I deleted my Twitter account because of this. I realized it was an empty echo chamber of inaction. If anything you say can be interpreted in a way that the hivemind can destroy you over, they will do it, even with incomplete information and little to no proof.
I've determined that the key for me is to limit the inputs. My inputs now are a few cultivated social sites (this one, one or two tech sites), books, and podcasts.
In my opinion, feeding my mind properly has lessened my feelings of burnout. If you have the choice to feed your brain digital junk food, don't be too alarmed when it starts taking of too much space, like fat.
The number of conversations I've had to have with friends and family about, let's say, the "Russian hacking of the election" or "the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq" or "the bulk collection NOT mass surveillance by US intelligence" is greater than even the amount of time I've had to spend speaking to each of them.
It is easy (1x) to create meaningless content, it is harder however to address it and to explain properly why the point was missed.
Building a sound argument, clearly and in a straightforward manner is hard. Understanding the non-sequitur of your interlocutor is hard. Extirping the salient part of the inconsistency will force you to shave off the useless fluff around it.
Adding that fluff is easier, as it only takes intellectual laziness.
And not even that, say something in a polite way that people cannot discredit but still not like and you will get down-voted. I feel like you have to mold yourself to the hive mind if you want your stuff to be up-voted. Not sure if this is really how it is or if it is just me.
On the other hand, a lot of times when I say some feel good one liner BS I get dozens of up-votes.
I've found that putting a little bit of effort into form goes a long way in generating useful feedback.
Stated otherwise, it's about recognizing that we're not talking face-to-face, and that the characteristics of this particular mode of communication make it easy to misinterpret (often for worse) what is being said.
tl;dr: my favorite way to start a comment is "With respect, ...". It helps a lot.
There are also degrees of respect, and accordingly there are absolutely people I respect more than others. (It's not a total ordering, though, nor is it a zero-sum game.)
And frankly, this brand of tough-love is really ill-adapted to semi-anonymous written discourse. I suspect the reason people appeal to it so much has less to do with its purported righteousness than the ego boost that follows from talking down to people.
For me there are 3 reasons:
- I want to formulate some idea in my head and writing down something in response to other people is a way for me to organise my thoughts. In this case, I don't really care about upvotes or downvotes.
- I want to help a specific person. Sometimes people post something and I think, "I'm pretty sure I can write something that will help that person out". Again I don't care about upvotes or downvotes. It's nice if the person responds and says that it helped them, though. It's depressing when they respond and you realise that they didn't understand at all ;-)
- To practice communicating. Ideally it's on a topic that I know something about. Upvotes are my measure to see if people understand what I'm saying. Downvotes are useful to show when I'm just plain wrong (which happens from time to time).
The problem with voting systems, though, is that it becomes a proxy for approval. People try to cultivate approval and it becomes important for them to write something that gives them that approval. I'm not immune to this, but it's something that I try to avoid as best I can.
I think it is reasonable to care about downvotes to the extent that it means you should probably examine your message or the way that you are delivering your message. Given that you want to communicate, excessive downvotes mean that you are not being successful to the bulk of your audience. That should be an inward process, though. Getting angry at other people for your own inability to communicate is understandable, but not productive (I'm not implying that you do that, BTW...)
P.S. This post can be filed in category #1 ;-)
Its essentially giving the Internet a self moderation system for... the Internet.
I hate myself for have an impulse to read the comment section too, I don't know why I do it. There's nothing productive in it.
the easiest way to collect downvotes is to contradict any of PG's implicit or explicit biases. the weight of mass down-voting seems to have improved since sama has taken over and PG is blogging less.
That may seem like a flippant joke, but I assure you that my intent is that it only be about 60% that. I am not gratuitously disagreeing here, as it is my sincere opinion that when people here argue for the opposite of what a parent post says, it is more often than not because they genuinely believe that it contains an error of fact or because they wish to express their own, different opinion on the matter.
As for up-votes and down-votes, that's a measure of popularity, not correctness. You can be right about everything and still be unpopular.
I think that's because HN is full of pedants. Blunt messages don't cater to exceptions.
