In this training, meditation teacher and veteran software engineer Daragh Byrne gives you the information and tools you need to manage stress and prevent burnout (or start to recover if you're already there).
Developer burnout is real. Unchecked stress can cause burnout in programmers.
The stress response is a fundamental behaviour of our nervous system. Every software developer, like any human, will experience stress during their career. This is normal, and can be healthy or unhealthy.
Stress arises in response to perceived challenges/problems (for example, a deadline, mysterious bugs, or production issues). It’s a natural mechanism. There’s good stress, and bad stress. The difference between them boils down to magnitude, duration and recovery. Acute, temporary stress is useful and generally fine. Chronic, long-term stress is a recipe for burnout.
Knowing the physical effects of stress allows you to notice that you are stressed, and allows you to do something to recover from it. You can learn to deal with the stress of programming. Knowledge is power. Simply understanding the operation of the nervous system can help you explain your experience of stressful situations. This can help moderate the effects of stress.
On top of that, there are practices (breathing exercises and certain physical exercises) that encourage your nervous system to move from stressed to relaxed states. Using these regularly can help you recover from stressful situations or events.
Learning to reframe the experience of stress can be useful too. Stress can be useful, and looking at the sensations of stress as a sign that you are involved in a meaningful activity also helps.
Burnout is a long term resourcing problem in your mind/body system. You’re using too much energy, without replenishment. But there are things you can do to recover from and prevent it.
I've been building software for 20 years and have worked in some pretty stressful environments. Like many of you, I've experienced the energy sapping strain of burnout. I've had to learn, the hard way, how to build a healthy relationship with stress. My studies in the fields of mindfulness, meditation and flow state psychology have taught me many lessons in keeping calm in the trickiest of projects. I'm thrilled to be able to share the most important of those lessons here.
In this course, you'll receive:
- A comprehensive 30 minute video explaining the origins of stress and strategies for managing stress during your day-to-day as a software developer. You'll learn how to identify the signs of stress, how to tell healthy stress from unhealthy stress, when stress can be useful and when it can be a problem. Understand the effects of stress on your nervous system.
- Five audio guided stress management exercises that you can use throughout your day to ensure your stress cycle is healthy.
- A second 30 minute video explaining the roots of burnout, which will help you identify where you are on the Burnout Spectrum. Through several journal exercises, you'll look at other key aspects of burnout, including ways to think about what it might be telling you about your life, how your own beliefs contribute to burnout, practical tips for balancing your Energy Equation and how to identify and deal with toxic workplaces.
- A PDF on How to Say No Effectively.
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