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Linus Torvalds and Others on Community Burnout

Aug 31, 2011, 00:01 (0 Talkback[s])

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Hang around the free and open source software community for any length of time, and you can't help seeing examples of burnout. A colleague takes on too much, and suddenly they're working harder for fewer results.

They have a hard time concentrating on their work. They neglect their personal life. When challenged, they become defense and unusually hostile. Eventually, they withdraw -- and, sometimes, they don't come back.

Burnout isn't unique to the Linux community, of course. However, at times, the problem can seem almost epidemic in the community, and people seem reluctant to talk about it publicly.

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