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I was planning to write under a throwaway, but I guess I don't care anymore.

When most people talk of burn out, they usually have spent years in the industry or probably have been probably working 12 hour days for a long period of time. For me on the other hand, I kind of managed to get burnt out (depressed) two years in the industry. I loved CS back in college, but my job felt like a punishment. The worst thing was I couldn't get myself to figure out what was wrong. The lack of a support structure for "emotionally exhausted" developers is surprising. But anyway once it got worse enough I just decided to quit, wasn't worth the toll on my health. Got back to the basics - started learning some ML and webdev. Built and shipped a side project. https://discoverdev.io - A daily list of interesting engineering blog posts.

Even now I have anxiety pangs, but at least I'm not depressed :) I realised I liked learning and building stuff in a collaborative atmosphere - it's something that just makes me happy. Currently I'm working on creating a platform for people like me - who just want to get together and make things.




> Currently I'm working on creating a platform for people like me - who just want to get together and make things.

Isn't this what hackerspaces are all about? Maybe it helps to visit (or found) one nearby you.


> (or found) one

That can lead to its own kind of burnout! ;)


Having been on the board of directors of a decently-sized hackerspace, I do not recommend it to folks looking to avoid burnout.


Still being on the board of a relatively small (sub-50 regulars) hackerspace, I second this comment. The perspective of spending all of your free time on paperwork and management tasks and no time whatsoever on actual hacking is not helping with burnout.


Not to mention being seen as responsible for interpersonal problems among the membership.


If the final goal is to socialize, founding a hackerspace makes more sense than creating a web platform. (And of course, joining an existing hackerspace makes even more sense.)

However, reading that comment again, maybe the phrases "collaborative atmosphere" and "get together" were not to be taken literally?


I think the issue is that founding the space replaces a lot of "collaborative building" time with "worrying about money and organization" and "being accountable to lots of people" time, which aren't exactly anti-burnout experiences.


Thanks for the link! DiscoverDev looks like a site that I'll visit a lot in the future.

P.S. I'll try not to go offtopic from the original topic too much, but my intuition was to click the hashtags in order to get list of posts that match that hashtag. Didn't work as expected.


Just wanted to chime in with a "thank you" for supporting RSS feeds. Glad to read you're feeling better now!


The first question that came to my mind is if burnout and depression are the same (your comment made me assume that you think they are the same). A quick google search surfaced this - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072470/

According to the article, they are different and have some overlapping symptoms which makes diagnosis difficult. The article seems to suggest that the path to recovery is different for both which makes it very important to be sure that the diagnosis is correct in the first place.


So basically, there were toxic relationships in your former job so you started a startup?


I wouldn't say toxic relations - it's just that.... I don't really know. I just want a "good fit" there! I felt very dissatisfied working there, felt like I'm not going anywhere professionally. The general feeling of being under-utilised. When I discussed this with my manager - his solution was more work :/ That didn't help at all. Used to have anxiety pangs and the like. So saved up enough to quit.

> you started a startup?

I wouldn't say it's a start up as such, more of a side project to recover from the burn out. It's hard to explain - at that point it was like I really wanted nothing to do with life. Now I feel a lot better. Hopefully in the next couple of months I'll have a decent product out the door! (Something else I'm currently working on)


Forgive me for asking, but, there's one aspect to your story that begs further explanation as it's not possible for many people:

How did you manage to save up enough money in 2 years to quit your job? Are you burning savings? Are you not paying for health insurance? Are you coasting on a trust fund?

It's a disservice to your fellow engineers suffering from burnout at a dead end job, to not explain the most crucial part of how you got out - money.


If he lives somewhere where you can get acceptable health insurance cheaper then in USA or from state and where housing is cheaper then San Francisco, then it is possible I would say.

Saving the difference between median salary and developer salary should be doable through less comfortable. The difference should give you at least a year of savings.


> If he lives somewhere where you can get acceptable health insurance cheaper then in USA or from state and where housing is cheaper then San Francisco, then it is possible I would say.

Sure, but I would also imagine he's making less than a San Francisco developer.

These are the kinds of details that are important, and are often left out when someone posts the classic "so I left my job!" post.

If people could just leave their jobs on a whim to save mental health, more would. So why leave out the details of the financial situation that enabled you to leave your job?


You are an inspiration. I hope you realize your dreams. Sounds like you deserve them.


Would love to hear more about how and with what you build that site.




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