Thursday, December 31, 2009

Recovering from the depths of developer burn out - Some tips from the field

The Code Bucket - How To Recover From Developer Burn Out

“I consider myself extremely fortunate. I go to work everyday and do something I LOVE to do and I get paid quite well for it. Everyone should be that lucky. But about once a year I go through what I call, "Code Burn Out". I still enjoy what I do, I just don't come home and work on my own stuff. I don't spend all my time reading about software development and practicing to make myself better. I spend very little time on Twitter, and I don't even get on my computer very much after normal working hours.

Now you may say, "That's good. You should do that all the time. That's a great way to create a work-life balance and not get burnt out in the first place."

The thing is, programming was a hobby of mine long before it became my profession. I've tried other hobbies and haven't found any others that really stimulate me like software development. I just know I will hit a "slump" about once a year. It usually lasts for about 2-3 weeks. The problem is, this year it lasted for a month and a half.



I think it’s the frantic pace that gets many of us (developers). We have to sprint to just try to keep up with today’s stuff, stuff to just get the job done, let alone the stuff we “should” be doing and the new stuff that’s coming down the pike…

Is it any wonder that we hit the wall every so often?

The important thing [this is a Note to Self as much as anything :] is to pick ourselves up, dust off, drop a nuke on that fricken wall and keep going. What else are we going to do, we love this darn job…! :)

I’ve used all of Lee’s tips, but I think the best is “build something”. We do this job because we love coding… so to fight the burn out, which is usually due to not being able to code/tech/politics/BS/etc, is to code. Code to recover from code burn-out. That just seems right somehow, doesn’t it?

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