This week we’re talking with Ben Johnson. Ben is known for his work on BoltDB, his work in open source, and as a freelance Go developer. Late January when Ben open sourced his newest project Litestream in the readme he shared how the project was open source, but not open for contribution. His reason was to protect his mental health and the long term viability of the project. On this episode we talk with Ben about what that means, his thoughts on mental health and burnout in open source, choosing a license, and the details behind Litestream - a standalone streaming replication tool for SQLite.
How common is burnout in tech? According to this survey from Blind, nearly 60% of surveyed tech workers are burnt out. Blind is an anonymous, work email-verified, social networking platform for professionals…
…used by 40,000 Microsoft employees, 25,000 from Amazon, 10,000 from Google, 7,000 from Uber, 6,000 from Facebook, and thousands from other tech companies, so there is wide representation in their survey results.
This one-question survey had a simple yes/no answer: “Are you currently suffering from job burnout?” And over half of respondents (57.16%, to be exact) answered yes.
So, are you currently suffering from job burnout?
Is it possible to work just 4 days a week, be happier, more productive, and still make the same amount of money? That’s one of many questions Aidan Harper and other researchers at the New Economics Foundation and members of the 4 Day Week campaign are trying to solve in an effort to combat the problem of overwork, which is “leading to a crisis in mental health and well-being.”
The single biggest cause of work related stress, anxiety, and depression is overwork. So much so that last year one in four of all sick days was the result of overwork — which is huge proportion of sickness caused directly by overwork. In some ways, you can look at this statistic as a massive drag on the economy. Losing that many work days is very expensive but, more importantly, it’s also a huge societal malaise. Every day people are feeling the effects of overwork and this statistic doesn’t even take into account the number of people who aren’t taking sick days but are feeling generally burnt out and are just barely getting by.
To summarize — the 4 day workweek is a pragmatic response to a the problem of overwork that is leading to a crisis in mental health and wellbeing.
If you’re just off the heels of the recent honest conversation about burnout on JS Party, then you’ll certainly enjoy this interview with Aidan Harper,
Saron Yitbarek is the founder and CEO of CodeNewbie — one of the most supportive community of programmers and people learning to code. Saron hosts the CodeNewbie podcast, Command Line Heroes from Red Hat, and she’s also the creator of Codeland Conference taking place on July 22 this year in New York City. We talk through getting started, lessons learned, mental health, developing and running a conference…but our conversation begins with a pivotal question asked of Saron…“What are you optimizing for?”
Andrew Askins shared his story of being diagnosed with ADHD and the pressures of ADHD that he faces as a founder. Andrew also shared how he’s getting better at managing himself and ways of coping.
I don’t ever want to use ADHD as an excuse or a crutch. But if I don’t acknowledge the challenges the disorder creates I can’t develop coping mechanisms. So I’m acknowledging those challenges and I’m sharing them here. My hope is that others facing the same challenges know they’re not alone.
As mentioned on The Changelog #345, we’re launching a new podcast called Brain Science — a podcast for the curious that explores the inner-workings of the human brain to understand behavior change, habit formation, mental health, and the human condition. Subscribe to the master feed so you don’t miss it.
I just want to say thank you to my friend Mark Bates who shared some deeply personal details about his struggles with a mental illness he suffers from called Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD). I can only imagine how much courage it took Mark to share this very personal matter with the world. Thank you Mark.
As we enter the holiday and end of year season, it’s important for those who are in a state of depression, suffering, or feeling alone to know that you may feel alone, but you are not alone. As Mark said, you don’t have to “suffer in silence.”
The first step in getting help is an awareness that there is a problem and a determination to seek help.
mentalhealth.gov/get-help — is a great resource for those looking to find that help.
If you are with someone whom you believe has a mental illness I offer you this advice: You can help make them aware of their illness, but you can’t make them seek treatment unless they are ready.
200 years ago, John Stuart Mill had a bout of what today we would call burn-out. The lessons he learned are still valuable: he discovered that happiness requires more than just rational, logical thought.
Itamar went deep in the history books to pull out this gem. 💎
I like how this post tries to answer questions on why remote companies need to openly acknowledge the mental health challenges of remote work. Amir Salihefendic writes on Ambition & Balance from Doist:
Isolation, anxiety, and depression in the remote workplace and what we’re doing about it…
In contrast to a traditional office, remote work puts much more focus on output — what did you get done — rather than input — how many hours did you spend doing it. There’s a sense of personal responsibility to get “enough” done that can lead people to keep themselves working long past the point of optimal productivity.