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Burnout in Software Engineering: A Systematic Mapping Study

March 1, 2023


Burnout is a work-related syndrome that, similar to many occupations, influences most software developers. For decades, studies in software engineering(SE) have explored the causes of burnout and its consequences among IT professionals.


This paper is a systematic mapping study (SMS) of the studies on burnout in SE, exploring its causes and consequences, and how it is studied (e.g., choice of data).


We conducted a systematic mapping study and identified 92 relevant research articles dating as early as the early 1990s, focusing on various aspects and approaches to detect burnout in software developers and IT professionals.


Our study shows that early research on burnout was primarily qualitative, which has steadily moved to more quantitative, data-driven in the last decade. The emergence of machine learning (ML) approaches to detect burnout in developers has become a de-facto standard.


Our study summarises what we now know about burnout, how software artifacts indicate burnout, and how machine learning can help its early detection. As a comprehensive analysis of past and present research works in the field, we believe this paper can help future research and practice focus on the grand challenges ahead and offer necessary tools.

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Tien Rahayu Tulili
Andrea Capiluppi
Ayushi Rastogi
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