CodeNewbie Community 🌱

Cover image for [On-Demand Talk] A Programmer's Guide to Mental Health
Raymond Chung for CodeLand 2022

Posted on

[On-Demand Talk] A Programmer's Guide to Mental Health

About this talk

Starting your first software development job is very rewarding. You get to apply what you learned from school, bootcamp, or self-learning to a product used by actual customers.

Once you start, you will likely experience imposter syndrome. It's completely normal, and it's actually a sign of growth. At times, it may feel like you're not doing enough and want to continue proving yourself further. You might overwork yourself, leading to burnout and developing bad habits.

In my talk, I will talk about how I burnout, and the bad habits I developed. Finally, the strategies I use today to prevent burnout and embrace self-care.

Talk Recording


🌈 Comment below and ask me questions β€” I might just answer them during my live speaker discussion!

About me

Hello! I'm Raymond Chung. Although I'm often mistaken for an intern, I'm building a new generation of software developers through Shopify's Dev Degree program. As a Technical Educator, my passion for computer science and education allows me to create bite-sized content that engages interns throughout their day-to-day. When I'm not teaching, you'll find me searching my area the best bubble tea shop.

This on-demand talk is part of CodeLand 2022 β€” a virtual conference brought to you by CodeNewbie & DEV on June 16 & 17, 2022.

Top comments (29)

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Asking this on behalf of a friend:

I've gotten burnt out at so many jobs that it's seeming like a pattern. I'm starting to worry that I don't belong in tech because it's not making me happy in a work context. The thing is, I LOVE this work when it comes to personal projects. Do you have any advice for weighing my decision about staying in software development vs leaving?

timdehof profile image

I have social anxiety that makes it differicult for me to apply for jobs but I love to learn new things. Do you have any advice for gaining confidence in myself so i can get out of tutorial hell and dive into the job search?

hussain_codes profile image
Hussain Codes

Being part of #100Devs really taught me how to take care of myself in my learning journey and prevent burnout. It really helps keep myself consistent. Yes, there are lows too but I think I'm getting better at pushing through the lows and always coming back. The 3 specific things that are mentioned are:
-Managing frustration
-Taking care of myself

kithminiii profile image

Excited and waiting for your talk.😍

devencourt profile image
brian bethencourt

This is kind of a random question, but I'm wondering if you have any tips for making your office a more productive space? I ask because I love your background. It looks very calming and easy to get work done in your space! I definitely need some help when it comes to building an optimized space to do software development.

raysenpai profile image
Raymond Chung

Haha thanks!

I have the luxury of using one bedroom to be solely an office space. That definitely helps me draw the line and switch mindsets between working from home and being at home.

For my space, I actually researched on YouTube about home offices and went from there. They provided some great tips on creating a productive space.

In addition, I would display some of your favourite things around you. For example, I love Pokemon, so I knew I had to show off some Pikachu boxes!

mariessad profile image

Thanks for your talk! Do you think burnout means different things to different people? Do you have advice for what to do if you do inadvertently burn out? How do you approach talking to a company you're employed at if you feel yourself reaching burnout?

raysenpai profile image
Raymond Chung

Hey mariessad!

That's a great question! Yes, burnout can mean different things for different people! For myself, I burned out mentally. But for someone who works in construction for example, they can feel burned out physically.

My advice would be to take a well-rested break. At times you may not realized it, but stepping away for a bit, would help.

Every company is different. I would mention it during your 1:1s with your lead or your HR rep on how you are feeling. It's better to be transparent if you know you're reaching burnout, then being burned out.

pablohe78730909 profile image
Pablo Hernandez

I do believe in the area o fMeditation/Mindfullness practice is a venture that has worked for me. Although, Stress,Family,Home and the daily issues that come from day to day are a hurdle that do not care for. My job is also stressful, being a Surgical Tech and being part of a team that is taking a persons life and performing surgery is not a walk in the park to least say. We must deal with our issues on an individual basis, break down the issues into small nice and neat boxes and then open them one at a time, one day at a time...

tsbrun profile image
Anya Brun

Consistency is key to continue learning, growing, and leveling up your skills. But, in order to stay consistent, you need to be healthyβ€”mentally and physically. Thanks for talking about this super important topic, Raymond!

fizzybuzzybeezy profile image

Thanks Raymond! You're talk is so inspiring and uplifting. I like the ideas of having social chats open with supportive friends just to chat when needing to. I've watched a lot of mental health YT videos and some specifically on burnout sponsored by Google. They relate burnout to being something similar to depression, if I recall correctly, in relation to the symptoms at least. Thank you for the positive affirmation that it's okay to not be okay. I'd like to add that it's okay to ask for help and keep inquiring until help is acquired. Thanks for your message!

gabriella971 profile image

I am sure that mental problems do not disappear by themselves. I try to keep an eye on my mental state, and the Australia Counselling Directory helped me find a real professional with whom I was able to figure out the main points of my psychological state. Our sessions allowed me to find solutions to certain issues that kept me from moving forward. I recommend not to be alone with your problems, but to look for ways to solve them. All health!

srivera12 profile image
Sarah Rivera

Thank you for this - it can take a lot of bravery to talk about times we have struggled. This talk also had great advice and suggestions!

adiatiayu profile image
Ayu Adiati

Love the talk, Raymond!

I felt that recently, about feeling like a fraud because I was being stagnant for a while.
Thank you for the reminder that it's a sign of growing! ❀

luiscastillokc profile image
Luis Castillo

I'm an Early Software Engineer and imposter syndrome will be all the time around, things that make me keep pushing for my dream job in tech are consistence, learning every day, and skilling up my skills. Thinking positive is a great way to battle the imposter syndrome. I'm a great Software Engineer and when I land my first job I will be fantastic.

allisonblumenthal profile image
Allison Blumenthal

Thank you for being willing to be vulnerable enough to talk about your experiences in a conference, Raymond. As someone who has experienced burnout several times in other fields and just now getting into tech, it's nice to know some strategies for dealing with burnout and being proactive about it at the beginning of my journey.

deesclouds profile image
Dee {he | they}

Thank you for sharing your suggestions for dealing with the impostor within.
I had no idea that posting positive affirmations around my desk and keeping a victory list would be beneficial until I watched your presentation.

anyanka profile image

As a person who had a burnout yet (from a non tech job but that doesn't matter that much imo): I really appreciated your talk and hints, thanks Raymond!