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What do your typical after-work hours look like?

andy profile image Andy Zhao (he/him) ・1 min read

Happy Wednesday, devs! (Or other day, for you other-time-zone folks.)

Man in a suit with an untied necktie dancing over the word Wednesdays

Pretty much me right now

As I'm winding down and going home for the day, I had a question pop up in my head: what do most devs do after they get off work? There was also a fairly related #devdiscuss on Twitter a few weeks ago:

BUT this question is about after you get off work. Do you...

  • work on a side project?
  • take a break from the screen?
  • focus on hobbies?
  • zone out on screen with Reddit/Twitter/dev.to/whatever?
  • more personal/career development?
  • spend time with your loved ones?
  • have plans with other people?
  • some other wonderful thing you've been wanting to share

Would love to hear what y'all do. 😊

Discussion

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Ben Halpern

My #1 hobbie these days is walking. New York is a great city for walking around. I'm usually listening to something like a podcast, audio book, or good ole fashioned music. I don't have any technical side projects right now, but I do use my spare time to play around with dev.to performance optimizations that I cannot justify spending office hours on. I really like messing with optimizations, so that's my side project 🙃

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Andy Zhao (he/him) Author

That's a great way to multitask. I always forget how great walking is when you do something else with it.

I think most users would agree that the performance optimization is 🔑 here, and much appreciated. I certainly do!

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Antoinette Maria

I run a non-profit (Reboot Iowa) to teach computer literacy, tech, and basic coding to adults on the side so when I'm not at my full time job, I'm doing work for that. I also dance for a semi-professional football team, but the season is over now. When I'm not doing any of those things and really have down time, I'm watching anime (dubbed and subbed). I'll start a new show, preferably with many seasons, and use that to zone out and rest my mind for a couple of hours.

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Andy Zhao (he/him) Author

Phew, that's a full plate alright. Sounds really rewarding though!

That's my usual strategy for picking a new show/series to watch, too. Long seasons also means less decisions which is always a plus.

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Ryan Norton

Aside from spending time with my family, especially my now-walking daughter, I enjoy listening to podcasts on my way to and from work. I find podcasts that encourage my dev journey as well as some fiction. Developer Tea and a serial sci-fi called SAYER are two of my favorites. Music is a constant. I'll be seeing Switchfoot with my wife next month, whom I've loved for 14 years and will actually get to meet them!

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Ben Halpern

I'm gonna check out SAYER, thanks.

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Ryan Norton

Careful! It's spooky! Ha!

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James Hood

Mostly family stuff. Picking up kids from after school activities, figuring out dinner, helping with homework. After the kids are in bed, my wife and I usually sit down with some tea and talk or take a walk before we go to bed. Once a week I have an ice hockey game.

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Andy Zhao (he/him) Author

I've recently gotten into a mix of video games and reading for an hour or two. It's either one or the other after work. So far it's pretty rewarding, but I got curious and wanted to hear what others did.

I've also been sitting on a few ideas that I want to turn into side projects, but I want to think over them a bit longer. And to be honest, procrastinate. A big part of me wants to code more when I get home, but it's just something I never really did unless it was really intentional, like looking for a job or learning. Hacking away at some side project still seems a bit abstract to me, but I'm definitely warming up to the idea.

Also, I find it hard to do a lot since I don't have that much time before going to bed. Anyone else have that issue?

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User_name

During the week I work a couple evenings answering coding questions from a bootcamp.
I also squeeze in a quick (free-weight workout || run) in the evenings to burn off some steam.
On the weekends I take the lady friend out for the day to get away from the screen for a bit-- mainly something physical like swimming or hiking, and occasionally some night-life.
Sunday afternoons I normally go to a local coffee/beer shop and code/chat with fellow programmers.
It's good to have some variety in your life 😄

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Geoff Davis

Usually work on some kind of hobby development work; React something or other, fun CSS sketches, etc; sometimes I get to the gym to play racquetball or run.

