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 devops 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.

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!


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Outline/structure of the Session

I'd like to make this a open discussion, something similar to a BOF.

People will be encouraged to share their own stories as well.

Learning Outcome

The outcome I hope to achieve is to help people understand and cope with burnout

Target Audience

Anyone who feels worn out.

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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  • Ellen Grove
    By Ellen Grove  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Gaurav

    This is an interesting an important topic, and it requires some courage to talk about personal experiences with burnout.

    Have you led this kind of discussion somewhere else previously?  This can be a difficult discussion to facilitate and I'd like to understand what your experience has been doing this in a large conference setting.



    • Gaurav Chaturvedi
      By Gaurav Chaturvedi  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Ellen,

        I have seen this proposal in BoF format at various conferences like DevopsDays Ghent and LISA14.

      Also I have also led a "Coping with Burnout" BoF at http://rootconf.in/2015/ 

        The way I want to go about this is starting out with a short 7-10 minute slidedeck with the above mentioned points and after that leading with my personal experience with burnout (Just to set the tone for this BoF). After that usually people pitch in with their own experiences, and this is where I want to concentrate the most to see what we all can learn from each other.

        If you have any suggestions, please do share with me and lets see where this goes. :)

  • Gaurav Chaturvedi
    By Gaurav Chaturvedi  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Srinath,

      I will have the slide deck up shortly.  

    I am planning to keep the slide deck pretty minimal.

    It will contain essentially the points mentioned in the description.

    I want this talk to be mostly about engagement and sharing of personal experiences about how the participants cope with burnout.

    Also I want this to be a platform where people can ask questions about burnout.

    Which is why I have categorized this talk as a panel.

  • Srinath Chandrasekharan
    By Srinath Chandrasekharan  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply


    Can you share a slide of the content you plan to cover and also a video of any of your earlier sessions.