This is a larger issue with developer burnout I suspect. You master one thing and there's someone standing on the corner saying..."well, actually, I've got something better" and there's a very real anxiety in that evaluation process. Does object-oriented programming suck? Are functional languages the future? Do you really want an SPA? Should you replace your C codebase with Rust... or Go? Is Bitcoin worth getting in on? etc etc
You will interact with some of the most brilliant people on HN, and most of them are friendly and mean well, but without actual disagreement nothing interesting gets said.
...that wasn't intentionally contrarian.
Handy sanity tip: If your question begins "Should you replace your ____ codebase?", you can automatically answer "No." If you're really starting to hate your codebase, you're allowed to rewrite one module using a new tech stack, but only if that tech stack seems uniquely well suited to the task at hand.
Maybe it will suck. Maybe it won't. If it doesn't suck, you can use a bit more of the new technology in other places.
This will lower your stress and give you an opportunity to futz around with something promising every now and then. As a strategy, it will probably work best if you occasionally enjoy new technologies, but you're conservative about what you're willing to use in production. It also helps if you have occasional throwaway open source projects for trying out stuff that looks too new for professional use.
The only time I get heavily downvoted for being critical is when I mention a certain programming language - which I happen to like.
I often enjoy your posts, which I find quite insightful at times. I was actually surprised that you found yourself downvoted, so I had a quick peek. In reviewing the posts which appear to have been downvoted recently I have to say that they seem to be unnecessarily inflamatory. Possibly some frustration you feel is escaping. I'm sure when you look at it, it doesn't seem so because your view is filtered by the context of what you meant rather than specifically what you said. Others don't have the ability to distinguish that as easily. Experimenting with other ways of expressing that frustration will probably help. My own personal experience has been that when I consciously tackled this issue, it really helped my professional life as well. I had a pretty bad reputation as being negative early in my career.
I often enjoy your posts, which I find quite insightful at times.
Thanks - I try.
A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.
I think Kenneth is one of the people who should be a bit more ignorant and arrogant. 
There is a very real cost to this choice (especially depending on your lifestyle). For me as a huge introvert I could tolerate the cost of not having Facebook.
For Twitter I'm feeling the professional cost of not having an online identity or an outlet or following to once in a while be able to announce or promote something.
So I've been considering joining Twitter again after many many years.
Does anyone want to comment on that?
I have noticed all the time I'm hearing about people talking about deleting Facebook and Twitter and blah blah but I never ever see someone in real life who actually sticks to that.
I feel like I'm the only fool who has gone through and stuck with it and has paid the price.
It just seems having a large follower base gives you a bit of influence and leverage and a voice that you can use when the time comes.
I have avoided having an online presence for a variety of reasons mostly revolving around the negative aspects of social media but I'm feeling like the cost is becoming too high.
At the same time I hear a lot of talking about how good it is quit it and how bad it is for you and all of that but very little real action.
It just seems like everyone's suggesting it to others but not doing it themselves.
I've found this to be true on Reddit, increasingly true on HN (if you look at my comment history you will see people trolling me and accusing me of being a foreign shill), and writ large in American politics.
Psychologically, people are anxious, they have little time, and they have a lot of information to filter.
They have an idea that because you are anonymous you very well may be a US information agent from the Fort Bragg propaganda center or a a propaganda agent from another country. They think that you may be from a different political party or from a group of people that you think are culturally a threat to their type of existence (cis white male, LBGTQ or urban, rural).
And so when they filter, they filter out the imagined adversary and anything that increased their level of anxiety. If they don't filter, they often attack it.
The rest of the posted article is excellent. Going to re-read it from time to time to see if I'm falling into the ruts described there.
Of course, if you're trying to build an audience/brand then being anonymous might not be an option, but I've discovered I'd rather avoid such things and just work on my own stuff.
More like "It happens to everyone."
I know this is a developer-focused site, but this isn't a problem unique to people in software.
An old joke, "Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called everybody, and they meet at the bar."
Personally, I've never heard of or met anyone who loves their job and has burned out.
Burnout is a huge problem in the creative industries, amongst people who have fought, worked for years or decades, and clawed their way into a job they love and have wanted to do their entire adult lives.
