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What are disadvantages of being a computer programmer?

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Quick Answer

Potential disadvantages of being a programmer include long working hours, health risks and the constant need for retraining. Job growth for programmers is expected, as of 2014, to be slow compared to other computer-related careers.

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One of the biggest disadvantages of being a computer programmer is the associated health risks. Sitting in front of a computer all day can cause a number of health problems, including repetitive strain injuries, eye strain and muscle pain. Programmers can minimize the risk of these problems by using ergonomic equipment, but it is difficult to eliminate health problems entirely.

As the computer industry is always changing, programmers are expected to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments. This means investing significant time into retraining and learning about new programming languages, best practices and technologies.

As of 2014, the average working hours for a programmer are around 40 hours per week, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is close to the national average, but the Bureau also notes that programmers are often expected to work extra hours if a project is close to a deadline. This is known as "crunching" in the industry, and it is not unheard of for programmers to work double hours during these periods.

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