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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

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.


May. 24th, 2005 07:50 am (UTC)
I'm not an info-burnout, I'm an "expectation-burnout."
figmo's response mostly makes me tired just to read it. But "learn what you care about learning" is good advice in an info-overload culture.

May. 28th, 2005 09:59 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm not an info-burnout, I'm an "expectation-burnout."
"learn what you care about learning" is good advice in an info-overload culture.

I think this is reasonable. However, there are some people who are worried that taking certain classes (or perhaps too many) might put them at risk for something they want to do in the future. For example, some people on CollegeConfidential expressed concerns about majoring in engineering and premed. It was their experience that engineering is graded more harshly than non-engineering, and that med schools don't take the difficulty of the program into account when evaluating GPA. So they felt it was unwise to major in engineering and premed. Some other people expressed concerns about not being able to get or keep scholarships if their grades were too low.
May. 28th, 2005 10:33 pm (UTC)
Re: I'm not an info-burnout, I'm an "expectation-burnout."
Yep, I have no doubt that specific programs have specific requirements that it's important to strategize about.

"Learn what you care about learning," to me, is really about subject matters and not about specific programs. If you are interested in medicine, there are lots of ways to learn about it and participate in it that don't involve going through doctor school.

The biggest reason I never considered going to med school was that I knew interns and residents had 36-48-72 hour shifts, and I knew myself well enough to know I could not handle that physically and mentally, not while keeping myself alert enough to make good decisions. I've since learned that many medical professionals admit to making fatigue-related mistakes that lead to patients' deaths.
May. 29th, 2005 05:08 am (UTC)
Re: I'm not an info-burnout, I'm an "expectation-burnout."
Interesting. I wonder how many people know themselves well enough to make a decision like that when they are young. I don't think I knew myself that well. Also, some kids are pushed into studies/careers they don't want to be in, etc.