Burnout.Clermont-Fd Area, France
You won’t be able to manage everything, they said. Guess what? They were right, I am not able to manage everything, and I will try to explain why in this blog post.
First of all, I am a PhD student, not a full-time developer. My daily job is about reading papers, understanding applications I am working on, and finding a way to automatically test them. Part of my PhD allows me to give lectures (in web development, PHP, and security). My research area doesn’t allow me to work on Open Source projects yet, so I don’t do Open Source at work (neither at the University).
However, I am one of the 50 most active users on GitHub (wait, it is subjective though), I manage a few Open Source projects from weekend projects (e.g. TravisLight) to well-known projects such as Propel or capifony. I don’t have any business built on top of one of these projects, and I don’t get paid for supporting any of these projects. This is Open Source after all!
To be honest, I am really addicted to Open Source because I love working on new projects, releasing new libraries that could be useful (like Geocoder I wrote for fun in one night), and also maintaining existing projects. I learnt so much thanks to the Open Source community, so I try to do my best to contribute back to this community.
But now, I feel really overbooked. I spend my free time replying to emails, reviewing Pull Requests, and understanding issues. Free time means each free time frame (in my car, while eating, etc.) here. And when I have enough time, I can code. I write tests, I tag new versions, I ensure each project I manage actually works. This is really time consuming because I need to loop over all my projects, all the time. That’s why I often release a bunch of new versions at once. But I love that! Seriously.
Thing is, I sleep 4 to 6 hours a day, I never stop, I can reply to emails even while partying with friends. It’s not healthy. It happens because I have the same workload I had when I was a developer (or a student). And, I did not talk about Twitter, RSS feeds and so on, to stay up to date. It just cannot work. It is not my job, and even if I am afraid to be egoist, I must admit I cannot manage everything, and Open Source is not my priority anymore.
That is why I have to stop working on Open Source projects for a while. In the next two weeks, I will try to be offline. And I will see if I can manage my time in a better way. In the meanwhile, if you are interested in taking the lead on one of my projects (or in contributing), please drop me an email, and you will become my hero!