Developer Burnout

Developer Burnout
Photo by Ali fekri / Unsplash

What should I do tonight?

I think I will spend some time starting up my own little framework of bits and pieces I repeatedly do when coding my own little projects. I might call it "X-frame". Who knows how far I will get with it. I might finish setting up that virtual Linux machine, as I got rid of my Linux partition when I installed that SSD. After spending an hour or two coding away I might just pop into some computer game and relax.

I think I will chill.

A few years ago I wanted to know everything. I spent the day at work thinking about what I would do when I got home and then spend the evening studying various things as hard as I could. I would stress over how there weren't enought hours in the day to do what I wanted to do. There was rarely an hour in the day where I wasn't productive in some way.

I was becoming a stressed out, neurotic individual.

The topic of burnout rarely comes up in dev circles. It seems to be a dirty word. If you burn out you just couldn't hack it. You should have streamline your workflow. There is huge pressure to learn and produce. But few talk about it. It happens to everyone, why would we be any different.

I got very close to burning out when I was in school juggling being in a band, studying for my bachelors degree and trying to develop my professional skills at home. I didn't let myself be a band guy, nor a coding guy or even just a student. I wanted to be all at once. This couldn't last.

After I graduated I took a little time away from it all and focused on what I wanted. I wanted to be a coder. So I reduced the time I would spend on my guitar stuff to do more programming. I also wanted to be more relaxed so I would be a little healthier for a longer time. So I did not fill up the void left by reducing the guitar stuff. I maintained the time I spent coding and started looking for work.

Now I have a great job developing cool software so I reduced the time I spent on programming at home even further. But I didn't fill in the blank. I just left it there.

After years, I finally had the opportunity to engage in lighthearted activities such as playing video games, taking leisurely walks, and watching movies. It was a welcome change from the usual grind of relentlessly coding to enhance my skills.

It feels great.

I may not have reached the same level of proficiency as I would have through continuous grinding, but I am content and optimistic about embarking on a fulfilling career in software development.

so what should I do tonight? Should I get stuff done, running in that endless hamster wheel of productivity?


I think I will chill.

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