Mental Illness in Programming

Here I am, finishing my third day on DevBootcamp’s Chicago campus. The main reason I’m still here is it’s pouring outside and I don’t have an umbrella.

Yesterday my group met the in-house counselor. She was leading a special session we apparently have every Tuesday morning. This one was about feedback and empathy. Anyway, she seems pretty cool.

So one of the main reasons we have a counselor paid to be here is this place breaks you. I’ve been coding for 12 hours and I have so many challenges not finished, some not even started. It’s expected students will have to come in over the weekend to finish assignments from the week before. That, along with our weekend prep work for the coming week. Coding can be extremely frustrating.

The other reason surprised me. During my tour of the campus/office, I was told many people who go into programming suffer from mental illnesses. I was pretty surprised though I could understand anxiety perhaps. While I’ve been here I’ve learned a few others here who suffer from mental illnesses, including an instructor.

I suppose this influx of mental illness sufferers may explain all the required down time, forced pairing, community feel, no pressure atmosphere tech companies seem to be going for. I’m sitting next to a hammock. I would be in it right now if I were still able to type. And if I didn’t think I would fall asleep.

Ugh. And you’re not allowed to sleep here too! Slumber party opportunity denied!!


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