2 years out from college, working as a team lead and mid-level engineer, and what used to be "oh we have to deploy this database update at midnight when it won't disrupt most customers" like once a month has become my manager pinging me pretty consistently at 9 pm asking where progress is on certain tickets and if I think I'll wrap them up that night. He keeps setting deadlines to the best case scenarios and not budging an inch when I reveal testing has discovered pretty big bugs, just asking "oh well what else is there to do?" "Fix the critical bugs we found" My response when pinged after 8 is usually "I'm done for the night, it's been a long day and I need a break" but that's being met with more resistance. Especially since the seniors who are being paid triple what I am will work till early mornings. I kinda had the asshole response once of "if you want me to do what they do pay me what they're paid" but my companies culture seems to have firmly moved to one with very little boundaries because of what other programmers were willing to do and I'm unsure of how to firmly say I'm not going to exhaust myself to meet these deadlines that keep getting set by nonengineers just because that's when management would like for things to get done. I like the work I'm doing I hate what the culture has become, anyone have suggestions?


JobAdvisor:

my manager pinging me pretty consistently at 9 pm asking where progress is on certain tickets and if I think I'll wrap them up that night.

Don't respond until morning. Just don't do it.

My response when pinged after 8 is usually "I'm done for the night, it's been a long day and I need a break" but that's being met with more resistance.

Your mistake is responding at all after normal working hours. As soon as you crack the door open, he'll shove his way in. Unless you're on call, ignore work entirely after working hours. Your phone goes into Do Not Disturb when you log off for the day and/or leave the office, and you aggressively screen your calls/texts. Don't even look at messages from work people so there's no chance of reading receipts being sent. Take work messaging (Slack, Teams, whatever) and email off your personal phone.

He keeps setting deadlines to the best case scenarios and not budging an inch when I reveal testing has discovered pretty big bugs, just asking "oh well what else is there to do?" "Fix the critical bugs we found"

He can choose between hitting his imaginary deadlines or fixing critical bugs. He can't have both. Tell him that point-blank. It is not possible to do both. And if he pushes, do not show flexibility.

Especially since the seniors who are being payed triple what I am will work till early mornings.

That's their problem, not yours. What this habit does to them physically and mentally, not to mention their personal relationships, is none of your concern.

I'm unsure of how to to firmly say I'm not going to exhaust myself to meet these deadlines

You say exactly that. "I cannot sustain the number of hours you're asking for, it's excessive, it will lead to poor quality work and eventually, every one of these people will burn out."

It sounds like you're on a death march project. It will not resolve itself. People have to stand up and say "no."

I like the work I'm doing I hate what the culture has become

If you can't change the company you work for, change the company you work for. I know "change jobs" is a trope around here but this will not get better if you can't convince other developers to ease up on the hours and stand up to management.