A dev newsletter

The burnout

I know everybody is writing about how 2020 was due to covid19. I will try to not talk about the pandemic. Ireland didn’t look so different from most countries, and my life was not so different from most people. So I’m going to write about something else.

I had a burnout for the first time in my life. That made me realise a couple of things: (1) I was spending way too much time worrying about a project that as soon as I change companies, I wouldn’t care anymore; (2) I didn’t have time to enjoy my personal life; (3) I didn’t have time to enjoy coding.

This year I read A Hacker Manifesto written by McKenzie Wark. It made me realise how I love to create and code, but how I hate to have my creative power alienated from me. After getting some days off to recover from the burnout, I started digging into the internet to see if I could find communities of people feeling the same way. I end up in websites like P2P-berlin, Hispagatos, the small-tech/small web. Tech being discussed in a different way than I was hearing along this year. It gave me a bit of hope.

The more I started digging into this side of the internet, the more scared I was from where we are at the moment. Few corporations controlling the way we share, we meet and play. And I kept searching alternatives, and I found The indie web, decentralised social networks and many many people building different things.

And I rediscovered what I love about coding. The burnout ended up burning out walls in front of me and made me see a whole world. A whole world with choices and ways to get back my work.

PS: I just would like to highlight that burnouts are not something personal. They are a consequence of systemic issues. I have seen other two people in the same situation. We should talk more about burnouts in the workplace, letting more people admit they are not comfortable with what is going on and making sure we fix those systemic issues. Also, always have people you can trust and know about labour laws. Join a group like iww or Tech Workers Coalition.

Regarding working late, always set the time you would like to turn off the computer and do it. Especially if you have many co-workers working on a timezone where their day starts almost after yours. It’s very tempting to stay a bit more and solve some issues, but it’s so easy to let it be your daily routine.

Since I’m working from home, I always walk before and after work. This is a way I found to control when I’m allowed to think about work.

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Final note

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