For example, as Ron Moore (I think) says in the documentary "Showrunners", there's a reason almost no TV showrunner is much older than their early 50s. The job (which is insanely intense) burns you out, no matter how much you love it.
Maybe another way to look at it is the "burn out rate". Different companies have a tendency to turn excited new tech employees into minimally-productive ones in different time frames.
For example Amazon has a burn out rate of about a year, whereas Google and Facebook are about two years and Microsoft four years.
Why should this be the case? I think people above in the thread would argue that it has to do with culture and working conditions, with moral and with levels of individual autonomy.
I have also experienced burn out with a job that I disliked. In both cases there is a feeling of not being able to focus on the work at hand, that more effort will make you physically sick.
The author's example of eating ice cream at every meal resonates with me really well. You do get tired of it, even if it's conceptually amazing.
doesn't mean you love your job. means it's great as an idea on paper maybe.
Now you have!
This guy inspires me to always find a way to love what I do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6He0FWoFj0
Wish everyone was as happy as Tim.
I think we could all be a little happier, if we just tried. I'm not saying curing depression or burnout is as trivial as just trying to... But, you can certainly choose to be a notch happier than you are at this moment. Just one notch today, and try for another notch tomorrow. We can start by appreciating what we have.
Being grateful for something transcends being happy about that something. It's about holding in your mind, certain things that don't just make you happy, but resonate with you.
I don't, for example, think that just conjuring up the thought of a delicious ice cream cone, is going to have any lasting effect on your mood. Yet, ice cream makes me happy.
I do think that taking a moment to reflect on how lucky you are to have a family that is supportive, functional, and healthy... can definitely be a small bump, on the happiness scale.
I think it can happen in any job where: it's possible to care about the quality of your output, quality tends to be proportional to effort, and it's easy for your output to be discarded or ignored...
But somehow it is different in software development?
The nature of ditch digging is such that given enough effort, it's probably still possible to dig a ditch. It doesn't mean you'll be motivated to dig the ditch, it doesn't mean it won't be ridiculously hard to dig the ditch, but barring seriously physical issues preventing you from making progress, digging a ditch is mechanical and doesn't really involve a serious need for critical thinking.
When you burn out as a software dev (and probably other fields that involve serious mental investment), it doesn't matter how much you try, there's a good chance you'll just fail.
I do agree that software development is not the only field that can be seriously impacted by burnout, but the degree of impact seems to be highest in fields involving knowledge work.
In both cases the performance was similar. With earthworks I simply didn't give a damn about the job, so just pecked the ground unenthusiastically. With burnout it was as if petard went off, but instead of earbuzz you get numb to planning, focusing and executing. I actually felt bad about it, but doubt you'd see much behaviour difference from the outside.
So I'd wager the lack of motivation is a serious handicap in both cases. Sure, "anyone can dig a ditch" but I dare you try doing it for a day if you are not into it. Similarly I was already an experienced developer at the point of burnout, and the job at hand wasn't challenging at all.
It's not just about motivation, it is just that your perceived ability to execute (going through the motions) and actual ability are completely at odds and you eventually lose all confidence in yourself to continue.
It's not motivation for the job, it's belief in your own abilities / capabilities that erodes your motivation.
E.g. I still could read the assignment, understand the problem, even estimate how long it could take the former me to complete. Then continue wasting time in front of the screen, sometimes dabbing here or there, at 1/20th or so of normal work pace. The confidence sure suffers badly, but really it was down to complete lack of will to do anything.
There was a grandsibling comment that you can actually force healthy person to dig ditches and do other menial labor no matter what. This is a problem well studied by prisons and armies of the world over millennia. Thing is, whipping isn't usually tried with burnt out devs, who knows it could have worked. It's not like your IQ drops 50 points or something. USSR and China had a fair experience of forced intellectual prison labor, and things were getting done.
You can't whip a tired programmer until they write working code. You'll only get broken code.
A good analogy might be to the division between rank-and-file soldiers in the military, and military officers. You don't need to think to shoot a gun. You do need to think to decide where to send people to shoot their guns.
