Burn-Out: What Happens When a Developer Experiences It?

Burn-Out: What Happens When a Developer Experiences It?

Living a life as a developer isn’t easy, and as developers, we can all understand how busy it can get. And we can all understand that coding for hours every day can lead to one of the scariest things in the world for a developer: burn-out.

My life for the last year has gone from zero to a hundred miles per hour. It’s been back and forth, from getting busier then slowing down to getting busy again. Eventually, this led to me having a burn-out.

Honestly, I’ve never experienced anything like this

I couldn’t push myself to do anything, and it was terrifying. For example, when I’m making videos for my YouTube channel, I would put the camera in front of me, but I couldn’t press the record button.

I’ve been feeling burnt out for the last two months, but I didn’t want to accept that this was happening to me. I had no desire to turn on the camera or respond to messages feeling like this.

You would think that since I’ve been creating content for the last five years that I’ve felt this kind of burn-out before, but I haven’t. I started reading about burn-outs because I was worried that it might affect me and my job.

It’s no longer a figure of speech. It’s a legitimate medical diagnosis.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burn-out is a syndrome resulting from unsuccessfully managed workplace stress. It even has symptoms that you can look out for so that you can check yourself.

One of the most significant symptoms is feelings of exhaustion or energy depletion. You lose the energy that you once had to do the things you needed to do each day.

There’s also a symptom of mentally distancing yourself from your job. You’re beginning to associate negative feelings and cynicism with your job, making you avoid it altogether.

Another prominent symptom is the reduction of professional effectiveness. You’re no longer to work on time, you’re missing out on your deadlines, and you’re no longer communicating with your coworkers.

This is all coming from burning out at your workplace.

Obviously, my workplace can be a lot of different things. I have my three companies, my job, and my YouTube. I love my work, and I love what I do, but when it hits you, it hits hard.

Many people from work and my friends and family have been telling me to slow down and take time to breathe. People have been warning me about burning out for the longest time.

You guys have been here throughout my entire journey. Five years ago, I was homeless. In the last 13 months, I have moved across the country from Los Angeles to Vegas and Virginia.

I got hired and laid off a lot, I started running and building three businesses, and when I moved to Nashville, I had to sell most of what I owned to move back to Las Vegas. My life started running at max speed, and I had to keep up.

So, I stopped.

I took a moment for myself. I took in some fresh air and rested up for a while. I pulled the reins on my life and started slowing it down at my own pace.

I had noticed that I didn’t want to do anything anymore and that my life was starting to control me more than I was. I got used to working at 300 miles per hour, that slowing down at 65 miles per hour seemed unnatural.

So I decided to do some R&R to calm down and understand that it’s okay to work at an average pace. It doesn’t mean I won’t work as hard as I am working now. It just means that I’m going to take a moment for myself now and then.

Burn-out is real. Take some time for yourself.

Chris Sean
Developer Relations Engineer @ New Relic