Joona Viertola Notebook

Highly Sensitive Person as a developer

HSP is a shortening of Highly Sensitive Person. This kind of people have sensitive sense of environment. In a situation where someone would pass by and go on, could HSP stop an got interested by little dust flying in the air. Other people get hungry at work and go to lunch. Sensitive people can be overwhelmed about their work, forgot to get lunch and get really strong feeling of hungry. Sleeping can be propblematic. You just can't empty your mind even though something bad haven't been happened.

I'm a sensitive person and just woked up for situation where HSP behavior is not automatic for others too. I also work as a web developer. Front-end development has been my hoppy since 11 years old. Mixing this all at work, it not the easiest thing. Web development business is fast-paced money swapping, project handling with customer service. This is where you do th web development on the background. Not the easiest task. But it can be learned.

Pros and cons of HSP as a developer

HSP can be deeply skilled professional when support is given. Sensitivity makes you caring on your code. HSP cares about code quality even more than others and make more maintainable code. HSP can also more easier understand other's needs. Knowing your own area deeply makes you better professional on your area. Where others just pass by from project to other, sensitive person cares more about projects. Sometimes even too much.

Sensitive persons are more productive in an environment where they have control and situation is familiar. This doesn't happen in development business. HSP needs to build tools to concentrate on work in these situations. Also web developers can be own personalities and in stressy situations, other workmate's reactions can affect on you. There is new problems every day and even many at the same time. How to work with this?

Tools which I use

This is a forever updating list of my tools.

Divide your work on little pieces

If you're following Scrum, this should be a rule. Usually people do not care about this, but you should pay attention on this. Little logically divided tasks are easier to get done than complex goal.

Be careful with coffee

Humans are always finsing right energy levels. With HSP this can easily be overtaking and make body feel more stressful.

Take breaks

Usually break is needed most when you don't want it. This breaks your train to get more overwhelmed. Or better, make a rule for taking breaks regularly.

Make working time rules

Your free time is your resource of life. Work doesn't get faster done if you make yourself more fustrated on your own time.

Be open on your wishes

If you know how to make your work easier, aks them from your managers. Maybe everything can't be executed, but it doesn't hurt to try.

Find a good work place

If you don't feel comfortable on company you are working in, switch it. If environment is not suited for you, fixing your mental healt afterwords is not worth it.

Stay on your area of skills

It's nice to handle front-end, backend, devops and Scrum mastering, but do not do all at once. If you stay on your feel of comfort you don't get so easily overwhelmed.

Find a good working spot

If you can, choose your working spot where there is no distration everywhere. People running back and forth, loud talking, bad lightning etc. are distraction and make more easily stressfull environment.

Take care of your sleep

Sleep gives rest for overwhelmed brain. Find your way to get a good night sleep. It might take more preparation four you than others. Take a break from screen an hour before closing going to sleep. Read a book or do something else which takes your focus. Even sleeping pills could help if this is really problematic, but notice that those are a quick patch for the real problem.