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Developer Mental Health & Mental Development 2.0

This is going to be a new and improved version of a similar talk I gave at RUG::Berlin some weeks ago.

Certain psychological aspects of being a developer have been discussed in quite some detailed already:

  1. Imposter syndrome - A popular topic with many, for some time. It is common, I think to some extent we have the answers on how to handle it now, but it is not a solved problem.
  2. Crunch - The days in a sprint or in general, before a deadline, when the pressure is on and you have to finalize something. I think this problem is not that specific in the way it manifests itself for developers, it has also been discussed quite a lot.

Other things, however, have not been discussed as much yet, and I will give more emphasis on them:

  1. Finding your place, as a developer, in terms of your career path. Being "Full stack" or not. Doing DevOps or not. Finding the right balance between always challenging yourself and trusting the things you are already good at.
  2. Finding your place in a community, like the Ruby Berlin or Hamburg one, versus being an "Einzelkämpfer". Active and passive participation in communities and conferences and the effects or benefits you can expect on your sanity and well-being.
  3. Dealing with day-to-day realities of being a developer in a startup, versus the ideal world we aspire to in the settings of meetups such as Software Craftmanship.
  4. Dealing with annoying / ignorant recruiters and how to understand where they are coming from - to the extent necessary. Dealing with "noise" in general.
  5. Going full remote and/or freelance. This is very much a current issue, given the Corona context. Who can help you when you work alone and how?
  6. Are you at the right stage of your journey as developer to mentor juniors already, or is it better to focus on yourself first, to not overwhelm yourself? If you are a mentor once, do you always have to be one?

I will also introduce some people and companies that concern themselves with mental health in startups, or at work in general, like Evermood in Berlin & Münster, who I interviewed with once, but never worked for, and Yariv Ganov, a "Startup Psychologist" based in the Startup Nation, Israel.