Leaving OpenCraft by the end of January

Hello! Unfortunately, my last day at OpenCraft will be on Monday January 24.

Ever since the epic with Autodesk ended, I haven’t been excited about work or happy. Once in a while small tickets show up that catch my attention and I can pour all my passion into them, but then they end…

We don’t always get to do what we enjoy, and I get that. However, for the past while I have been working hard at trying to resolve issues that are blocking me from the interesting stuff like the Workflow Manager, Developer Advocacy, or, recently, solving the recurring problems at OpenCraft.

There are so many reasons why I no longer enjoy working at OpenCraft. Some of these reasons are flaws with OpenCraft’s structure; meanwhile, some are more personal.

Reasons behind my departure

Flaws with OpenCraft’s structure

Members should do it all

OpenCraft requires everyone to pretty much do everything, management, development, documentation, firefighting, you name it!

Stretching people too thin and having them take on all these responsibilities leaves them stressed and overworked. Consequently, this takes the enjoyment out of these activities.

Members are dispensable

Often, it feels like OpenCraft comes first and its members second.

Members at OpenCraft have been playing hot-potato with their burnouts for the past year, at least! Members leave eventually, and OpenCraft seeks to replace them.

Surface issues related to the burnout are addressed by OpenCraft, but the endless cycle of burnout is still on-going.

My efforts are one-sided

Previously, I was trying to listen to the struggles of different members and their issues with OpenCraft.

I would make 121s with different members or just end up discussing things at the end of gaming sessions or social chats.

Eventually, I managed to identify a couple of issues at OpenCraft which were causing developers to be less motivated to work at OpenCraft. Some also were considering leaving.

That’s been going on silently, for a while now. It initially started a couple of weeks before the “Discussing Team Compensation and Possible Refinements” forum post.

I know that I managed to keep at least one member, who was previously considering to leave.

However, for this whole time, I haven’t noticed any significant efforts done from OpenCraft in order to keep its members and preserve them.

This became even more of an issue once OpenCraft started struggling at finding new members.

These capacity issues OpenCraft is having at the moment are being dealt with by increasing recruitment. But that isn’t the only thing that needs to be done on that behalf, members need to also be given incentives to stay.

My efforts are not well compensated

When I work at a company or an organization, there are different factors that compensate me for my different efforts.

Salary, learning experiences, good hours are the three major items that are aligned with compensation, for me.

I need 2 out of the 3 to be happy. Initially, with the work I was doing I considered to be earning enough and learning enough.

The hours, although 6 hours per day or 30 a week, are not that ideal for me. Good hours, for a remote job, for me are 4 hours per day or 20 hours a week.

However, lately, with the complex problems and the different efforts I’ve been trying to put towards improving other’s experience with OpenCraft and mine, I haven’t been feeling the same.

These complex managerial problems have been amazing learning experiences. I’m facing problems that I never thought I’d ever will. I’m also having to think of solutions that I never expected to be thinking of at the age of 22.

However, the salary no longer is worth all that trouble, unfortunately.

I understand that no one asked me to solve these problems, but that’s the thing about self-management and the flat structure of OpenCraft.

Someone has to fix it, and I can’t just sit there watching while these problems affect me as well as others.

What’s next

At the moment, there’s nothing next. I’m mentally drained.

I have been waking up for the past year not wanting to do any work. And lately, things have been getting more and more serious.

I’m choosing to leave OpenCraft because I need to take sick days right now asap, but there’s no option for that.

I can’t schedule a vacation because the whole process behind it is even more mentally draining.

I don’t want to be stuck in this cycle of burnout, with no way to propoerly recover.

However, I also don’t want to leave everyone else in this disgusting cycle as well. Accordingly, I’ve been working on a new propsal, “A More Scalable OpenCraft — Improving Self Management”.

The proposal, at the moment, only proposes the idea of “specialized cells” instead of the current generic ones and adding a new pursuer role.

The proposal’s main goal is to adjust the blueprint on which OpenCraft functions in order to provide OpenCraft with tools to sustain itself and its developers.

I’m hoping to give away all my roles, in the meantime. And after I quit OpenCraft, I’m hoping to continue discussing the proposal to ensure my ideas are clarified properly. Also, it will give me a chance to correct any of the flaws in my proposal.

If the proposal is met with good responses, then the next step will be to create a plan to apply specialized cells in a good way that aligns with the team’s health and OpenCraft’s sustainability. This means creating a new proposal for the initial cells and a future roadmap to continue expanding.

