The Burnout Effect

Back in October 2015 I got an offer from a big data startup, and after 1 year and 4 months I decided to move on.

There’s a 3D printer and a drone in the office and the team was talking about Fallout 4 in the morning because it was just released. I thought the company and the team were very cool and I still think so now.

My first challenge was to migrate a self-hosted MySQL database to AWS Aurora, because the MySQL server was over stretched and felt like it could collapse anytime soon. I was quite experienced at MySQL so I didn’t think that would be hard. However there were some complications: The MySQL was a huge VM managed by Ganeti cluster and backed by DRBD volumes and the best of all was that the disks were old school magnetic SAS disks.

The DB migration tool recommended by AWS just failed randomly on large tables(~400GB). It wasn’t acceptable to do a full mysqldump(~1TB) and setup replication to Aurora because that will cause huge downtime. And since there’s no access to the Aurora’s system, the option to use LVM snapshot was out too. I thought there must have a way so I created a MySQL replica in the same cluster using LVM snapshot, then setup replication between the replica and the master.

After the replication was done and verified between the master and the replica, I had the opportunity to pause the replication and do mysqldump on the replica and then setup another replication between the replica MySQL and Aurora. After the replica  caught  up with the master we did the DNS switch-over and the apps almost did feel a thing and started to update on the Aurora. This concluded the first success.

I was involved in several big projects such as migration of DNS to route53, migration of core servers(about 40) to AWS and migration of data warehouse from AWS Redshift to Google BigQuery in 2016.

I thought the job should have become more comfortable since a large portion of the infrastructure had been rebuilt. However since a few months ago I started to have poor sleeps, and in daytime poor concentration. I searched for the answer, to my surprise, a lot of people shared the same issue which is called burnout. So rather than being asked to leave for poor performance, I choose to have a break and search for a new job.

On the last day of the job, we played Rocket League together and those were my best hours. I felt super relieved, yet very sad to leave the team. Thanks to the team especially Trist and Adam who I learned a lot from.