A man and a woman looking into their laptop with a hearts on their laptops and hearts surrounding them.Debugging code and nurturing love, side by side.

Double Debugging: A Journey of Love and Code

July 30, 2023

The lines of code each day is an exhilarating challenge. It requires focus, collaboration, timely delivery, and constant climbing up the corporate ladder. For most, the realms of personal and professional life remain separate, making the navigation somewhat easier. But what happens when these domains converge, and your life partner also shares your professional journey?

Well, that's my story. My husband and I are both software engineers. We started our love story in college, becoming a couple just a month before my graduation. Unlike me, he had always been set on becoming a programmer, whereas my path was less defined. I was working in the call center industry and switching to software development felt like starting from scratch. The turning point came when we were tasked with implementing a tic tac toe game during internship. Witnessing the code come alive, I felt an inexplicable thrill.

From the unique lens of a couple sharing the same career trajectory, here are some key advantages and challenges we've experienced along the way:


  • A Personal Live Rubber Ducky: Having someone in the same field to talk to brings an element of ease to our problem-solving process, making solutions seem within closer reach.
  • Empathy for Your Struggles: Sharing the same line of work means we understand each other's professional challenges intimately, be it micro-managers, difficult teammates, unreasonable deadlines, or stubborn code that leads to bugs.
  • Shared Joys: We rejoice in each other's professional successes because we know the exhilaration of accomplishing a task in the realm of software engineering.
  • Joint Discoveries: We learn from each other's professional breakthroughs and revelations. Having a partner in the same field enables us to push each other's growth in our careers.


  • Unavoidable Comparisons: People often compare our skills and successes. Questions about handling the shared messiness of professional and personal lives, and about who's the better programmer, are common.
  • Workplace Bias: When working together, there's a potential perceived bias towards your partner. This can lead to an undue burden of proving objectivity, which might result in being harsher on your partner.
  • Clash of Egos: In a field that involves intense intellectual work, disagreements over different implementations can cause friction and occasionally hurt feelings.
  • Blurring of Boundaries: Separating the professional from the personal can be challenging. For example, we've found ourselves celebrating our anniversary in a co-working space, surrounded by code.

Given the ups and downs of our shared career paths, we've devised strategies to ensure a smoother journey together. Here's what we do to alleviate potential stressors and enhance our shared experience:

  • Career Discussions: We regularly hold conversations about the future of our careers to ensure that we're both still passionate about what we do. It's easy to get lost in the daily grind, but we find it crucial to take a step back every now and then and reassess our satisfaction and joy in our work. This helps us avoid burnout and keeps us motivated.
  • Mutual Edification: We make a point to uplift and appreciate each other both professionally and personally. We celebrate our achievements, acknowledge our effort, and highlight our strengths. This not only boosts our self-confidence but also strengthens our bond, fostering a positive environment for our personal and professional growth.
  • Recognizing Soft Spots: It's important for us to be aware of each other's vulnerabilities, not just professionally but personally as well. Understanding our respective sensitivities helps us to communicate more effectively and navigate around potential issues. It's a continual process of learning and understanding that has deepened our relationship and made us better partners at work and at home.
  • Work-Life Mindfulness: Maintaining a healthy balance between work and personal life can be tricky, especially when you share the same career. We strive to remain mindful of when our work lives encroach on our personal lives and are willing to step back when necessary. We remind ourselves that it's okay to set work aside and focus on each other and our relationship.
  • Prayer and Prioritization: At the end of the day, we realize that our relationship and health should take precedence over any career opportunity. We strongly believe in the power of prayer for guidance, strength, and protection in all aspects of our lives. Praying together has not only brought us closer but has also provided a solid foundation for handling the challenges we face, whether they're professional or personal.

The concept of continuous learning isn't exclusive to software engineering. We're all works in progress, navigating our way through life and, in our case, marriage. Please remember, I'm not a relationship expert, and what works for us may not work for everyone. This article is simply a snapshot of our shared journey—our triumphs, our challenges, and our strategies. I hope it provides insight, support, or at least some entertainment, as we continue to explore this intertwined journey of love and code together.