re: Developer burnout is real VIEW POST



I'm in a situation where I have work to do a lot of work for school (and just be there like, average 7 hours a day, 6 days a week - which is itself pretty exhausting).

I code in my free time like I've been for about 3 years, however now I feel like it doesn't give me the joy and rush it used to! I try to tell myself that it's just because of my lack of time and energy, however that doesn't give me much peace.

Also, It's not like I'm not achieving things, many people at school practically look at me like I'm some sort of a wizard and teachers (mostly) appreciate my work. I hope once I graduate from this craphole, when I'll be presented with real tasks, normal work hours and wage I'll stop feeling this way.. Still, it haunts me nevertheless.

Has anyone experienced something similar? Is there a fix? I'm afraid that I'm really burning out and telling myself to ignore it because of . Programming is the only thing I've linked my future with, however if I really don't enjoy it anymore I could use the time to learn new things.


Hey! Sounds like a bit of a struggle. One of the signs of burnout is definitely feeling less joy in the things that you used to enjoy.

You seem to have a lot to do in your life. My question is - what do you do to recover the energy you expend? How is your rest and sleep? Do you do things like exercise, nap, meditate, journal... or is it all work, all the time?

No matter how much we'd like to believe otherwise, we've got a finite capacity for doing stuff. Burnout is quite literal - we burn out all the available energy. The fix is generally a balancing act - taking stuff out of the equation for a while in order to recover.


First of all huge thanks for the reply!

To answer your question, yes I do have free time. Usually I go skating or just meet with some friends, but really I do get (quite a lot actually) of work-out, keeping the rest of my sanity this way :D.

That's usually how I end up not having time or energy to do work. It's just a hobby for me at the moment, so I don't have any responsibilities connected to it (no additional 'motivators'). However after about a week of break, I find it really hard to just get back to work. That's when I'm really beating myself up with the negative thoughts, and the imposer syndrome, I assume I have, isn't particularly helpful.

Is it normal, that I find it hard to just get back to a project after a break? When I'm finally done with the school work for a moment, and I had some rest?

Later this year I'll have a chance to experience full-time work for 2 months. I really hope It'll clear my doubts.

No problems, I'm here to help!

Firstly let me answer your specific question - yes, it's normal to struggle when getting back into coding, whether you are burnt out or not. It's an essential part of the flow cycle - I experience it myself. Humans have what's known as "working memory" which is where you store your active task. Part of the job of coding involves populating that working memory with a model of the system and problem at hand. Naturally when you step away from a problem for a while your working memory gets filled with something else, and it can take a while to put the problem back in there.

That said, if that's something persistent, it's either a question of motivation or energy. It sounds like you're managing your energy well. So perhaps it's motivation. There's a sweet spot between skill and challenge that you need to hit to find your most productive flow. You can read my thoughts on that here:

Perhaps you can work on adjusting both? Make something that you really care about, something that would actually make your life better if it existed.

Your working life will alternate between these states so expect it. Some weeks code flows from the fingertips, others it doesn't. If it persists for a long time then it's time to consider whether you're burnt out. Perhaps, and if so, I can definitely help!

Check out the rest of my writing at, there's plenty out there about this.

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