March 23, 2014
Fight developer burnouts and depression

Cognitive function refers to things like memory, the ability to learn new information, speech, and reading comprehension. Infants and young children are typically able to learn and retain things more easily than adults. As we get older, our cognitive function starts to decrease; however, studies suggest that brain exercises like mathematical problems enhance our cognitive function and stall the aging effects. As developers, this means we’re pretty lucky.  The strenuous exercise we put our brains through on a daily basis is actually beneficial to us.

While that’s all fine and dandy for the long haul, it doesn’t do much for our mid-day burnouts. Let’s face it, there’s only so many lines of code we can look at before our minds get tired, the bugs seem harder to squash, and we’re flat out writing crappier code. If you’re like me, you’ll guzzle down another cup of coffee and get back to it. While coffee alone has been shown to improve cognitive effects, it’s never been enough for me. I got to a point where I was drinking 4 or more cups a day until coffee had pretty much no effect on me at all. In fact, I actually started feeling tired after each cup. Soon after, I met the love of my life, MCT Oil. Don’t tell my wife.

Studies have shown that medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) works wonders for cognition. People with Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 1 Diabetes have both shown positive effects when supplementing with oral medium-chain triglycerides.  In the book, “Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was a Cure?”, Dr. Mary Newport, whose husband was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease, found that MCT oil improved her husband’s short-term memory, alleviated his depression, revived his personality, and reduced his walking and vision problems.

In other cases, MCT oil has been shown to boost energy, help your body absorb nutrients, and protect your immune system. Check out this article on Tips Bulletin showcasing 16 stunning benefits of MCT oil. There are a ton of great benefits from taking medium-chain triglycerides, but the best of all is that it helps get me back on track after burnouts. Give it a shot.  Add a tablespoon or more to your coffee, protein shake, or whatever concoction you make, and watch your energy and focus go through the roof! Want to take it up a notch?  Try a cup of Bulletproof coffee! Over the last 2 months, I’ve been waking up at 5:30am, which is ridiculously early for me, in order to get some extra work in. Within minutes after consuming a cup of Bulletproof coffee, I am wide awake and building some of the best software I ever have. I’ve even put other developers onto it and have received similar, if not better, feedback. You’re welcome.

I’ll be attending Laracon this May and will update this post with anything I gain from the “Devs & Depression” session.

UPDATE: I was lucky enough to sit through the “Devs & Depression” session by Greg Baugues (@greggyb) at Laracon, and it was definitely one of the best talks I’ve ever attended. While MCT Oil might be a short term solution for some, there is a very good chance that daily burnouts and unhappiness could be caused by something much deeper. Greg’s talk really resonated with me, and I think it’s something every developer should watch who occasionally feel – even a little bit – down and out.

Go watch the Depression talk by Greg, and then follow him on Twitter.

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