Because you literally cannot do things. Which things is completely and utterly irrelevant.
I don't understand why people still
a) think that "knowledge professions" are some kind of unicorn job where special snowflake sauce is required, and it's obviously totally different from those gritty "manual labour jobs" and you have to constantly set yourself apart (how arrogant is that?!)
b) purport this strange notion that psyche has little to do with the body. Digger won't dig? Just whip'em, it'll work for sure.
Often engineers (being human) will want to do a good job, give 110% on an important project, and when its over and their pay and work hours are exactly the same, they get angry with themselves for giving 110% instead of the bare minimum. They have this "I just wasted a month of my life because I'm a fool" feeling that completely zaps their motivation to do anything.
Getting enough or too little sleep is also huge so if you're reading this, make sure you get your (average of) 8 hours tonight. Think of it as a small way to unsure you live long enough to enjoy retirement.
Some burnout is basically your mind slowly coming to associate some (class of) activity with negative feelings eventually building up to the point where it basically becomes an emotional net negative to the degree you can't push yourself to work on it anymore and you (have to) disengage.
Then there's the kind of burnout where you've been marinating your nervous system with extreme amounts of stress hormones for extended periods of time (months or more likely years on end) and when your performance starts to degrade due to this, as it inevitably will, you keep pushing yourself to maintain your expected standard of productivity up to the point where your body is basically trashed and your productivity suddenly drops precipitously to virtually non-existent levels which generally takes years to recover from.
The former is mostly psychological; the latter starts psychologically but most definitely crosses into the territory of the physical.
As an aside; the book The Upside of Stress  is a really good book on dividing 'good stress' which basically trains up your body and 'bad stress' which bathes you in damaging hormones. Many burnouts happen when someone with a high workload unwittingly switches from good to bad stress.
It's why scientists burn out regularly. 9/10 experiments fail - and that's for a highly skilled scientist.
When PhD students or postdocs burn out, it's because of underpaid boredom, lack of communication about their research or job uncertainties, and a generally ungrateful and passionless environment.
I've never seen scientists burn out over failed experiments. They know upfront that (basic) research is hard and that 90% of their stuff is not working.
It's never a single failed experiment.
I can't think, off the top of my head, of a scientist that I've known professionally that I didn't see burn out at some point or another (besides the PIs). For those that I have been watching their experiments, it usually happens after a slew of experiments fail (anywhere from 1 month - 6 months worth). I've probably met about 75-ish scientists that I've watched burn out.* Of these, about 25 or so I have working knowledge of what they were doing around the time of burnout.
*one guy, after three successive failed projects that his PI gave to him, had a very characteristic pattern. He would come in really late (4pm or so), then play game boy tetris on a java applet for about 3-4 hours, then do a little bit of science, and come back and do more tetris. Some of the things he would do - using pipette tips in geometric patterns.
I mean it makes sense. These little achievements provide dopamine hits reinforcing self-worth after completion of a minor task.
I'm through some kind of burn-out experience and I realize it's really important to make myself feel good and that that is just fine. When I'm overworked I explain that I have limited time and stop working. When colleagues flood me with issues and problems I eventually stop talking to them if that's the only way.
Since programming is mental and not physical....yes?
Sorry for the crude metaphor. :)
One option is to find an enclave that is not a fast-paced startup.
Do you know how many big dumb companies out there are starving for actual talent? A lot! If you don't mind working with mediocre people and moving slowly, you can find a job in 'not hot' industries where the pace is not so fast. You might feel a little numb though :)
Isn't that exactly what hobbies and fun side projects are for though?
The second, like the author, was when I was gung-ho into a new technology and went at personal projects endlessly for a solid 12 months before I came up for air and took a breather, with similar but more superficial effects than the first burnout.
I regret these mistakes, and I've learned the hard way to do work in moderation. However, I am not an entrepreneur for these very reasons, and I simply don't want that lifestyle for the long-term. I'm hoping my health will thank me 30 years from now.
