Skip to main content

My Burnout Experience

I want to share with you my experience of burning out. After registering with Launch School, I am extremely excited about my programming journey. I studied for 10 to 12 hours a day, memorizing fact, trying out practice problems, understanding programming concepts. It was fun and exciting and I love seeing myself growing from nothing in programming to something more.

After about 3 months, thing starts to change. I started noticing myself paying less attention to details. I find myself skimming through the course material. I skip "Further Exploration" in the practice problem. I am more interested to study just to pass the assessment rather than truly mastering the concept. It was a gradual burning out process but I continue to study for 10 to 12 hours a day through sheer grit. It felt like doing house chore or working a day job that you don't like.

One particular morning I woke up, and I remember this deep feeling of dread because I can anticipate that the next 10 to 12 hours, I will be going through hell again , like I did for the previous 3 months. I started to take more self-approved 'leave'. I sleep through the day or play games. I procrastinated.

Right about course 180, I can't take it anymore. This is the peak of the burn out phase. I reach out to Chris (thanks Chris). Immediately he scheduled a call with me to talk about my problem. Talking to him makes me feel much better because he understand what student go through. Most importantly he did force me to take a step back and to rethink "why am I doing this". It turns out I was doing this to create a startup of my own. But the course is prepared for people looking for software engineering role. I was impatient and was eager to finished the course in as little time possible. This causes me to push myself too hard and I burned out !

After about 1 week of soul searching, I decided to start over again. Now I know my limit. Yes, I can push myself to study for 10 to 12 hours for a day. But I know I CAN'T do that for 1 or 2 year, every single day. I learn to pace myself. I learn to study in lesser time but more consistently. I learn to eat well, have some social life, exercise and meditate. Most importantly, I am fully aware and accept the fact that this course is prepared for people looking for serious software engineering work. Nobody said it is going to be easy.

Finally I have to say that Launch School is like a long marathon except it takes months or years. The only way you are going to finish the course is to take good care of yourself  along the way, know your limit and adapt LS into your life. It shouldn't be the only thing you do from the moment you wake up until bed time, I know I can't, I've tried.

At the time of this writing I am at course 210 and feeling great !


Popular posts from this blog

Problem Solving - Refactored

I am going to outline how I approach problem solving. The relative importance and the amount of effort/time required for each is stated as a percentage beside each topic. I borrowed some idea from George Polya's How to Solve It Thoroughly Understand the Problem (30%) When encountering hard problem , you need to deeply understand the problem at hand. Take a paper and list down all known facts and data and what the question is trying to find. Sketch out the problem if applicable. Visualize the problem in your head. A lot of times, we only have to understand the problem well, then the solution will obvious. Have a Plan (20%) You need to have an outline of how you are going to tackle the problem. You need to have a logical pathway that will ultimate produce outcome (nothing to do with coding syntax yet). Without a plan, you are just randomly poking around and got lucky. No hard problem ever gets solved without a plan. Plan using pseudo-code, pen & paper or flowchart. Use wh

Sharing my Weakness

It makes sense to know about your weakness and do something about it. Here are my known weaknesses uncovered during my time in Launch School. 1. I don't like to refactor my code   - Your first draft will not be perfect. It works but it may not be efficient/readable/best practices. You final code will almost always be better than your first draft. - It is easier to separate the task between writing code that works and refactor later to make it efficient/readable/best practices. - If you refactor your code often, over time you will discover your bad habits and change it. 2. I don't like to read other people's code - There are more good programming practices in other people than in you (especially for beginners like me). - To be good , you need to know more than one pathways to solve a programming problem (and there are always more than one way). Then you can judge their merit. - Reason for dislikes    1. It is considerably harder to read code than to write one (be