Technical Excellence and Leadership Skills

W13 Fast Focus: I'm Just Trying to Keep My Head Above the Water


2:00pm - 2:20pm

Level: Introductory

Chris Klug


Active Solution

I'm a lucky guy, and I know it! I'm a middle aged white male with a good job, a wife and all of that. Life is pretty good! Or at least it should be...

The other side of the story is that I have spent most of my career in software development struggling mentally. I've not only questioned myself professionally since day one, I have also had to take time off work because I couldn't even get out of bed in the morning. And still, most people don't have a clue about my situation! When they find out, they generally go "What? You? I would never have thought that". A response that is probably a good indication of how well I manage to hide it from the world. But I am more and more certain that that is not the right way to handle it...

I have spent a LOT of time trying to find ways to cope with my life. Trying to balance my private life and work. Something that is much harder than it sounds in our industry. And I think we need to talk about it.

In this talk, I want to talk about some of the things I have experienced, and some of the things I have done to try and find a better place for me. As well as how getting a book about living with ADHD from my parents when I was 40 became a life altering experience. I also want to talk about how I think we as an industry can make life so much better for the people in it.

You will learn:

  • To understand that even the most well-functioning person can be struggling on the inside
  • To understand that most of us have the power to make changes that can make our lives better mentally
  • To get an understanding that the pressure and anxiety you might be feeling is not a unique thing in our industry