One of the great advantages of working on Free Software is the openness and transparency, not only of the code but of the processes around creating the code. Weirdly (or perhaps not weirdly) this can also be a disadvantage. We can see all the bugs … we know we can fix them, but also sometimes we can’t fix them as fast as we want. Or we can see the bugs but don’t have the time, or the permission, to fix them. This can be hugely frustrating, and can cause us to feel like we are not making any progress. What can exacerbate this is the fact we can see all the process, if our patch gets stuck at QA, or signoff, we can see this, it’s all open.
How do we get around this? I don’t really have the answer, but what works for me is mini breaks. Take a week off, or even a day or two off every time you begin to feel a little burnt out. Work on another project, read a book, knit a scarf .. do anything except work on patches in your evenings 🙂 This works for me, a few days off and I’m excited and ready to go again, what never works for me is trying to slog on through it.