Well there is a sad, veiled message in this, having experience this in the top IBs on Wall street. ' We expect you to work 11-12 hours a day. (have no life). and if you do go back home, try to show your interest by programming at home too,whether its java, or C++. Even read all the books on C++ 11 , though most of them don't use it. many interviewers actually ask what you program at home (since you have to love programming). A lot of them expect or require you to be a programmer 24/7. ' For a senior programmer with 10+ years experience the expectation it practically eat, sleep, code/fix issues. It also has to do with the greatly reduced headcounts after 2008. Programming at highly paid jobs isn't a job anymore, its your life. At that rate you don't have a choice - you dream code.