The tech industry is full of of exciting opportunities and fast-paced development cycles. These can be fun, but can also cause burnout among developers. Most developers want to enjoy their careers and love what they do, but high pressure projects, stressful work environments, angry bosses and stakeholders, and unreasonable deadlines can leave developers feeling fatigued and burned out.
When burnout sinks in, it can become even more challenging to stay motivated and productive, which is not good for the developer or the company.
Here, we’ll look at some ways you can deal with developer burnout: how you can prevent it from arising, or lessen it in your company. We will start by understanding what developer burnout is, what causes it, and, finally, how to reduce or resolve it to improve developer experience.
What Is Developer Burnout?
Burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism, detachment from the job, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.
Symptoms include lack of energy or motivation, changes in sleep patterns or appetite (either increase or decrease), feeling helpless, hopeless or cynical (i.e., I hate my life), trouble concentrating (brain fog), irritability or impatience with co-workers and family members, sarcasm and negativity at work, and increased absenteeism (calling in sick often).
Here’s an image that shows how most workers struggle with burnout:
image source: software.com
What Causes Developer Burnout?
One of the main reasons of developer burnout is a high workload. This occurs when programmers work too hard and don’t take enough breaks. It can also happen if you take on too much responsibility or if tasks are not delegated appropriately throughout a team. Stress from a heavy workload might influence your productivity and performance at work and burned-out developers may produce lower-quality work or even make blunders as a result of their exhaustion.
Another cause of developer burnout is when inefficient processes are in place at a company—such as unclear communication between departments or poor planning. It can lead to frustration for developer who may feel like they’re not getting what they need from their colleagues or superiors in order to do their job well.
Most developers are used to working with clear goals and targets, but when they start working at a new company, they find that the goals and targets have not been clearly defined. The lack of clarity about what their job entails also makes it harder for them to understand how their work fits into the bigger picture.
Lack of team support causes burnout for developers working in companies. When developers feel that they have no support from their team, they become less motivated to do their best work.
Finally, lack of communication from the team or management causes burnout for developers working in a company. When developers are not given enough information about their project, they may become frustrated and lose focus. It is important that companies communicate with their employees on a regular basis so that they feel like they are part of a team and not just working in isolation.
All of this culminates in a bad developer experience within the company. They don’t have the right resources to communication properly and get the data and processes they need to work efficiently. They also have to deal with bureaucratic practices and have to constantly learn new agile or DevOps concepts that interfere with their work.
Solving or Reducing Developer Burnout in Your Company
Developer burnout is no good for anybody: neither developers, nor managers and founders. It is important to tackle this as doing so can skyrocket productivity and in turn increase the company’s growth. Here are some ways you can solve the developer burnout problem in your company and generate a positive developer experience:
Developer experience is augmented with the use of a developer portal. This all-in-one portal for your developer teams is going to enable the centralization of many resources and request mechanisms which would simplify a lot of DevOps processes. Developers would be able to focus on their work without the burnout associated with learning new processes and jumping through multiple hoops to find answers.
Culture is the most important thing you can work on as a company. It’s the people that make your company, and if they’re not happy, it’s going to be impossible for you to be successful. Not only do people need to like where they work, but they also need to feel supported in their personal lives.
Encouraging open communication between co-workers is a great way to solve developer burnout in your company. Another great culture to imbibe is creating structures that encourage solidarity among employees and allow them to bond over shared experiences. This can be done by setting up peer review groups, where developers can review each others’ works and provide feedback. This allows them to feel more connected with their peers and helps them build trust with one another.
Managers should be available. It’s important for the people you work with to feel like they can talk to you about their problems without feeling judged or criticized. You need to be able to give feedback. Even if your role is more senior, it’s still important to give honest feedback based on your observations of how people are performing, and how they fit into the overall goals and objectives of the team/organization.
Managers should also be able to give constructive criticism that isn’t just sugar-coated “nice-sounding” words but rather clear feedback on what needs fixing or changing so that improvement can happen over time. Otherwise, there will never be any progress made towards accomplishing goals set out by leadership teams.
It’s a good idea to give your developers a chance to take on new challenges. Maybe they can work on another project, or maybe they can tackle a different part of the codebase. It might even be helpful to give them an opportunity to work with other teams in your company, or maybe use a different technology than their usual one. This can be as simple as asking someone who has been doing front-end development for years if they’d like to take on some back-end responsibilities for a few weeks; it might just reinvigorate their passion for the job!
As long as everyone sees this flexibility as an opportunity rather than a punishment, everyone wins. Not only does it keep burnout at bay, it also helps us avoid getting too comfortable (and complacent) with our skillsets.
Create an environment where developers can freely and openly communicate. Communication is key and transparency is important. In that light, listening skills and empathy are essential for any good manager or co-worker.
Source: Plato Data Intelligence: PlatoData.io