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Burnout in Software Development

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Burnout in Software Development

  1. 1. Richard Dalton www.devjoy.com @richardadalton
  2. 2. Awareness Discussion It’s Important
  3. 3. Everyone
  4. 4. Symptoms Objectivity Action
  5. 5. physical or mental COLLAPSE caused by overwork or stress
  6. 6. a CONTINUUM not a STATE
  7. 7. exhaustion cynicism professional efficacy
  8. 8. fatigue irritability self criticism negativity sleep issues neglect health/weight helpless / trapped / no control risk taking depression
  9. 9. every day is a BAD day work is DULL or OVERWHELMING can’t make a DIFFERENCE self DOUBT
  10. 10. (maybe)
  11. 11. unclear / demanding EXPECTATIONS too many RESPONSIBILITIES PERFECTIONISM and CONTROL not enough SLEEP or RELAXATION sustained PRESSURE
  12. 12. VALUING yourself by the WORTH or QUALITY of your WORK
  13. 13. a SUSTAINED difference between the environment we WANT and the environment that EXISTS
  14. 14. it’s not always about LONG HOURS the DEATH MARCH ABUSIVE work practices work life BALANCE
  15. 15. it’s about ENGAGEMENT
  16. 16. it’s about CARING
  17. 17. “23.4% longer for those over-40 to find work”
  18. 18. “13.7% pay cut for those over-40 to change job”
  19. 19. Computer science graduates working as programmers after 6 years, 57% 15 years, 34% 20 years, 19%
  20. 20. the 20 year old coder the 40 year old coder
  21. 21. major technology shifts are frequent and negate the benefit of experience
  22. 22. frustration vicious cycle procrastination inefficacy detachment bad luck arguing cognitive decline
  23. 23. GUILT
  24. 24. JEALOUSY
  25. 25. TURNOVER
  26. 26. TAKE A BREAK
  27. 27. FOCUS ON STRESS
  28. 28. WORK MORE
  29. 29. SELF MEDICATE
  30. 30. QUIT
  31. 31. CHANGE
  32. 32. TALK
  33. 33. HOBBY
  34. 34. RELAX
  35. 35. DETECT PROBLEMS
  36. 36. RETAIN STAFF
  37. 37. LEVERAGE EXPERIENCE
  38. 38. Richard Dalton www.devjoy.com @richardadalton

Editor's Notes

  • Apologise for the animation
  • about me: Brief History, Career
    This is quite a personal take on Burnout, there are other perspectives
    I have not been diagnosed with burnout, or sought medical help
  • Lots of reasons NOT to do this talk. - CV
    This is important.
    I was surprised by how little I knew, wrong impressions
  • Tech Books, Target Audience
    Coders, Team Mates, Team Leads, Managers, Family
  • Objectivity: Decisions/Actions based on emotion
    Personal Experience, not clinical, not academic
  • This is the end result, clinical description of the endgame
  • The further we are along the road, the greater the risk of full collapse
  • Burnout manifests itself in 3 ways (the components of burnout)
  • How many have you got?
    Stories
  • NOW who things they have burnout?
  • Good day - Change Job, Bad Day - Change Career
    Insidious - Isn’t this just part of the job?
  • Causes can differ, we each respond differently
    Internal/External element to all of the causes, can be imposed from outside, but often we impose them on ourselves.
  • Job ambiguity
    Is the sustained pressure of Agile a recipe for burnout?
    Agile seems to deliver much that it claims to eliminate
  • The Burnout Paradox, the best immunisation is not caring about your work.
  • The Burnout Paradox, the best immunisation is not caring about your work. Good Programmers Leave (Here’s Why)
    Should this have implications for hiring?
  • Best company I ever worked for in terms of Work/Life balance, was one of the most frustrating in terms of Burnout
  • Life is tough enough for older developers, without burnout
  • Take with a pinch of salt
  • The biggest difference between a 20 year old and a 40 year old is responsibilities
  • Finding the time to reboot
  • frustration, procrastination => Databases
    procrastination => Act into a feeling, every day is a struggle
    Burnout magnifies tasks,
    arguing => estimates
    bad luck => memory on new machine
  • I want to read Dickens.
    Why don’t I?
  • Read less Uncle Bob, more Charles Dickens
  • Putting people on a Pedestal
    Grace Hopper, Colleagues, Open Source Heroes
  • My Biggest Fear
  • The burnout/turnover cycle
  • Treats one symptom
  • Treats one cause
  • Treats one effect
  • Treats one symptom
  • Throw the dice, probably change nothing,
    risk false positive,
    devalue CV
  • Change has to mean CHANGE
  • Eureka moment, talking to Sandra
    The last time you were happy at work
  • Excellent, but be careful.
    Have a reason
    Would you be better served working on something close to work?
    Or getting away from tech entirely?
    What is the real motivation?
    Seeking the fulfilment that work doesn’t provide?
    Not wanting to work on something that won’t be used.
    Everything worthwhile has been done (not by you)
  • Should be an escape, a distraction. Something else to focus on.
  • “Deliberate Relaxation”
    Really Relax, music, yoga, meditate, sleep, massage.
  • Canary in the coal mine for complexity, fragility, etc.
    LISTEN
  • Retain existing staff, not just those with burnout.
    AVOID burnout in the future
    Attract new staff
  • Who thinks they have Burnout?
  • ×