If that’s the case, and the proposal will actually make its way to the application phase, then there are two different paths in which OpenCraft can proceed:

  • Assigning the responsibility to one of its members (a pursuer)
  • Delegating the responsibility to me, as a Consultant

[ Ticket to Log Time - SE-175 ]


@nizar I must confess that of the departures that have recently been announced, yours hits the hardest. I’ve watched you grow immensely since joining, and I expect you will do great things wherever you land.

I will continue to engage you in your proposal and think on ways to make OpenCraft stronger and better able to serve its team members. There’s a great deal to reflect on here. I’ll be reaching out to do a 121 with you.


Wow @nizar … I agree with @Fox , your departure is a blow. This post echoes the sentiments of a lot of people who have left or are still hanging on, and I appreciate your continued efforts to get changes enacted. There’s so much to do – there always is. I don’t know what else to say besides: thank you for everything you’ve done and said and fought for. I’ll miss you, and I know you’ll thrive wherever you decide to go next.


@nizar Yes, as I mentioned when we discussed this in a 121 last month, it’s sad to see you go. :/

I’m also sad that you consider that there haven’t been any effort from OpenCraft to work on fixing issues (or do you mean me? we are all OpenCraft?) – there is still more to do, but we did not exactly do nothing? We did a spring clean of the processes, created two new dedicated roles for you and @tikr to allow you to dedicate your time to help with this very issue, increased the pace of recruitment to reduce the overload and recovered a good part of the lost capacity, @Fox has resumed the work on the workflow manager to help automate more of the metawork, @adolfo has implemented project cells, we raised the minimum salaries significantly, and we are about to review your proposal for another set of changes. This has taken a lot of time, energy and commitment from everyone involved, already – and we are not stopping.

I do understand that sometimes we don’t want to continue a relationship, when it isn’t fulfilling anymore. That’s how it is sometimes, and as I said in the past, that can be sad, but that’s also ok. Just like with other types of relationships and breakups, I find it important to not “throw the baby with the bathtub water”, as people say in France. When things last for a bit too long, resentment toward the other party can quickly build up. But I find it more fulfilling to be able to part ways in a mutually appreciative way – agreeing that we ended up going in a different direction on some area, and providing honest feedback; but also allowing for imperfections and giving space to what was good about being together during that time.

I’m sorry that we couldn’t find a way that worked for you @nizar . It has been a real pleasure to work with you, and I’m looking forward to discuss your proposal and see what and how we can implement from it to make OpenCraft a better place, even if that’s your last contribution – maybe, especially so.


Ouch! I’m sorry things didn’t work out for you @nizar. It was a pleasure working with you and watching you grow. I hope you find what you’re looking for. Thanks for all the great work and I wish you the best of luck for your future.

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@antoviaque I want to clarify that my intention isn’t to disregard the efforts different members have been putting and it isn’t to resent OpenCraft. I’m the person I am today because of the amazing team of seniors I was surrounded with.

Self management and the senior team at OpenCraft has definitely done a great job resolving different fires that come up. We have a lot of problems that come up every now and then and we do a great job at addressing them and taking action. The process spring clean and the work that has been going on for the past couple of months are definitely a good example about that.

But here, it’s important to distinguish the different efforts being put. We have a lot of self management efforts being directed towards addressing the different fires that come up. However, we don’t have enough efforts attempting to identify the cause of these fires and what is making them frequently show up again.

I, personally, compare OpenCraft to a forest full of sharp shards of glass.

We have a team that I trust to put out any fire that starts in the forest.

We don’t have a team capable of identify that the shards of glass are causing natural behavior to result in such drastic fires.

When everyone was too drained and busy surviving to deal with the issues of OpenCraft scaling up, self management was failing. It was evident that the applied format of self management wasn’t being as efficient and effective as it previously was.

And this isn’t the fault of the team and self management. The team already is spread extremely thin taking care of themselves, as they should.

Here is why I personally don’t feel like I received the effort I think I deserved from you.

I didn’t expect you to solve our problems, because I understand your vision and your motivation towards self management.

Yet, I did trust you to provide the members with the right mental space and capacity to better apply self management.
And you did, to an extent. You stopped accepting new clients and you helped address certain destructive pings and communication from certain clients. You also directed more efforts towards recruitment and identifying the members’ problems with metawork and roles.