I was excited to start working properly after school, regardless of what I worked on, it would be something that mattered enough that I'd be paid for it instead of paying myself. I started interviewing mostly after graduation and while it was stressful (must find a job soon to pay bills, and start paying student loans) I landed one after not too long. I was fortunate that my start date wasn't until a month after acceptance so I was able to chill for that whole month and really unwind after the stress of years of school. Looking back I was telling people during interviews that I was basically available to start "immediately" (because I wanted more money immediately) but I really should have pushed for at least a few weeks lead time before starting in all cases instead of lucking into it.
I recently came back from a 2 week vacation of just chilling, it's lifted a lot of work stress that has been accumulating. But some times I've entertained myself with calculations about how long I could go financially if I quit tomorrow. I even did that at the start more for fun than stress relief, since suddenly every two weeks you're getting a paycheck that covers 3-6 months of expenses if you keep your college lifestyle. It doesn't take long to save up for a year of goofing off and then a couple months of runway to find a job after that.
Weightlifting is cheap, has proven physical and psychological benefits, and is eventually fun (sucks for the first few weeks/months though). I just recently starting taking lessons to get a private pilot's license. GA is expensive (relatively - anyone on here who isn't a student can afford it) but it's no more dangerous than riding a motorcycle and is a fairly rare skill. And it has the added benefit of being pretty mentally taxing as I am still very new to it.
Best of luck in becoming a pilot!
What I meant was if it's a priority, you can do it without huge lifestyle sacrifices provided you make a minimum of $40-45k/yr depending on your COL. Obviously if you have a mortgage and two kids and make $50k it's probably not the best idea. If you're a single 22 year old making $45k and you live in a cheap studio? You can do it without breaking the bank.
LOL come on now.
It costs $5-10k to get a private pilot's license which requires at least 40 hours of flying time. Most schools will recommend that you do at least 2 hours per week, which usually comes out to $200-$400. (It's easy to forget things.)
What percentage of USA residents would you say have spent $7k to $12k or more on a car, when only $2k is necessary to get you around safely?
But yeah, it's expensive, and someone earning more can afford to do it if they're merely interested in it, as opposed to having to be obsessed enough to make major sacrifices to afford it
That said, I have a friend who _is_ a (graduate) student and flies. He bought a gyrocopter for a couple thousand dollars, uses some license class that required minimal/no training but limits the weight of the aircraft severely (ultralight or experimental or something like that, sorry, not sure) and has ultimately spent relatively quite little over time on the hobby. Where there's a will there's (often but admittedly not always!) a way, but that doesn't mean it's not a way requiring sacrifices and tradeoffs
galdosdi is 100% correct that I didn't mean it's cheap. I meant if it's something you really want to do, you can afford it without selling your car or living in a hovel.
I know you mean well but this is the epitome of living in a bubble. :)
I experienced terrible burnout around a year ago that I'm still working to get over.
I had taken a pay cut to join a startup with the promise (contractually) that I receive a raise to market value + bonus after 12 months. The latter 6 of those months were spent working 16 hour days ramping up to a massive launch. There were multiple times were I was in the office for 40 hours straight. Throughout this entire period I was locked in and producing top quality code.
A few months after launch I approached my boss about the contractual raise + bonus. After blowing me off for a few weeks I had a meeting with the president and CEO where I was told that I would not be receiving either because I was not coming into the office by 10 AM. Not only that, but they told me they didn't appreciate the amount of work I put in, nor the fact that I had barely seen my family and friends in that the period because "no one asked you to do that." Mind you, our CTO had quit with 4 months to go until launch so I had taken some of his responsibilities, and I was the sole developer on Android, and one of two for the backend. All the while the feature requests kept pouring in.
Within a week I was bedridden, and I stayed that way for the next 3 months. I've been slowly recovering since then, but I'm not sure I'll ever be the same again.
I know I could've sued for the money, but it was the lack of even a basic appreciation that did me in.
Some people have told me that I have no one to blame but myself. I sort of agree with them, however, I know that if I would've gotten my raise and bonus I would've been fine.
Ultimately, if people want to renege, they will renege. Unless you have a ton of money and energy to throw at lawsuits, it's better to structure your deals in a way that clips your potential downside (e.g. work on a retainer basis, don't accept stocks in lieu of cash etc).
