Dev Blues

I am sure this happens to every software developers at least once in their working life, especially if one works alone like I do with ecto. My mind has not been on developing ecto this week. It started on Sunday when I ran into a wall with a 3rd party component that I was trying out. Posted on their support forum and got answers back during Monday and Tuesday but unfortunately nothing that would help me move forward.

That was just a trigger to what I have been feeling for the last couple of weeks. I don’t have direction or motivation when it comes to working on ecto, or so it seems. Every task always seems to be too big or too nebulous, with no end in sight. I kept running into problems that although I can fix in the short term by patching and hacking, but not really the solutions that I am looking for. And they kept distracting me from the tasks that I was working on. So I keep feeling that I am running around in circles and not getting anything done.

The strange thing is that I don’t feel that way with my development work during the day. Perhaps it is because I know I am in for the long haul and there are other team members to rely on. Don’t get me wrong, Adriaan has been very supportive in every way he can but since we work on different technology I can hardly ask him to work on a boring bit of code while I work on something else. But also it is probably due to the fact that I can only devote what spare time I have to work on ecto, which isn’t much recently. So when I don’t accomplish the tasks that I set myself for I get very frustrated, knowing that I am behind schedule.

I’ve been trying to take my mind off by concentrating on music and games and it is kind of working. I’ve worked out that there is another area of the application that I can work on yesterday that is pretty straightforward (i.e. I know how big the task is and how long it is going to take). We shall see how that goes when I start working on this later this week.

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3 comments

  1. Isaack

    I’m still going through this myself, it took me a long time to realise that coding 7-8 hours at the office, another 7-8 hours at home, 6-7 days a week for 3+ months… was a bit too much. And I desperately needed a break. I refused to believe that I had finally burned out especially because I was nowhere finished with developing programs 🙂

    So, when I started on my Computer Science studies, I combined it with Japanese which I’m spending more time on.
    Now these days, I’m doing even more things away from programming, playing soccer etc. and it’s all fun. But I still want to get back to program like crazy again.

    But I hope you figure it out, I think my problem was that I had burned out but refused to admit it.

  2. Alex

    I played loads (e.g. 4-6 hours) of Halo 2 online everyday during Thanksgiving weekend. By Sunday I got bored with the game and got back to working on ecto 🙂

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