Preventing Burnout as a Software Engineer
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    By Steven Ghost Rivera

  • December 21, 2020


As software engineers experience burnout from many things. So today we need to discuss how burnout happens and what can you do to prevent and avoid getting burnout. Before we go over these tips and preventative measures, we need to keep in mind that burnout happens to everyone. It doesn’t mean that you have fallen out of love with software engineering. However, it does mean that you must alternate your mentality. 

How does Burnout Happen? 

Burnout is a resort of getting tired out not being challenged or not being able to learn something new. Which aides to the feeling of complacency and boredom. This is what burnout is boredom. It doesn’t have must to do with the lack of meaning like I have heard from some people on the internet. Which in some cases it can be but, in most cases, it really is the boredom of your current project or job task. 

It could even be a feeling a being pinned down from lack of responsibilities. I have some friends that started getting the feeling from lack of additional responsibilities. Promotions and volunteering are what I am talking about here. I don’t want you to only think that burning out only comes in a single form because everyone is different.  

How do I avoid feeling burnt out? 

Avoiding burning out is the easiest thing you can do but many people over look it. The short answer is to find ways to challenge yourself with personal projects. Building personal project are the kryptonite to burnout. It also allows us as developers to learn, grow and become better at our crafts. Plus, you aren’t held down by the feeling of deadlines because you make the rules. As well as allowing you to try new things. Which gives you a bigger sense of understanding of new concepts without all the stresses of the work environment.  

If that isn’t helping them you may need to start taking break and find other hobbies that you enjoy to help clear your mind. This can provide you with a sense of freedom and enjoyment. Plus, it can help give you a better sense of focus depending on the hobby you choose. The way that I have done this is with my podcast “The Dev Room”. Even though I discuss dev related topics it gives me a break from the screen and helps a lot.  This also extends to all the writing I do for this very blog. Just the fact that I am not coding and just working out my mind with other activities helps me gain more knowledge and readjust to prevent my burn out. 

One of the greatest ways of staying ahead of feeling burnout is to start treating it more like a job. Wait before you grab a pitch fork listen up. What I saying is not revolutionary but for me it helped. I started treating my work like work. This means setting work hours and unplugging from a long stressful day with stuff that I really enjoy doing like playing games and not just making them. 

The key to avoid burning out is to just stay ahead of the feeling. Anything is a great help with this. It just taking regular break and enjoying life a bit more. I know it hard for us developer just trying to finish our projects but just like the major AAA studios crunch is not good for us. We must not be bending ourselves backwards to complete and learn how to relax a bit. 

So, what are you doing to prevent or just avoid burning out? 

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