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From Burnout to Becoming a Parent: My Dev Retro 2022 Journey

From Burnout to Becoming a Parent: My Dev Retro 2022 Journey

Md Abu Taher's photo
Md Abu Taher
ยทDec 24, 2022ยท

11 min read

Table of contents

A full-stack developer with 15 years of experience, Taher had a year filled with challenges and learning in 2022. After 5 years of continuous burnout, recovery was achieved, and the joy of becoming a parent was also experienced.

Short Version

I recovered from 2021 burnout early in the year. A new startup asked me to work on a PHP-Angular technology stack. I hadn't used PHP or Angular in years, so this was difficult for me. I also tested a few different new technologies in between.

In addition to learning a new technology stack, my rentals had noise and dust issues that made it hard to work and recover from burnout. Even with these problems, I was determined to learn and change, and it was a good thing I did.

Throughout the year, I worked on blockchain projects, serverless deployment and cloud platforms, freelance projects, consulting, and system design, testing, and documentation.

I blogged about my experiences, stayed active on social media, and found passive income opportunities that helped me relax and reduce stress. Also, reading and sharing books helped a lot. It was fun and engaging all the way.

Right after leaving the job, I became a parent for the first time in the fall and learned the joys and challenges of parenting. Being a parent helped me prioritize self-care and boundaries.

However, after all of this, I believe I will return to JavaScript.Somehow, we cannot live without it in 2022.

I'm grateful for 2022's opportunities and experiences. My story and key lessons from the year are in this blog post.

Burnout recovery

Due to not controlling myself properly and many other reasons, I was burned out for years, and it was only getting worse in 2021. My programming and logical ability went downhill. So at the end of the year, I left the town, moved to a new area, and joined a new company, only to be greeted with noise and dust, along with more stress.

Breaks and boundaries helped me manage stress and avoid burnout. I learned to say no to extra work and put myself first. To recharge and avoid burnout, I needed at least one day off per week and clear boundaries.

I also found help from others helpful. I sought support from colleagues, friends, and family and found that being around positive and supportive people helped me stay motivated and engaged.

Finally, staying active and healthy helped my mental and physical health. I felt more energized and focused after eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. I was able to sleep 7-8 hours per night, which improved my energy and burnout recovery.

Burnout recovery was difficult but rewarding, and I learned a lot about self-care and stress management. I hope my experiences and methods can help others in similar situations.

Noise/dust issues

I struggled with noise and dust at my rental in 2022. The noise and dust in my neighborhood made it hard to work and recover from burnout.

I tried noise-canceling headphones and working in a separate room to reduce noise and dust, but they only worked partially. Noise and dust continued to distract me and make it hard to work.

Noise and dust severely hampered my work and burnout recovery. Noise and dust made me less productive, stressed, and prone to burnout. I had to work harder to stay focused and motivated because tasks took longer.

To reduce noise and dust, I changed rentals multiple times. The move was hard, but it improved my work and burnout recovery.

In 2022, noise and dust were my biggest challenges, and I learned the importance of a quiet, dust-free work environment to avoid burnout.

New tech stack

I joined a new company in 2022 and learned PHP and Angular. I had worked with PHP years ago, but it was hard to catch up. I was new to Angular and found the boilerplate overwhelming.

Despite these obstacles, I was determined to succeed and learn the new technology stack. I studied and practiced more and asked my colleagues for help.

I struggled to balance my work on the new technology stack with the JavaScript stack I was more familiar with. Breaking up my work and setting weekly goals helped me. This kept me organized and progressed both stacks.

Transitioning to a new technology stack was difficult but rewarding, helping me grow as a developer. It was challenging, but it opened doors and gave me new projects.

Remote/physical work

I switched from remote to hybrid work in 2022. I was used to working remotely and enjoying the freedom and flexibility.

The hybrid model allowed developers to work in a collaborative and supportive environment while still enjoying some of the freedom and flexibility of remote work. I enjoyed sharing ideas and learning from my coworkers in person and working from home when needed.

Hybrid models had drawbacks. The long, stressful commute was a major issue. I missed the freedom of remote work and struggled to adjust to the physical work schedule and environment.

Transitioning to a hybrid model was rewarding but challenging, and I learned a lot about the pros and cons of different work styles. Remote work gave me the freedom and flexibility to work with a team and learn in person.

In the end, I was almost always remote, and the company was so understanding through this whole journey that it meant a lot.

Blockchain projects

In 2022, I worked on several exciting blockchain projects. One of my favorite projects was a Solana blockchain platform that handled a lot of transactions with low fees and fast speeds.

I learned a lot about blockchain and web3.js while working on the Solana project. I enjoyed applying my JavaScript skills to a new and innovative area and seeing my work improve the platform.

Blockchain projects were rewarding and challenging, helping me grow as a developer. It was exciting to work on this innovative and disruptive technology and see its positive impact on the world.

Serverless and cloud platforms

In 2022, I worked on serverless deployment and cloud platform projects. I enjoyed exploring new technologies and methods for deploying and scaling applications in this area.

One of my favorite projects was deploying a PHP application on a cloud platform using Docker and Docker Compose. Learning about containerization, orchestration, and cloud PHP application deployment was challenging but rewarding.

Additionally, I had many reasons to believe Caddy helped me fix important SSL issues. To boost my productivity and efficiency, I researched and learned about different development environments, especially Visual Studio Code.

I also worked with AWS Lambda, Docker, and Compose. These platforms enabled demand-based application scaling and resource billing.They also required learning new programming languages, frameworks, and cloud platform complexities.

