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Do Work-From-Home Developers Risk Burn-Out?


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COVID virus and graph, illustration

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted a sudden, global need for software developers to work-from-home. That's meant changes in work cadence and collaboration, along with an increased risk of burnout, according to "Octoverse Spotlight," a GitHub study published earlier this month.

The study's key findings are:

  • Developer activity increased slightly year over year, suggesting that developers continue to contribute and their workflows have remained resilient during the crisis.
  • Patterns of activity have implications for burnout. During the transition to new work routines, developer activity may be sustained through more time being spent online. If additional work is happening at the expense of personal time and breaks to replenish and maintain healthy separation, the tradeoff may not be sustainable in the long run.
  • More collaboration is happening on open source projects. Several open source projects have seen a spike in activity. Signs suggest that open source developers are spending more time together on projects.
  • The cadence of work has changed, with developers' work days getting longer by as much as an hour per day on both weekdays and weekends.
  • GitHub issues in enterprise repos have risen and fallen around COVID-19 outbreaks and shelter-in-place orders. The flux is likely due to the move to distributed work, which has disrupted the coordination and structure of enterprise software development.

GitHub says its analysis shows that developers have been resilient to the change wrought by COVID-19, with activity holding consistent or increasing through the crisis. Organizations that can adapt processes and procedures and embrace new ways of working as quickly as their development teams will be resilient and successful, GitHub says.

From InfoWorld
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