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Software developers are working far fewer hours than they were in 2001. Figures from the US Department of Labour showed the average working week for software developers has fallen from 40.1 hours in 2001 to 36.4 hours now.

Factors include: less belief in instant dot-com riches, a better work/life balance and older (and better) management teams compared to the dot-com madness years.

Many respondents said their firms had a "crunch time" - a period of much longer working hours in the run-up to big software releases. Almost 20 per cent said they had experienced "crunch times" which lasted longer than two months. Two thirds of those questioned said they worked between 65 and 80 hours a week during such periods.

The Department of Labour found the average working week in the US, across all professions, is 38.3 hours. Software engineers in areas like software publishing, telecoms and computer design, managed to cut half an hour off their working week. The average working week is now 41.5 hours, down from 42 hours last year. More info somewhere on the Dept of Labour site here.

Is this true? Have your hours got more sensible? Let us know in the usual way.®

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