Avoiding Burnout, and Other Essentials of Open Source Self-Care

Kathleen Danielson, OpenStreetMap US
Wednesday 16:00 - 16:25
Session 3, Track 7, Slot 3

As technical community managers we are faced with a unique set of challenges. Like most FOSS community members, we’re often volunteers, but the work we do in moderating mailing lists, planning events, fielding project feedback and contributions, and being the public face of our communities can take an additional emotional toll. We do it because we love our communities, but we also are often guilty of neglecting our own very real needs in order to serve those communities. We end up feeling guilty, run down, inadequate, and ultimately burnt out.

Does this sound like you? Even if you don’t do community management work, you might have run into some of the same frustrations. In this talk I’ll share with you my own experiences in building and managing different geo communities. Through my own lessons learned, I’ll strive to help you think about ways to:

- Ensure you have adequate support in your work
- Build a vocabulary to talk and think about the challenges you face
- Feel empowered to say no and to allow yourself time away from the project
- Recognizing and handling burnout
- Avoiding burnout next time around