Serverless deployment and cloud platforms were rewarding and challenging, helping me grow as a developer. It was exciting to be part of this rapidly evolving field and see my work improving my projects.

Consulting and freelancing

In 2022, I freelanced and consulted for several clients. These rewarding and challenging experiences allowed me to apply my skills and knowledge in various contexts.

One of my favorite freelance projects was helping a client automate tasks using JavaScript. The client was fun and understanding, and it was rewarding to see my work improve his business. I also worked with other clients on web development, automation, and data analysis projects.

I advised clients on system design, testing, and documentation in addition to freelance work. I enjoyed sharing my knowledge and helping others improve their skills and processes through consulting.

I learned a lot from my freelance and consulting work. Working with a variety of clients and seeing my work improve their businesses and projects was exciting.

System design, testing, and documentation

I worked on system design, testing, and documentation projects in 2022. I learned how important and effective these practices are for software development projects.

I learned that system planning and design are crucial before implementation. I created more scalable, maintainable, and client- and user-friendly solutions by carefully planning and designing systems. Testing and documentation are crucial to system reliability and clarity, as I learned.

The problem with these is that the customers don't always have time to work on design, testing, and documentation as they need to bring new features to market. Sometimes I feel startups just need to focus on these to move to the next level, which they aren't doing.

System design, testing, and documentation taught me a lot about software development and how to use these practices. It was satisfying to see my work improve the projects I was involved in, and I learned how to make reliable, easy-to-understand software solutions.

Blogging and social media

In 2022, I decided to blog and be more active on social media to reduce stress and manage my workload. These activities had unexpected benefits.

Social media allowed tech professionals to network and learn about new trends. I followed industry leaders and participated in online discussions to stay current and learn new skills.

Blogging helped me manage stress. Writing about my experiences and sharing my knowledge and insights helped me reflect on my work and gain a new perspective on my successes and failures. This helped me manage my stress and workload better.

Social media and blogging helped me manage stress and work better. Sharing my expertise with other tech professionals was rewarding.

Passive income

In 2022, I explored passive income options to supplement my main income. These rewarding and challenging experiences taught me about this approach's pros and cons.

Passive income opportunities generate income without much effort. This may appeal to those looking to diversify or supplement their income. However, passive income opportunities can have risks and challenges, so it's important to research and weigh the pros and cons before getting involved.

To be honest, these small income streams gave me a boost of confidence when I was leaving the company and facing a slew of hospital bills and other expenses.Once again, the recession and the state of remote work demonstrated this.

Passive income opportunities taught me about new ways to make money and their pros and cons. I learned how to create and manage passive income streams and saw my work improve my finances.

Tech news

As a full-stack developer with 15 years of experience, I know how important it is to keep up with tech trends. In 2022, I made an effort to keep up with new technologies and trends and found several helpful resources.

Hacker News, Product Hunt, and Stack Overflow kept me current. These platforms helped me learn about new technologies, best practices, and industry trends by connecting me with other professionals.

Unfortunately, I was not able to join any tech meetups this year, but I was able to visit a few startups and learn from their journeys.

I learned a lot by keeping up with tech news. I stayed current and improved as a developer by staying informed and networking.

Book reading and sharing

In 2022, I read and shared books and followed tech news. This self-care activity helped me relax, learn, and grow.

Reading and sharing books helped me learn. I read books on personal development, business, and technology all year. These books gave me new perspectives, skills, and knowledge.

Sharing books was rewarding too. I enjoyed discussing books with friends, family, and coworkers because it was a great way to connect and share knowledge.

I remember even spending a ton of time trying to find tech-related books on Blinkist, DeepStorage, and other apps. And I bought a ton of ebooks, though I hoarded them due to a lack of time.

Reading and sharing books gave me many personal and professional benefits. This activity helped me unwind, learn, and connect with others.

Expensive Equipment and Experiments

I thought I needed a Mac Pro to handle my development work, but I learned otherwise. Dev containers and VPN services helped lower-end devices handle my workloads. This realization came from my yearlong hardware experimentation.

Virtualization and secure remote access helped me develop and test my code on cheap VPS servers and potato computers. I even bought a Mac Pro before realizing it wasn't necessary for my workflow.

This experience taught me to be resourceful and creative rather than relying on the latest and most expensive hardware.

Parenthood

My 2022 highlight was becoming a parent. Preparing for and welcoming a child taught me about self-care and boundaries.

As a new parent, I struggled to balance self-care with child care. To be the best parent I could be, I had to prioritize self-care, set boundaries, and say no when necessary.

It was a good choice to leave the company at the end and to spend tons of time with the family; otherwise, I wouldn't be able to take care of either the job, the family, or the work. Although I do not suggest it to everyone,

At the end of the year, I left the job, was blessed by a son, visited the village, celebrated a ton, and recovered a lot.

Parenthood was one of my most rewarding experiences, despite the challenges. I will never forget watching my child grow, and sharing this experience with my partner was amazing.

Conclusion

I learned a lot in 2022. From recovering from burnout to switching technology stacks, I had many opportunities to learn and grow.

Self-care and stress management were key lessons in 2022. After burnout in 2021, I focused on my health and stress management. This included blogging, social media, reading and sharing books, and setting work-life boundaries.

I learned about tech trends and new technologies. I learned a lot from working on blockchain projects, exploring serverless deployment and cloud platforms, and staying current.

Finally, becoming a parent in 2022 will bring many challenges and joys. While preparing for my child's birth and balancing work and personal life, I learned about self-care and boundaries.

Hopefully, my tiny story may help others facing similar challenges and inspire them to take charge of their learning and growth.

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