For me, it's the opposite. Since I first played Super Mario on the NES and wrote my first line of C a decade ago, I've wanted to have a career with computers. But that means I never get to switch off. If I'm not working on something cool at work (and no, I'm not in a dead end job... In fact love my job and team), then I'm at home trying to code something awesome (Was just setting up a DCGAN when I saw this post).
I have no financial worries and should technically be living the good life, but I always feel that if one day all computers in the world shut down abruptly, I have absolutely nothing to do... for work OR for fun. And when I got close to burning out a year ago, the hardest thing was to find something to do.
The route back involved calling people I hadn't spoken to in years, Reading (and smelling) a dozen books, Quizzing and quite a bit of travel. It was hard at first, but since getting back, has provided a much clearer view of life!
So please, plug off for a bit. Don't wait till you start hating yourself/your life. Life is about so much more. :)
a) reduce the scope
b) fail to meet the deadline
c) compromise the quality by frantically hacking things together over long nights and weekends.
Always go for option a), if you can't extend or get rid of the deadline.
Considering how hugely popular requests is I imagine my message was just one of so many he answered on day to day basis and he did all this without really needing to do any of it.
I guess I understand how he and other people in similar situations get tired of it all after a while. For whatever its worth requests is an amazing project and has made my life easier in my personal and professional hacking.
This is, of course, why it pays what it does: Software for software's sake pays about like math for math's sake, with the same people paying.
But unfortunately it seems that despite the deep integration with other facets of work and life, most professional developers seem to basically write code 80-100% of their time (including associated activities like meetings etc.). Far fewer developers are also domain experts (or at least domain enthusiasts) and spend, say, 30-50% of their time coding and the remainder working within the domain or on integration.
I wonder if this separation between the coders and the domains contributes to burnout. Maybe it's more economically efficient (specialization and all that) and we all like our abstractions. But having a lack of meaningful contexts to switch to, i.e. eating ice cream for every meal for lack of broccoli, can't be great. Directly gaining the benefit of the software should also help with perspective, motivation and an appreciation of the work invested.
But maybe it's too hard to find people who can fill what are effectively 2(+) roles in given field? In what areas other than science/engineering do people actually do this?
There's too many successful stories around that sometimes can cause depression more than stories about failures. It's a bit hard to explain properly in single HN comment. I'll try to blog about it during the weekend. If You're interested - follow me on twitter (@lukaszkups), cheers!
It's like all the suicides in springtime: that's the time when the people and the nature are full of energy and joy and life and everything. And you are not, so the contrast is extremely painful and hopeless.
Very often I catch myself of being angry because of lack of time, but instead do something with that I mindlessly scroll through my news feeds.
I was struck how most of the most interesting people I was following pretty much don't tweet any more.
Not sure if that speaks to how they became interesting, how much Twitter squandered what was once a special community, or both.
A lot of people read the same things, should we all burn out?
Eventually? Would everyone burn out at an equivalent speed?
I don't know the answer to your question. I do wonder if it has to do with being closed or open minded. The difference of a person enjoying being in a bubble, and one who wants to think outside of the box.
Also, there are platforms where people gather who think outside of the box. However at some point they become so popular, that the status quo of the masses takes over. (Reddit seems an excellent example of this.) To me, it seems akin to the principles of the Temporary Autonomous Zone (TAZ) .
The "publish-only mode" is a great, pragmatic solution to this problem. We need some sort of revision to the Tao of the IETF: "Be conservative in what you send. If you have time and energy, be liberal in what you accept."
You are also someones child, maybe a father or mother and only one step away from being a pianist, boardgamer, hiker, traveller or whatever.
WHAT? 2017 and you haven't met or saw a hooker in your life? you are kidding right? well if you want to meet some without leaving your room you could just search escorts in your area, it's pretty much the same as an a hooker just more expensive, don't be afraid to try! just remember to paid them after not before.
This actually changed it for me. I still feel fear that I'm broken permanently.
