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Cover image for Dealing with developer burnout as a codenewbie

Dealing with developer burnout as a codenewbie

Babi-B
Aspiring Fullstack Developer | Tech Enthusiast
・1 min read

Developer burnout is a term I've heard thrown around a couple of times. To be honest I've ignored it up to now...I think I'm experiencing burnout.I don't want to be a loner who's constantly tired and late.

To be honest, I'm tired of the coffee 😅

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Do you have any advice (especially from experience) on how I could maintain a healthy habit as an upcoming developer?

Discussion (32)

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nixon1333 profile image
Ashraful Islam Nixon • Edited

proper definition: stress(+-)depression. 🙂
I use straight chair. No fancy chair. Just a straight chair compatible with my tables. There are lot of variation chairs, gaming, office chairs etc etc, just use the chair in straight mode. I know I know every now and then you may want to lie down in the chair like movies. But that will make your situation worse, so sit straight (Leant from lessons)
Stress(+-)Depression: You need to maintain a health habit.

  • Drink lots of water. Since we sit in table we think are not thirsty, but our body do need lots of water.
  • Do some lite exercise everyday or 4 days in a week. By lite exercise I mean increase you heartbeat to 140+ for 20 min at least. This will help you with dopamine release, serotonin balancing. Get a gym membership(make an investment on this. Healthy body is healthy mind)
  • Try to sleep early, wake up early. Our body maintains a biological clock. Though we try to defy every now on then. This will not helpful for later stage in life.
  • Try to do religious practice of your own choice or meditation(make. an investment on this). This can balance your body and mind.
  • Try to take schedule doctor visitation or medical test to know your physical conditions ahead of the time. (investment to the future)
  • Balanced diet. Know about your food, know about bit food chemistry. try to avoid sugar for long term health life(I am still trying)
  • Also you can see CBT specialists

P.S.: I avoid coffee to reduce stress. I only drink coffee when I am in high stress situation like fire-drill, hot-fixing, deployment, new features planning etc. Usually my coffee consumption is 3-4 cups per week. :)

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

Thank you Ashraful that was explicit! That first point about drinking water is soo true. When working I can stay the whole day without eating or drinking.

Also, the point on meditation is correct. I do know I have to take some time off but I have difficult crating and maintaining that time period

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nixon1333 profile image
Ashraful Islam Nixon • Edited

About drinking water. Try this way. everytime you return from washroom, drink a glass of water. Then you don't have to remember it. It will be by default.

For meditation think it as investment for future. Just do this whenever you get a time. I think the easy meditation is doing while sitting in middle of chaos. Inhale deep breath, exhale it. :)

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

I truly hope others profit from this too!

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tlacalv profile image
Tlacaelel Leon Villaseñor

Coffee is a great one, I get very anxious and angry with coffee, I used to drink about 3 cups of coffee a day after I quit I felt better and never feel the need for it until early that I got hooked up by accident and trying to get rid of it again, decaf coffee is a good solution for someone heavy in coffee.

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voboda

I decreased my caffeine intake by getting into specialty coffee and single-farm coffees. This is the world of sipping coffee like wine experts, and spotting all the unique tastes. Not only are the flavours fun and interesting, the drinking is done with presence and focus, not just mindlessly while you read your morning feed, and the caffeine levels are quite a bit lower when doing things like pour overs. Might be interesting for people who don't want to quit coffee.

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nixon1333 profile image
Ashraful Islam Nixon

I have reduced coffee 2-4 cups in a week :)

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nixon1333 profile image
Ashraful Islam Nixon

I have no problem with coffee except I can't sleep. I sleep only 4-5 hr a day. with coffee the hour counts is way less. I can quit coffee easily.
Only thing I am hooked up is sweet :| . The most loved slow poison in existence

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tlacalv profile image
Tlacaelel Leon Villaseñor

I agree with the slow poison thing, I was deep into it and it really was a poison in the long run.

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

I find coffee to be addictive. I take just one cup a day...everyday

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technoglot profile image
Amelia Vieira Rosado

Two-time Olympic Burnout Champion here (that ain't and should never be a thing by the way). Moving on to the advice...

First of all, listen to your body. If you feel tired, either mentally or physically, REST. If you decide not to listen to your body, brace for impact. This is what will happen: your mind will be in a bad state. You will likely start hating what you do, even those things that you previously enjoyed. Why does this happen? I'm no expert, but from my experience, I think this is the body's way of FORCING you to rest (since you decided you would not let it). It is your body's last resort. Make sure you do not hit this stage, because getting out of the flunk is difficult. You have been warned.

Secondly, as others suggested already: drink plenty of water. This is something I struggle with personally, since I do not feel thirsty often through the day. A dehydrated body is a tired body and as you may already be able to tell, a tired body is a tired mind. You are not at your best when tired (or dehydrated), so do not expect work to flow nicely either. Your productivity may plunge as a result too.

Lastly, hobbies and exercise. In my opinion, it is not healthy to just program all the darn time. Some people love to, and I respect that. However, physical activity is very important. Plenty of studies out there prove that there is a positive correlation between exercise and mental (and physical) well being. Take a break, pick up a hobby if you don't have any, and put some distance between you and your work. Once you get back, you'll likely be more energized and better equipped to solve problems (programming or otherwise) you were struggling with.

