Occupational stress, in particular, is the inability to cope with the pressure in a job (Ross, 2005) because of a poor fit between someone’s abilities and work requirement and conditions (Holmlund-Rytkonen and Strandvik, 2005). A mental and physical condition affects an individual’s productivity, effectiveness, personal health and quality of work (Comish and Swindle, 1994). Thong and Yap (2000) have summarized prior studies on workplace stress, showing that, while the topic of stress continues to interest information system researchers, there has been a lack of a cumulative tradition, in terms of the specific theoretical frameworks used to understand the problem.
3.Job Stress among Software Professionals
3.1Software Development Process Overview
There is not a single way to define software development process like one assembly line; however, there are fundamental development principles underlying the process that provide the foundation to understanding the software house environment and its work-pressures. The series of steps that software undergoes, from concept exploration through final retirement, is termed as a ‘life cycle’ (Schach, 1996). The overall project planning requires a software system development life cycle to provide a framework for considering the specific tasks to be accomplished. It also needs to account for the interaction among management, development and software quality assurance and client throughout the project life cycle (Donaldson and Siegel, 2001).
3.2Causes of Stress among Software Professionals
Software development process is quite complex, from understanding of clients’ requirement to the maintenance phases, different sets of knowledge and skills are required. Hence, various personnel are involved in a cycle, like business developers, project managers, system analysts, programmers, coders, and quality assurance people; apart from other consultants who provide the insight into the domain knowledge of the area in which software is developed.
Like other occupations, software development process is also engulfed with extreme stressors. Various factors have been identified as stressors among software development personnel. However, Rajeswari and Anantharaman (2003) have identified ten most important factors that are crucial in determining the job-related stress among professionals. These factors are: fear of obsolescence, individual and team interaction, client interaction, work-family interface, role overload, work culture, technical propensity, family support towards career, workload, and technical propensity. Fear of obsolescence is the stress caused by changing technology when software developers feel stressed to learn newer technology along with their routine job. Software development is a process carried out in various
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