Burnout and Recovery

I can’t believe it’s already been a month. Yet another personal post. I promise this is going to be the last for a while. Pinky promise :). I felt, I owed an explanation for my lack of activity. Things I write here are meant to be just an explanation and by no means I want to sound like crying…

Where to start? I’m a software engineer. More commonly called as programmer :P. Around this time last year, I think, was when I realized that the startup I was working on for the past two and a half years, prioritizing over my studies, will not succeed with me in it. I poured all my time and then some into it initially. After a year and a half into the project, internal priorities started to shift back and forth, while still no outside funding and I started to struggle with motivation. This is around the time I started to be more active in age.  I should have quit the startup around that time. I kept going believing there was still hope and didn’t want to leave my friends. Don’t ever do that! When there is no clear future, you are kicking yourself to work on things you don’t want to any more…


AoE turned into a place in my head, where I could escape. Where people were nice and appreciated what I was doing (aoe2stats, captains mode, this blog… ). Thanks so much for that. I had a blast during those times.

So, when I finally decided to quit the startup, the burnout already kicked in. My studies suffered. I was stressed about that, too. I was bummed out whenever I had to code something. I tried a few new startup-y things, but it wasn’t the same. Too many projects at once. More sources of stress. I needed a bit of time away from programming. So I started to focus back on my studies and real life.


In my free-time I wanted to improve my aoe2. I wanted to play and have fun with the people I knew, with much higher skill level. I didn’t want to be dead weight in TGs. So I was practicing. Too much. And I didn’t improve fast enough. I was impatient.  After a while I didn’t have fun anymore. It became a challenge I _needed_ to finish. Don’t ever do that, either! I needed a pause from that, too. I tried my hand at streaming and helping organizing tourneys. I felt unnecessary stress. A few incidents with players in the tournaments got to me. Then, I basically stopped.


Fast forward half a year. Finished my phd, got a stable job, proposed to my girlfriend. Things are better now. I cleaned up after the mess of a last two and a half years. I enjoy my time.

On aoe front renewed the hostnames for aoe stuff for 2 more years. I started putting the sources on github, so others can chip in (under my watchful eye). The stats page should already be on github. It’s kind of a mess, but it works! 🙂 I already started to rewrite the captains mode site, so it’s more of a real-time application, instead of a hacked together mess :). I might start playing again soon.

That said, I’m pacing myself now. No stress. I’m in no hurry. I want this to work for a long time. I want to make sure my projects won’t die when I’m not available. See you around!

  • Charlie Offenbacher

    Welcome back, Pip! Great to hear things are going better. As a fellow failed startup founder / software engineer / struggling AoC player, I can relate to a lot of this post 11. Burnout is the worst, take care, but it sounds like you’re taking the right approach! I’ve always been inspired by your AoC projects, in particular your ability to actually finish them enough to release them. (I get stuck at ~50% on almost all of my projects).

    Anyways, good luck with everything.