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Finding a balance

Finding a balance

If there is one thing I have always struggled with, is finding a balance between being a full time software engineer and being an open source contributor & maintainer... and a human being.

In this new 'status quo' where most of us are going fully remote, this balance may be even harder to reach; what'd I'd like to share with you are a few macro concepts and a couple micro actionables that helped me in the last couple years.

Lorenzo 'kelset' Sciandra

March 26, 2020
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  1. FINDING A BALANCE
    Sharing an experience of open source, software and mental health

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  2. – Literally everyone
    “Who the eff are you?”

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  3. I AM
    3
    •Software Engineer @ Formidable (London)
    •React Native core maintainer
    •ProvidedAsIs (London) organiser
    @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Lorenzo Sciandra - @kelset

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  4. OR AM I?
    4 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    I’m an Open Source maintainer
    I have experienced burnout 1 time (and a half)
    I have been seeing a therapist once a week for over 2 years
    Also: not an expert in mental health!
    This talk is highly subjective and you should totally reach out to a therapist if you feel that you are struggling.

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  5. A PROBLEM IN OPEN SOURCE
    5 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Tweet posted with the consent of the author

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  6. NOW EVEN WORSE
    6 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Couldn’t find the original author for attribution, sorry

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  7. WHAT I WANT TO DO
    7 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    2 Macro Concepts
    +
    3 Micro Actionables
    =

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  8. LETS TALK MACRO
    8 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf

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  9. MACRO #1
    9 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    “THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS",
    WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
    INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT.”
    - the MIT license.
    And all the other ones.

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  10. PROVIDED AS IS
    10 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    As a maintainer:
    You don’t own anything to anyone. But respect your community.
    As a citizen:
    You are not entitled to any support. Be more proactive.
    Read more at: Open Source Maintainers Owe You Nothing

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  11. MACRO #2
    11 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    “We are more hurt
    by our own expectations
    of other people
    than by their actions”

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  12. SENSE OF SELF
    12 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    A lot of issues in open source are caused by people “turning off” their
    sense of self.
    Try being more aware of your feelings and emotions,
    and try to understand where they are coming from.
    This is hard.
    Having a therapist helped me a lot with this.

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  13. LETS TALK MICRO
    13 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Some may be polarising takes, please be gentle

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  14. MICRO #1
    14 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Remove (almost) all notifications

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  15. ALL THE NOTIFICATIONS
    15 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    (that are just noise)
    No emails
    No push
    notifications
    Exceptions: Whatsapp, Telegram

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  16. MICRO #2
    16 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Do open source in small bursts
    within hours of daily work (if you can)

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  17. SMALL SPARKS
    17 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Don't dedicate full hours (unless strictly necessary).
    Normalise to yourself that it’s actual work.
    (and you don’t do it on weekends!)
    Reduce the risk of “tunneling” because of the boundary.
    Also: getting involved little by little in OSS you consume is the best way to start.

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  18. MICRO #3
    18 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Free time !== Open Source time

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  19. SOME SUGGESTIONS
    19 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Do Tai Chi in VR
    Watch Bojack Horseman
    Make your bedroom a phone-free zone
    Sleep at least 8 hrs per night
    Exercise
    Watch Matt D’Avella, Anna Akana,
    MPJ, Mayuko vids on YouTube Meditate
    Take a note of something that
    bothers you then set it on fire
    Take vitamines
    Get a pet
    Burn candles & incenses
    Play video games
    Learn something not CS-related

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  20. TO SUM IT UP
    20 @kelset @FormidableLabs
    #WFHConf
    Open Source can be beautiful when “enjoyed responsibly”
    Improve your sense of self
    Set boundaries

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  21. THANK YOU
    21
    #WFHConf
    React out:
    @kelset (open DMs) - email: [email protected]
    Please take care of yourself.
    If you are struggling, reach out to someone.
    US
    http://samhsa.gov/
    http://psychologytoday.com/
    UK
    https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/public-mental-health
    https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
    Thanks to:
    @NearForm - @FormidableLabs

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