Site Reliability Team Lead at News UK

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21 December 2013

Post Devopsdays Ignite Talk Post Mortem

by Mike

It has been around one and a half months since I gave my talk on burnout at DevOpsDays - London and it has been an odd time for me.

The initial reaction after the conference was awesome. People told me that what I did took guts, that my talk was good and many of them had gone through the same thing themselves. It certainly boosts the ego a little. :)

After a week or so the momentum died down. I was still speaking to a couple of people about related topics, and still have a side development project ongoing about monitoring burnout, but it seemed that almost everyone that wanted to speak to me to congratulate me or to talk about projects and other things they were working on had already done so.

Then about a week or so ago something strange started happening; people who had seen my talk or the video afterwards started to buck up the courage to speak to me about they current problems with burnout. This I hadn’t foreseen.

While I have been through burnout, I am not an expert on the subject, but I will listen to people. I guess people are seeing me as someone sympathetic to the problem and perhaps might have some insight and impartial advice.

It is a hard position for me, especially if I know them personally. How do you break it to someone that they have a number of options, but their best might be to leave their job and all the security that it comes with? or worse still that if they don’t deal with the issue they are probably going to burnout and spiral downward and probably end up sacked anyway.

I suppose at the end of the day, all I can really do is be supportive and spell out the options; avoiding advising on any particular path. I just wish I could help people incurring this issue more. :(