However, that wasn’t enough.

Our already limited capacity was already getting smaller because of members burning out and others leaving. Our team isn’t functioning at its full potential because of the cycle of burnout that has been taking place for the past while.

One can’t expect members who are already suffering from burnout to help themselves. Members suffering from burnout can’t, in the right mind, delegate their tasks, take some time off, and investigate the problems that resulted in their burnout.

In addition, healthy members had, already, a lot on their plate. They were spread way too thin to be able to do anything about these burnout cycles.

So, I proposed the Developer Advocate role, in hopes of putting more of my efforts towards identifying that burnout cycle and addressing it properly.

I really appreciate that you gave it a chance and want to continue doing so. However, the fundamental problem of spreading a person too thin happened again, with me as a Developer Advocate. I was, yet again, spread too thin.

I found myself having to do different less important work than having my capacity directed towards identifying members’ problems: why they are unhappy, why they want to leave, and what would convince them to stay.

I found myself caring more and more about OpenCraft, its members and its future.

After 121s with members, I often couldn’t work the next day because of how bad I felt after they expressed their feelings.

Just like other types of relationships and breakups, I wish you and OpenCraft nothing but the best. I don’t resent you or OpenCraft.

I am just disappointed that I had to do what I expected from you, when everyone else, including me, was not doing good.

Anyway, I really appreciate that you’re going to discuss the proposal and put efforts towards it. It’s been a pleasure working with everyone as well.

I’m thankful to be “the smallest person in the room” at OpenCraft. It has really been one of the most enlightening experiences I’ve ever had.

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We have already discussed (maybe too much) about that and it just sucks… I am sad to see you go @nizar.

Take some time off, enjoy nature, the countryside, reading a book in a tree to recover all the mental energy you spent for us all these last months. :slight_smile:

I will definitely continue to bother you on IM and I wish you the best for your next adventure. :fist:

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@nizar I’ve very much enjoyed working with you over the past few months, and I am sad I won’t get more opportunity to do so. Best of luck and feel free to stay in touch with me as well. Hopefully our paths will cross again!

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It was a pleasure to work with you, @nizar. Thank you for all the efforts you’ve made, and for starting many useful (although sometimes difficult) discussions for the team. I always appreciate someone who cares a lot for others, and I could always see that in you. Take good care of yourself, and best of luck in your next adventures!

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It was a pleasure working (and playing :stuck_out_tongue:) with you @nizar. I am sorry that the situation got out of hand and pushed you to this decision. Best of luck for the future. You will be missed! :heart:

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Oh no @nizar :frowning_face:. I loved working with you on the Workflow Manager and was hoping we’d get the chance to collaborate again in the future. Wishing you the best of luck for everything to come, and hoping that 2022 is a less stressful, and much more happy year for you. We’ll miss you!

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It was really nice meeting you @nizar wish you the best of luck!

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@nizar It’s great working with you, both in the technical work and in the non-technical tasks. I hope you find more work that is challenging and enjoyable.

I understand your points and I have mentioned similar opinions in many other occasions (and recently). The developer advocate role you started could be a way to improve problem solving, by putting the focus on people instead of in changing processes.
Thanks for the empathy, for the energy you put into your work, and for the improvements and proposals. See you!

Let’s continue discussing the topics you mentioned at your proposal; I left some comments there.

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@nizar it’s sad to see you leave, although we have never worked together but we had a lot of fun gaming session and I will surely going to miss you. Hope you have an amazing future ahead, please keep in touch :slight_smile:

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@nizar Same as @jill and @Fox: your departure was an unexpected blow. I’ll always be grateful for all your efforts and for the changes you managed to push to improve our work-life balance.
I had a lot of fun in the gaming sessions, and our 121’s gave me the motivation I needed to keep going (things are much better now - don’t worry).

I hope you the best in your future endeavors, and feel free to reach out when you need. :slight_smile:

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@nizar It was great working with you, and I’m sorry to hear that we couldn’t find a way to make things better for you.

Thanks for all the help carrying Autodesk while they were our client, and for the effort that you’ve been putting into improving things for individual people and the team as a whole.

I hope you’ll find fun and good challenges in your future projects :slight_smile:

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@nizar I’ll echo everyone’s sentiments that it’s sad to see you go. Thanks for everything you did to try and help out the team and improve the problems you saw. I hope you find something that’s a better fit for you, and where you can thrive.

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