"I was a mid-level IT dept manager for a major newspaper..." ... and there is the difference. You are not a software developer, so you have no idea what it's like. When you have a problem to solve, and you know in your gut you are on the VERGE of solving it, very often you will work late or sometimes work into the weekend to get it done just to see it to completion.
I can not even count the number of times this has happened to me during my career, that I was sitting there coding coding coding, working on the problem, and looked up and it was 7:00PM or 8:00 PM and I totally missed supper.
It happens in creative fields all the time. Have you ever heard the expression "in the groove"? When you are in it, you don't want to get out.