That would be it for the advice I can give. Seems simple but it takes time to break "bad" habits. Watch your step, you really, really, really don't want to fall in a flunk!

P.S.: these are tough times so, I'd like to take the liberty and congratulate anyone who is still sane, optimistic and overall not depressed by the global situation 😐😂. You rock!

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abhiondemand profile image
Abhi

I'd echo a lot of the suggestions here about maintaining a healthy diet, exercising, sleeping, and taking breaks. Those are foundational.

One suggestion that has helped me that I haven't seen on here yet is to find one other aspiring developer (or a small group) and occasionally pair program or work on things together. I found that this brought me energy.

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

Thank you Abhi. I did not think of that, the support group I mean. I think that's a great idea! 🙂

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ndeh007 profile image
Akumah Ndeh-Ngwa

Allocate enough time for sleep, lest ... 😏

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babib profile image
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voboda

Some good advice in all the comments -

A few things that helped me with burn out:

  1. Meditation, especially as a practice to become aware of your state of mind.
  2. Tuning into your motivation. I let myself work on whatever my mind is already thinking about, rather than forcing myself. The "chores" have a way of becoming interesting later as long as you can keep the "motivation momentum" going.
  3. Build off "anchor habits." For me, my morning coffee was a pretty regular routine, so I started adding meditation (5 minutes) after coffee. Then yoga (5 minutes) after mediation. That makes a bad habit useful to build good habits, rather than trying to "break" habits which is way harder. I also don't worry about "streaks" I just try to pick something easy enough that I do it daily and if I miss a day, who cares. After a year, I meditate for 20 minutes, and do you yoga for 20-30 minutes each day, though I started with 5.

By the way, meditation can take many forms, it can be done to give yourself a break from thought loops, to become aware of how your mind works. If it's interesting, I made a little meditation app/journal inspired by a less common style of meditation called koans.

To deal with learning overload, here are a few other heuristics that might be useful:

  1. Easy means easy to debug. So I try to avoid introducing complexity.
  2. I don't waste time on automation or abstractions if I can just ship it a simple way first. (I say this to myself, but if I'm honest, I get pretty caught up in rabbit holes a lot.)
  3. I give myself time to learn fundamental APIs, but not convenience APIs. (Convenience libraries are the ones that sell themselves as time savers up-front, but are abstractions of something with the same function. If a convenience library shows any early signs of being tricky, or I need to look at its code to figure something out, I throw it out and let myself spend the time to learn the underlying API instead. Eg. IntersectionObserver, Web Push, Web Workers. These are easier than you think, and in the end, easier to work with them directly than finding some module on npm.)
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Juan Fernando Gallego Gomez

Don't delay pending personal situations. Don't work with a worry or a pending discussion with your near ones. If a personal situation is very serious and even takes several days to solve, is better to take some days off.
If not you are going to add way lots of stress and your performance will drop badly.

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

Thank you Juan 🙂. Have a clear head before studying ✍️

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ryencode profile image
Ryan Brown

Hopefully you and your leader can have frank and honest discussions about how you are doing and what they can do to help.
I tend to burn-out on long-drawn-out projects, (that usually have conflicting, missing changing, and error prone requirements) so If I can can transition to some quick-wins mid-stream that helps to clear the mind and rebuild moral. Focus is good, but knowing when to stop spinning wheels is good.
Walks are good, talks with friends and co-workers are good, eat better, exercise some, and sleep well.

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

"...knowing when to stop..." thank you Ryan

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Micah Anji

Great Babi. This has also been happening to me.
I think at times it's good to take a short leave to distract yourself and also when one seem to be doing many things at once without getting expected results such things happen.
I think one should see a great progress from one work before diving into another

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

Thanks Micah. Doing one thing at a time is definitely a great idea

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Alex Theobold

It is easy (and logical) to think that spending all of your time working, will lead to better results. However, as with anything in life, it is important that you find a balance that works for you.

You may want to consider listening to some of the talks by David Heinemeier Hansson (creator of Ruby on Rails) on Youtube or reading his books as he is an advocate for balance and speaks intelligently and passionately on this very subject.

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

Thank you for the reference Alex 😊. I'll definitely check that out

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Kevin Hicks

Make sure to take breaks. In addition to the regular sleep and not coding all day long advice, take small breaks throughout the day. It can be good to get up and walk around every hour or maybe less. You could also use a Pomodoro timer to switch between more focused work and taking a break or more relaxing work.

Also, have a hobby outside of coding. Watch movies, tv, read books, getting outside, crafting something with your hands, etc. A hobby that gets you off a computer can be helpful so you aren't staring at a computer screen all day.

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

Thank you Kevin 😊! I'll check out that Pomodoro timer, it sounds truly helpful

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yaya-mamoudou

Well I usually do a 3 to 4 hours work then 1 hour sleep. It works fine for me😊

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

Hello yaya-mamoudou. I like the idea of taking breaks. I'll try that. Maybe after 1hour for starters. But I don't think sleeping is the way to go...especially for someone like me

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Vic Shóstak

About games. Also, try to play (real) board games with your family or friends.

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Rushan S J

You really need to get some sleep. Try watching a small movie, listening to some music (No rock please) and play some peaceful games.
P.S: Coffee will calm your mind though you're tired of it.

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babib profile image
Babi-B Author

Thank you darkphantom7750. I'll try listening to some music during my breaks. I'm not sure about the movies though, I could easily get hooked 😅

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