This October will mark my first time in Seattle and I am also hoping to swing down to Portland to visit my sister and her husband who moved out there earlier this year. I’m taking suggestions of where I need to visit on both of these trips! I fully expect to take advantage of, what I expect, is the best coffee in the country.
I’m super happy to be able to not only attend but speak at Open Source & Feelings 2015! Earlier this year I started a little nebulous thought that outlined what I had learned about founding a local chapter of RailsBridge. This idea had a lot to do with sharing information and confronting the feelings I had about burn out and about holding ourselves to such high standards really hurts us more than just reaching out to other people for suggestions and divide up tasks.
After developing the idea further, I was particularly yearning for just the right venue to give this talk that would be honest about how open source in general can be soul-sucking — mostly because we let it suck our soul. I certainly put pressure on myself to put on a good show at our RailsBridge workshops but often found myself a blithering mess of exhaustion afterwards that can last for days or even weeks. When sharing my experience with others who have either run RailsBridge workshops or similar education events, I get the feeling that this experience is not unusual.
I think you learn a lot about yourself by pushing yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally to deliver something to the world. A lot of your own soul goes into your project and it can be overwhelming if for some reason it doesn’t meet your outlandish expectations or you don’t feel like you were thanked for your contribution. This feeling is magnified by the fact that you aren’t even getting paid — it is all volunteer work! Operating constantly on this setting leaves us drained and pushes us step by step closer to burn out.
Having personally gone through this cycle time and time again through out various projects, I was super excited when I learned about the Open Source & Feelings conference because if there was ever a venue to accept this kind of talk, this would be the place to do it!
I hope to share my learning experiences with the audience and some tips on how you can set your workshop organization up for sustainability and avoid personal burn out. Notoriety is great, but no one wants to hear about how someone burned out and a really awesome gig turn into dust. Do yourself and your community a favor by creating a healthy and growing environment to do great work.
I hope to see you at Open Source & Feelings in October!
If you haven’t purchased your ticket yet, use code OSF_<3_15OFF to get $15 off your ticket price. You can register for Open Source and Feelings here: https://ti.to/osfeels/open-source-feelings-2015/