DevOps Burnout: Causes and Ways to Prevent It

Ritvik Gupta
Ritvik Gupta
26 Feb 20246 mins read
Leadership and productivity
Talent onboarding and operations

Get the latest from Turing

By clicking Subscribe you're confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions

The DevOps industry is facing a major problem: DevOps burnout. The fast-paced and high-stress nature of the DevOps career path has taken a toll on the mental and physical well-being of DevOps engineers. What are the signs of DevOps burnout? What are the causes of this burnout? How can you prevent DevOps burnout in your organization? Let’s find out. 

What are the signs of DevOps burnout in your organization? 

The signs of burnout can vary from person to person. But, there are some common signs of DevOps burnout you shouldn’t ignore. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. Constant fatigue: Your DevOps engineers show constant signs of exhaustion, both physically and mentally. 
  2. Loss of motivation: Are your DevOps engineers no longer excited to work on new projects?  Are they losing interest in their work? These are common signs of burnout in DevOps engineers. 
  3. Increased absenteeism: Are they calling in sick too frequently?  Do they always have excuses ready for not showing up to work? Don’t confuse this with the usual time offs. It is likely that your engineers are feeling demotivated to work and looking for ways to avoid it.
  4. Lack of control: Ask your DevOps team these questions. 1. Do they feel like they are being pulled from multiple directions?  2. Do they feel they are losing control over their work? If the answer is yes, your team is probably suffering from burnout. 
  5. Social withdrawal: Are your DevOps engineers avoiding social events being held at your organization? This means that they’re probably going through a burnout phase and are trying to distance themselves from any social interaction.

The best way to know if your team is suffering from burnout is by having an open conversation with them.  Ensure that everyone is given the opportunity to express their emotions and concerns, irrespective of their position in the organization.

Related Post: 11 Ways to Motivate Remote Software Developers in 2023

What are the major causes of DevOps burnout?

There are several reasons that can lead to burnout in your DevOps team. Let’s take a look at them.

  1. High stress levels: DevOps is fast-paced, with an emphasis on rapid iteration and continuous deployment. This creates a constant state of pressure and urgency which can increase the stress levels of DevOps engineers. 
  2. Long and undefined working hours: DevOps engineers are usually expected to be available 24/7, ready to respond to any issue that arises. These long and undefined working hours can adversely affect the mental and physical health of these engineers. 
  3. Insufficient support and resources: DevOps has seen accelerated growth in the last few years at a much faster pace than anticipated. The unexpected growth has led to a problem of less support and resources to match the demand. Due to insufficient support and resources, DevOps engineers are bound to face burnout. 
  4. Lack of communication: Communication plays a crucial role, not just in DevOps, but in any department of an organization. Not having a proper channel of open communication can lead to DevOps burnout in your organization.
  5. Limited growth opportunities: If the engineers in your organization feel that they are not getting enough opportunities to upgrade their skills and take up new challenges, they may feel demotivated to work. This can lead to monotony and eventually, burnout. 

So, these are the major causes of burnout in DevOps engineers. Knowing what is causing burnout in your DevOps team can help you mitigate the threat and retain your engineers better.

So, how can you prevent DevOps burnout in your organization?

DevOps has become a crucial part of organizations across the globe. With the increasing demand for DevOps, it is important that organizations implement certain DevOps best practices to retain their teams. So, how can you prevent DevOps burnout? Let’s find out:

  1. Prioritize work-life balance: Encourage DevOps engineers to take regular breaks, disconnect from work when they’re not on call, and ensure that they have enough time off to recharge. Excessive screen time without breaks can also affect the mental and physical health of engineers. This can result in burnout. So, try to limit the screen time of your DevOps engineers.
  2. Establish clear communication and leadership: Establish clear roles and responsibilities for your DevOps engineers. Communicate expectations, and provide opportunities for open communication. Clear communication helps to reduce confusion and increase efficiency which in turn helps reduce stress levels in engineers.
  3. Encourage and provide opportunities for skill development: DevOps engineers might want to expand their By providing opportunities for employees to learn new skills and take on new challenges, organizations can help increase job satisfaction and keep employees engaged in their work.
  4. Create a positive work environment: Creating a culture that prioritizes the well-being of employees, promoting open communication, and providing support and resources can help to create a positive work environment.
  5. Take preventative measures: Implementing processes and tools that can help reduce the pressure of tight deadlines and around-the-clock availability is a great way to prevent burnout. For example: automating repetitive tasks, implementing monitoring and logging tools, and having a clearly defined incident response process.
  6. Offer mental health support: Make sure mental health support resources are available and easy to access. Managers should also be trained on how to recognize the signs of burnout and how to support an employee who is experiencing burnout.
  7. Promote flexibility: Allow your DevOps engineers to choose their own working hours. Encourage flexible working arrangements. This way, your team can choose the best time to work when they feel the most productive. Such flexible arrangements can help them maintain good mental health, further preventing burnout. 

Here are some tools that can help you prevent DevOps burnout:

  1. Automation tools: Automation can help reduce the workload of DevOps engineers by automating repetitive tasks and reducing the need for manual intervention. This practice can help to prevent burnout by limiting the stress on DevOps engineers. Examples of automation tools are Ansible, Chef, and Puppet.
  2. Monitoring and logging tools: Monitoring and logging tools can help DevOps engineers quickly identify and resolve issues. In other words, these tools can help to prevent burnout by reducing the need for around-the-clock availability. Examples of monitoring and logging tools are Grafana, Kibana, and Logstash
  3. Incident response platforms: Incident response platforms can help DevOps engineers to manage and respond to incidents in a more organized and efficient way. This can help to prevent burnout by decreasing the pressure of incident management. Examples of incident response platforms are PagerDuty, VictorOps, and xMatters.

So, here is everything you need to know about DevOps burnout and how to prevent it. Today, companies face massive pressure to ramp up software delivery and react to evolving customer preferences. And the DevOps methodology is built just for this. However, adopting the methodology without establishing a strategy to address DevOps burnout is a battle half won. And so, every company must implement best practices to make the most of their DevOps team.

Want to hire pre-vetted DevOps engineers? Try Turing. Hire the top 1 percent from a pool of over 2M+ developers. Head to Turing’s Hire Developers page to know more.

Ritvik Gupta

Ritvik Gupta

Ritvik is a copywriter and content writer who has worked with fast-scaling startups such as GoMechanic and Pitstop. He runs his own automotive blog as well.

Get the latest from Turing

By clicking Subscribe you're confirming that you agree with our Terms and Conditions

Want to accelerate your business with AI?

Talk to one of our solutions architects and start innovating with AI-powered talent.

Get Started