Why I left Google: work-life balance  ↦

I love when software engineers share their career/life choices and the reasoning behind them so others can benefit from their perspective, like this one on bucket filling:

Somebody once described balance to me as three buckets filled with water. One for career, a second for physical health, and a third for social and family life. At any point, one bucket might be running low. But as long as the overall water level is high enough, things should be fine.

Scott’s choice to join a startup seems odd given his reason for leaving Google, but:

So: am I happier? Undoubtedly yes.

I work more hours. I’m more likely to be working in the evening or on the weekend now. But what I do makes a difference that I can see. Progress feels 10x faster.

Most surprising is that I have more energy. It’s easier to find motivation to get back in the gym. I have more energy in social situations.

Working more hours sounds like tipping the work/life balance in the wrong direction, but excitement about your work certainly changes the calculus. He’s happier now, so that’s great!


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