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info-burnout

Thread on /., regarding burnout and depression among IT workers.
I can relate to a lot of what has been written.

One thing caught my eye:

One should take into account more variables. (Score:5, Insightful)
by cbiffle (211614) on Thursday May 19, @04:17PM (#12582223)
I've been watching this pretty closely, preparing for a masters
program in a related topic. This isn't directly related to my
research, so take it more as an idea than a finding, but:
Information overload will only affect certain personality types. There
are those of us who inhale Google daily. Recent example: "I went home
last night, discovered Hibernate, learned it, and converted our
70,000-line service center app to use it. Want the diffs?" Yeah, there
are people who do this; we had it happen at work about a week ago.
Others simply cannot absorb and process information that quickly.
These people are potential info-burnouts.
Tends to correlate, in my
experience, with a general unwillingness to learn new programming
languages or adapt to new systems. They're not being
sticks-in-the-proverbial-mud -- they understand that they simply can't
cram it into their brain quickly enough, and it often makes them
anxious.

Without going into too much detail, I think I'm an info-burnout. I'm willing to learn new things, but I become anxious about it, especially when there is an expectation that I should be able to do the new things at least as well as the old things right away, or that I should be able to retain all the old things just as if I was doing them on a day-to-day basis.

I was going to write something else about people who go to MIT who take six or more classes per quarter, but I don't have time. One thing I have always wondered is if they can't learn everything that's covered in class, texts, etc., how they prioritize what they need to know for tests. Another is, assuming they've done really well so far, would they be surprised if they started having trouble because the tests started asking for things they hadn't had time to cover or didn't understand fully. Also, I wonder how this relates to something like realizing that CPC advertising is highly susceptible to click fraud.

Comments

figmo
May. 24th, 2005 12:36 am (UTC)
I was going to write something else about people who go to MIT who take six or more classes per quarter, but I don't have time. One thing I have always wondered is if they can't learn everything that's covered in class, texts, etc., how they prioritize what they need to know for tests.

As someone who did Foothill College (23.5 units in one quarter) and San Jose State (a full-time courseload while working full-time) in "overload mode," I can tell you how I did it.

First of all, there's a knack to scheduling compatible classes. At Foothill I managed to use the same assignment for three different classes (computers soooo rock for that!) in one quarter. At San Jose State I already had an assignment for one class half-done when the teacher announced it because I had the same half-assignment for another class. You multitask, doing homework for one class while sitting in a lecture for another class. You do homework at work. You mix up your class schedule so not all the classes are hard.

As for learning, you learn what you care about learning. I knew my geography class was going to be a joke when the text was severely outdated, the teacher didn't provide decent study materials, and the lectures and reading materials didn't always match what was on the tests. I got an A+ in the intro to Psychology class because the teacher graded on a bell curve and it was just sheer rote memorization. I barely remember most of what I "learned" in that class and I don't care.
gregbo
May. 25th, 2005 12:27 am (UTC)
"You mix up your class schedule so not all the classes are hard."

I can't always tell when something is going to be difficult for me. For example, my queueing theory professor from UCLA seemed to think that discussing roots of a polynomial was the most difficult part of solving certain types of problems, but it wasn't for me. What was more difficult was the first few steps of setting the problem up, making sure that I had not overlooked some subtle point. (FYI, the class in question is CS212a.)

More later if I have time ...

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