19 Comments
Oct 16, 2023·edited Oct 16, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

Excellent article!

I love how you focus on the external causes of burnout, how it's much more than working long hours, it's about how the organization is run.

So much of what you said was also my experience. I deeply felt the pain of working my ass off on projects that didn't see the light of day.

With respect to trust, I want to say it's a two way street. Feeling not trusted can burn you out, but so does feeling like you can't trust anybody and you're walking on eggshells.

My hope is that our burnout experiences can bring awareness and help. Thank you for writing about it!

Expand full comment

Very relatable post with a lot of unfortunate situations I'm sure come to mind.

Definitely relate to the first point of micromanaging and not trusting. It can be frustrating when so much emphasis is put on every minor detail especially if you are in the early stages and it's causing tons of unnecessary slowdowns.

Also nice that you mentioned Irina's posts. I'm excited to see her talk live at the Elevate conference!

Expand full comment
Oct 16, 2023·edited Oct 16, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

The fact that I get to talk about such important topic at a conference with leaders from so many companies gives me hope that the industry is starting to care more and more about this and we're heading in a better direction.

Excited to see you there!

Expand full comment
Oct 25, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

This article is quite an interesting read, and it closely resonates with my own experiences. I can definitely relate to many of the points mentioned.

Once, I found myself deeply involved in a rather significant project, and I couldn't help but notice the excessive time spent on the design phase. It led to weeks filled with endless meetings, extensive documentation, and a constant stream of emails. Sadly, after a long development cycle, the whole project was suddenly canceled, rendering all our code efforts futile. The team felt demoralized, and it was disheartening to see so much effort go to waste.

As the article rightly emphasizes, it's crucial to maintain a passion for your work, build trust with your leaders, and, most importantly, ensure your contributions have a tangible impact. These key elements can make all the difference in preventing burnout and creating a productive and fulfilling work environment.

Expand full comment
Oct 16, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

Bonus 2: withold payrises for years on end. Your best devs will jump ship, the ones that know your system will stop giving a shit.

Expand full comment
Oct 16, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

Great article.

I’ve recently faced micromanagement and while it led to me burning out.

I still can’t change my situation because the job market is tough but I was able to alleviate it a bit my discussing with the project manager.

Sometimes, engineers just need to be trusted and treated like adults.

Expand full comment

Great article straight from my daily.dev feed as autist, although I may also write my own burnout handbook but neurodivergent edition.

Expand full comment
Nov 17, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

we have the same issue, in our start-up our product took nearly two years and we have not shipped it to the customer yet. it's frustrating man

Expand full comment
Oct 18, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

That article resonates with my own experience. My rule for paperwork: what is each document intended for? If the answer is only "to comply with a standard", you are in trouble. At best, the standard is purposeful but that purpose is lost to your leadership. At worse the company never intends to use the document, everyone knows it and the quality suffers. Low quality becomes "normal".

I found purposeless paperwork, along with long approval path through non-qualified parties, to be an effective motivation killer.

Expand full comment
Oct 17, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

Great article! I had to look it up, so for others here’s the source of the 2021 study on burnout: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/sustainable-inclusive-growth/chart-of-the-day/employee-burnout-is-ubiquitous-alarming-and-still-underreported

Expand full comment
author
Oct 17, 2023·edited Oct 17, 2023Author

Thank you for this! I usually add sources to every image, but looks like I missed that one! Just added it in right now.

Expand full comment
Oct 17, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

Autonomy and trust are so critical for a healthy work environment. Thanks for writing about such an important topic, especially from your own perspective!

Expand full comment
Oct 16, 2023Liked by Leonardo Creed

A nice article for a specific audience at a specific age and stage of the career, that we all have to go through.

These kinds of startup founders are true cancer. If you want to learn more about some of the other things they can do to burn the value in their startup, their is a series here that you could be interested in: https://bootcamp.uxdesign.cc/fail-to-scale-part-1-ad136e94b993

Expand full comment

Nice article. I really like how you share personal experience in each section. Can relate to all of them and unfortunately have been through all of them. But hey, if we understand how bad looks like, we can a lot easier make things "good"!

Expand full comment

Love the article. We fail to watch out for the micro signals that screen 'you are getting burned out'. It is very important to invest in one's own health to watch out for burnout and treat it.

Expand full comment

What if the software engineering companies were democracies and not private tyrannies?

Expand full comment

I believe some of these poor practices are intentional in large organizations to consistently wash out 20% or more of the workforce annually (Stacked rating system- Any employee development is considered too expensive. Wash out anyone that shows any weaknesses or need for professional mentoring).

Expand full comment

I don’t think this is true. It’s the best employees that usually get burned out because they care the most. I don’t believe companies deliberately want to get rid of their best people.

Expand full comment

I was talking about any employees who need development (Perhaps those who could be good or great assets with some professional development), not the top performers of the organization.

Expand full comment