Let’s take an easy, but great topic today: the topic of holidays.
I think holidays are very important for programmers, that’s the time when you are really leaving your life, except is your work is your life.
The amount of your holiday is pending on the country where you are leaving and your company, but the big question is: how to use your holidays exactly when you need it?
At most of the companies there are critical periods from holiday point of view: the periods when all the colleagues would like to have holidays (summer holiday, christmas holiday etc.) and the periods which are critical from project point of view. The first ones are quite predictable, the second category is unpredictable.
At the beginning of my carrier I made the mistake: I thought that it is enough to request for my holidays two weeks earlier. So in the mid of the summer I just decided to visit a festival, I requested my holidays and the answer was: “sorry it is a critical period right now in the project, you can’t have holiday now”. Ok, shit happened. For the next year I set up a strategy regarding holidays which is working well. This is the following:
Plan your year in the beginning of January and request for holidays. Plan holidays for the fix yearly programs and try to predict when be enough from work (it is good to plan some day in every third month based on my experience). That means you are the first one who is requesting for a holidays for the critical periods, you are the winner. And in January nobody knows when are the critical project periods, so it can’t be a reason for rejecting. Later on if someone is telling that there’s a critical period during your holiday and you should cancel your holiday, you can simply tell, that you already reserved something for that period.
If your plans are changing in the meanwhile you can still reschedule your holidays, your chances are still not worse than without planning.
This is easy and nothing special.
And just a short suggestion: never cancel any planned holiday because of work pressure!
All the best!