He is a Ruby/Rails developer at the University of Bath, where he works on a bespoke content management systems. He is still a new developer, and acknowledges he still has a lots to learn… but he feels that code does more for him than just provide an income. It’s opened up communities and friends, and has been a lifeline for his mental health: he finds writing code is one of the few things he can do to help himself when he is struggling with depression.
When he’s not writing code, he is probably reading SF/F, playing roleplaying or boardgames, or doing any of the number of small things we have to do each day as humans.
Co(p|d)ing with depression
Depression is a common illness.
As developers we are privileged to work in an industry that is by and large willing to talk about mental health. When we look beyond our industry, it feels tempting to try to engineer some solution to ‘fix’ the greater issue of silence about mental health, but I think that one of the best things we can do to help with this is simply share the same openness that we benefit from with the rest of the world. To do that, we have to make sure we are talking first.
Many of us have our own insights into coping with depression. For me, writing code is one of the few things that gets me through bad times and back to a mental state where I want the company of my friends and peers. I use code to hook into and subvert some basic behaviors that can otherwise be destructive, and use them to get me through it.
My hope is that hearing my experiences and coping strategies will help make depression a little less taboo, help people find some insights of their own, and maybe provide a model for talking about depression with people outside our community.