Hyperfocus is one of the few traits of ADHD that most people see as a benefit. It has been the backbone of my success as a software developer, starting in my education, and continuing through my professional career. The catch is that I didn’t know that I had ADHD until hyperfocus was no longer enough to sustain me, and a myriad of distractions and burnout really started hurting my career and personal life. A few key tweets from other developers with adult ADHD diagnoses tipped me off that what I was experiencing might not be entirely in my control. So I researched the disorder, saw a psychiatrist, got a diagnosis, and began treatment.
What I have taken from the experience is that many developers are living with ADHD, and are often completely unaware. Some are struggling, some are succeeding, and some are on the cusp of burning out because they can’t cope with distraction. This talk will illuminate ADHD symptoms as they apply to developers especially. I will provide anecdotes, tools, and processes to help fellow devs with ADHD understand themselves, see their differences as strengths, and improve their ability to perform–and keep performing–well in software development.