So, yes, another anecdote. Everyone just needs to really take care by managing themselfes. Working fixed hours only instead of trying to get features by the end of the day / week has done did it for me.
My summer internship was a much needed break but even now it's hard to go back to work.
I expected something more like maintaining a big ball of mud or dealing with unrealistic expectations or struggling against the inertia of a large company.
When I burned hard out at my last job, I resigned and decided to take some time off. Writing code felt disgusting. I had a timeline when I was going to get back in to work and the hope was that I'd be good.
Welp, the one month I gave myself turned in to two, and that turned into three and I still felt just like garbage. I normally work as hard as anyone and yet the inertia to write even the simplest code was insane.
My cat got sick and was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and the vet trips and treatment obliterated my savings. Within _two_ days of this starting I found the mental blocks removed. This is fortunate because I was starting to get pretty scared I'd end up homeless and starve to death.
Necessity caused by crisis seems to have cured my burnout. I've paid the rent on GARBAGE upwork jobs, most of them have paid minimum wage or worse while looking for full time work. All my clients have given me 5 stars and, while it's not fun, rewarding work, it's necessary and I can do it. I can say with 100% honesty that I physically could not have done it back in September when I was flush with cash and still reeling from my last work experience.
These people sound like they are bomb technicians not software developers...
> "I'd rather do anything else than this right now" — even though writing software is one of your favorite activities in the world.
So? Does this mean you have burnt out? How does this compare to jobs like algorithmic trading or mission critical software?
Burning out over stress of writing a web site? I call BS on all these burn out blog posts.
You have other problems in your life that make you depress, coding might be little part of it but I don't see what levels of stress can you be under while doing mostly non interesting jobs.
Do you have a robust mental model of the day to day experiences of these people who you are calling bullshit on? If not, I would be careful with your words. It can come off as fairly snide, ignorant, and callous.
For instance, burn-out has less to do with what you are doing, and more to do with the stress and effort required. It doesn't matter if you're disarming bombs ("bomb technician," huh?) or grading freshman assignments. What's more relevant to it is the value you place on the task, the recovery time (off hours) you get, and level of stress placed upon you. Even the most dreary job can burn you out if the employer demands near-impossible targets.
Educate yourself, then you won't seem as much of an arrogant arse to the rest of the world.
So this more like a being sick of doing things temporarily?
What you are doing and the effort you have to put in is what puts stress on you isn't it?
> ("bomb technician," huh?)
Huh what? Wrong term? Are you seriously saying that job that puts your life in danger causes the same amount of stress as grading papers? Sure, grading papers can take effort, but come on... That is just plain wrong... Have you ever been in life or death situation? Not much compares to it...
If your employer demands near-impossible targets and you are aware of this and not living in the country where it is impossible to find another job you are the fault.
Maybe I am seem like arrogant arse but you seem like you are totally disconnected from reality.
I think you are making too many assumptions about what kind of work and what work environments are stressful for different people.
Could the term "burn out" be abused? Of course, it's something that is difficult for others to verify. That fact doesn't make it less real for those actually experiencing it.
If you are unable to cope with some levels of stress it is not the coding that is the problem, it is you. Or do we just go around blaming everything else for our problems?
Should I blame you or me for my karma score? Come on...
He took ownership of the situation and made specific changes in his life. And guess what? It was a good thing. He said he is doing better now.
Sure, often times people struggle with making these types of improvements in their lives, but I think it is pretty antagonistic to view that as some sort of shameful moral failing, as you seem to be describing. For some, they might not have a lot of great options in the near term, and dealing with that can be difficult.
What's your main point here? It seems like you have some sort of axe to grind.
I dunno, based on his accomplishments and how much I rely on his work on a daily basis, I consider the OP to be a special snowflake if snowflakes exist.
Quick google search tells me this:
> ruin one's health or become completely exhausted through overwork.
And the only thing the post saysis
> It happens to everyone that writes code all day long — the sudden feeling of "I'd rather do anything else than this right now" — even though writing software is one of your favorite activities in the world.
This is not burn out... I'd rather do something else does not mean your health is ruined from overwork... But maybe I am just nitpicking...