In the evenings when I'm not relaxing, I like to find different events around Memphis– including the plethora of concerts or community gatherings– or go out to the bars to hang out with friends and/or coworkers.

On the weekends I like to get out of the apartment and find a coffee shop to get a change of scenery and write articles for or update the code to my blog.

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Weston Wedding

The only sure thing about my weeknights are: commute for at least an hour, followed by a nap or dinner (or both, most likely).

Then quite often most of my evening is enjoying an online game with friends or watching Youtube videos (that aren't tutorials or software related) or engaging in online discussion. I'll maybe do 30 minutes of a side project if it's not too late by the time I feel up to it.

I'm not an individual that can pour my heart and soul into my code at work for 8 hours a day and then follow it up with a night of productivity; I'm usually quite exhausted by the time the evening rolls around.

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Andy Zhao (he/him) Author

I'm more or less the same way. I'm pretty worn down by the end of the day, but sometimes I do get that spark of wanting to work on something. It only lasts for about 30 to 60 minutes, though. Glad someone else feels the same way.

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Adam

I used to volunteer with a suicide helpline pretty regularly after work, but it eventually got a bit much with the travel times(Dublin Public Transport really needs work).

Mostly I read, I might play a video game or two or go for drinks with friends. I recently got introduced to a couple of boardgames which are fun to play(coming from a guy who's never played scrabble). If I'm feeling particularly productive, I'll head to my local library on Saturday and get some code written for a little side project I'm working on.

I don't really like to keep a schedule for my hobby time, because my day to day work life is already managed enough for my liking!

I think it's really important to get away from the tech for at least a small period of your day- I personally would really dislike if being a Developer was the aspect in life which my personality was defined from and was where all of my interests stem from.

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Andy Zhao (he/him) Author

Totally agree with not scheduling hobby time. It's really the time to just do whatever you want!

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Matthew Bidewell

For me, I try to keep myself busy.

I wake up at 5 and do 30 minutes of writing (mainly for personal site blog or whatever I feel) I then get a gym session in, need to lose that post-uni beer belly!

Then home, changed off to work.

After work, I spend an hour or two with loved ones before doing an hour or two of side projects. If my other half has planned something then we do that which im fine with. Usually asleep around 10-1030.

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Janno Liivak

After work I usually go for a walk with a whole family (wife, child, dog) to the nearest forest (true story ... there are forests in Tallinn ... capital of Estonia :) ). Currently I'm preparing for my second marathon in September so, I run 3-4 times a week. I also do 3 times a week bodyweight exercises to stay fit (running is not enough). 2-3 hours before a sleep I either work on projects of my own company or learn new stuff. I actually promised myself to learn at least one new thing in every day (play guitar, read a book on programming/business skills, code etc).

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George Marr

Netflix and Nandos in my bed. Most the time when I'm not working on something I'm paid for I'll be working on side projects. Other times I generally enjoy walking especially when there is something that is bugging me about a piece of code or anything in general, very refreshing.

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André Luiz

Some dev freelance, sometimes quality time with my family and gaming.

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Michiel Sikkes

I’m currently have a part time engagement as a local community politician. This has been going on for the past 4 years for at least two evenings per week. I’ve noticed it doesn’t make me happy anymore and that I’d like to fully get into tech and spend way more time with my wife and daughter.

Also I want to wind down a lot more with “non tech” things. I think that really helps to stay extra productive at work too! Take more days off and spending evenings just reading a nice book or watching a movie.

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Damien Cosset

Soccer practice takes a good chunk of my free time. Other than that, I'm currently reading the Silmarillion, and learning about MongoDB.

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Lars Wächter

Doing sports and hanging out with friends, family etc. Besides this, I work on some side projects to learn new technologies I don't deal with at work.

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Sam Beckmann

I've taken to painting miniatures for D&D lately! I often try to avoid programming at night, and focus on creative things. I think it makes more more productive and ready to program during the day.

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Sumant H Natkar

I definitely spend remaining time with my family and kid. Also I try to read sc-fi or fantasy whenever I have time to get a break from technical stuff.

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