cake with a PM, but the PM got Bonus and salary increase… but its good if you wise up along the way and never accept to work for the people and company that doesn’t respect you or your effort regardless of the pay.
You can ignore this article. It does not even mention, much less discuss, the wholesale replacement of American-born IT professionals with “ChImLab,” Cheap Immigrant Labor. In many American industries, e.g., investment banking or pharmaceuticals, essentially all of the Americans were replaced _YEARS_ ago, before the 2008-2009 recession. And don’t get me started on, say, Microsoft, Intel, or Oracle.
Blaming woes on immigrants is a political trope. As the article states, there are 10.6 million positions open. At 100,000 or so H1B visas per year it would take 100 years to fill those positions with guest workers. They are neither ‘cheap’ (the rate of pay is approved by the DOL), nor ‘immigrant’ (they specifically have NON-immigrant status). They pay the same taxes as US citizens, but cannot access many of the benefits that those taxes fund. The question should not be “why are immigrants stealing work opportunities?”, it should rather be “why can’t these opportunities be filled with Americans?”
From personal experience, I can tell you that H1Bs are cheap for companies because they must have the sponsorship or go home. I’ve seen it first hand.
Also, Paul is talkoing about _YEARS_ ago. Also, outsourcing is a major cause of replacement of IT labor.
> *Software developers—even though their jobs can typically be done remotely and should, in theory, be more stable during a pandemic—are leading the exodus.*
That statement makes no sense. When people quit their jobs, it’s not because the job is unstable. This is not about people being fired or laid off, right?
It makes perfect sense that software developers might lead the pack in quitting, because they can easily FIND jobs in a pandemic. Software developers who quit already have something else lined up.
I suspect the shift to more remote work contributes. “Hey, if I’m going to work out of my bedroom, I can do that for anyone on the planet”.
Many are changing careers and mostly opening businesses of their own. Digital world is different, some even offer consultation online. This is big thing for Developers since the more businesses open, the more of them will need Developers’ service for landing pages and others.
I was in the Identity and Access Management space for ten years. Every place I worked had significant problems or during the interview process, the hiring manager was not truthful. I have first hand experience working 65+ hours per week and not being appropriated, and bonuses were made more difficult to achieve each quarter, it became pointless and even laughable. All for what? At one company, my own boss died due to work overload and burnout. I was getting nose bleeds and muscle cramps from the amount of stress, workload and burnout, and i was missing time away from newly born children, despite “work from home”. Tech companies claimed “work life balance.” What that really means, mix in your personal Dr. appoints, child transportation, vacation, etc. into your work – our expectations is that you never stop, “but we won’t say that outright,” for legal reasons”. I left my last IAM job, changed my career out of IAM and work for myself. I have no plans on ever returning. That’s one 10+ year veteran in the IAM space lost.