Rootconf 2015

DevOps and scaling infrastructure

Gaurav Chaturvedi


Coping with burnout

Submitted Mar 23, 2015

The objective of this talk would be to help identify the symptoms and few tips on coping with burnout.


Burnout is a widespread problem in our profession. Specially in the startup ecosystem.
I’d like to highlight the symptoms by giving a personal account of what I felt while going through different phases of burnout.
Hence also provide remediation tips, on how to handle this situation.
[Edit :- 17/04/2015] I cant see an option to select “BOF” so I am opting for “Crisp Talk”

Since we are planning to make this a BOF topic, I have modifed the structure of this topic a bit.
Now I am trying to strcuture it in such a way so to get more interaction out of others.
I am trying to keep slides to a minimum and get people to share their experiences with the sysmptoms as well as how they managed to cope with these symptoms (if at all).

Burnout and Recovery

What are we going to talk about?
What is a burnout?
How can you recognize it?
How can you address burnout?

What is a Burnout?

Wikipedia says:
a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work

S. Tracy says:
a general wearing out or alienation from the pressures of work

Why do people Burnout?

  • Taking on too much
  • Deriving too much validation from our work
  • Feeling like we are the only one who can do $THING
  • Living the bus factor
  • Caring about our work and community

Common Symptoms of Burnout:

  • Dreading work they once loved
  • Arguing over points that are insignificant
  • Over Amplifying simple disagreements
  • Being unwilling to delegate
  • Being the only one who ever volunteers

Addressing Burnout

  • Talk about your situation with the right folks (good friends, people who have been there)
  • Ask for help with your tasks early and often
  • Do something else for a while
  • Mentor others who can help if bus factor is low
  • Be willing to walk away

Addressing Burnout (help a friend)

  • Keep an eye out for the situation
  • Talk about your situation with the right folks (This is your friend first!)
  • Grow your community proactively
  • Offer to help with tasks or find another resource
  • Interventions are sometimes needed


  • Burnout is common
  • It’s OK to feel burnt out - be honest about your limits
  • It’s OK to ask folks to step down if they’re burnt out and not able to continue effectively
  • Stepping away early means you’re more likely to have energy to return later!

Speaker bio

I work as an operations consultant from Mumbai. I like practicing DevOps.
I’ve been working in the systems space since 2007, I have donned various hats between then and now.


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