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Yes, You Should Have Hobbies Outside of Code

Ashlee (she/her) on May 25, 2019

I came across an excellent tweet last night by Twitter user Amycruz: Amycruz 👩‍💻 👩‍💻 👩‍💻 @a...
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/*Sharkie*/

I'm a massive bookworm! There's nothing as nice as curling up with a good book and a cup of coffee.

I also love photography, which helps when I need pretty pictures for a side project but is also one of the most calming things in the universe.

My newest hobby is actually belly dancing! It makes me feel great, have much more confidence in myself, and gives me a fun activity that gets me out of my chair.

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Florian Rand • Edited

I can relate, LOVE photography too!

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David R.

Nice work. You're kinda into that B/W thing ain't you? Me too. 🤩

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Florian Rand

Yes! Some of them are analog, developed by me. But that was years ago, it's a quite expensive hobby nowadays so only digital now and a few analog rolls.

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/*Sharkie*/

I used to play with my mother's developing kit, but digital is just so efficient and much more forgiving of my mess ups. :P

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Arthur Vincent Simon

I also love photography, which helps when I need pretty pictures for a side project but is also one of the most calming things in the universe.

This makes me reflect on my own photo taking adventures. I am always in a hurry. I usually snap whatever I see that is good.

It seems to me that I have to take my time to really get some good photographs

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Ashlee (she/her) Author

I love a good book and coffee. Drinking decaf for a while, but hey, I can still make it taste pretty! ;)

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/*Sharkie*/

Hey, decaf is still coffee! It totally works!!

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Casey Brooks

I've been getting into woodworking lately, and am currently building a coffee table for my wife.

Inspiration

Plans

Progress

Tabletop

Barn Doors

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Molly Struve (she/her)
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Ashlee (she/her) Author

Awesome! What a beautiful pony. :) I rode a loooooooooong time ago and it is so fun.

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Michael Kohl

Things I do besides coding:

  • I spend a lot of time with my wife, watching movies, TV shows, going out, doing little weekend trips etc.
  • I like traveling and visited ~55 countries so far.
  • Been reading at least one book a week since 2008. Fiction, non-fiction, whatever I can find.
  • I love playing chess and poker and also like studying the theory behind both, especially since they are so different from each other.
  • I'm also nearly always up for a good round of board, miniature or RP games.
  • I have a PS4 and a Nintendo Switch and while I don't play as much as I used to, I still try to get in a couple hours here or there.
  • Occasionally I dabble in electronic music.
  • Back home I also used to skate- and longboard, but Bangkok doesn't really lend itself to these activities, so I try to go the gym a couple of times per week.

That said, I also do have a lot of coding-related hobbies:

  • I'm involved in running 1 user group and 2 conferences.
  • I like to tinker with my Raspberry Pi or M5Stack and just ordered a Fomu to look into Risc-V development.
  • I love all things retro computing and gaming, as well as compilers and interpreters and there's an almost never-ending supply of reading materials around all of those 🙂
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Arthur Vincent Simon

I am very interested in your time management skills! You seem to get a lot of things done!

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Michael Kohl

Nothing special, I generally just do what I feel like. Some weekends that’s binge watching TV shows and some days after work I feel like coding until midnight or 1am. I don’t follow any system and in fact go against a lot of common advice: I go to bed too late (generally 1:30-2am), wake up around 8:30ish, and often don’t care if an activity is considered “productive” as long as I enjoy it. I also stopped doing to do lists, except for the rare case where I really need to get a few things done in a couple of days.

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Cécile Lebleu

I also like knitting! Mostly crochet. I also like hand-sewing a lot. You may think it's super slow, but it isn't. It definitely takes longer than machine sewing, but I really enjoy it.
And cooking. I absolutely love it and I'm lucky I can do that a couple times a day. It requires a lot of attention and care, so it really helps take the mind out of the code for a while.

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DataKhukhua

I play on piano

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Ashlee (she/her) Author

I hope to play a musical instrument again someday! It can be a really peaceful experience.

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DataKhukhua

again ? Uh , maybe u was playing on guitar , yah?

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Ashlee (she/her) Author

I played clarinet once upon a time and really enjoyed it. 😌

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Michiel Hendriks

Video entertainment. Both the interactive (video games) as the non-interactive (films and series). I prefer the ones with strong stories.

My reading is mostly IT related. So that doesn't count as different hobby, but it does fuel my creativity.

And when there's a cool new LEGO Idea's set out, I build that.

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Henry 👨‍💻 • Edited

In terms of completely non-computery based activities I like to grow my own chillies and veggies 🌱 and maintain a couple of little greenhouses (even that I've had urges to integrate arduino/pi tech into), I also enjoy cooking. Inside the realm of computer based stuff I also have the nerd prerequisite cliché hobby of gaming 🎮.
Edit: I forgot guitar!🎸

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Angela Whisnant

Crocheter, Knitter, Spinner, etc...if you can do it with yarn, I pretty much do! I am enjoying your posts, Ashlee, and you make a very good point. Burn out happens when we neglect our needs for other things like work, care-giving, etc...(the list is very long). I am a caregiver, so I have learned the hard way how important it is to spend time with friends and family, practice a hobby, basically do all the things for ourselves necessary to support life like eat, shower, shave, exercise, etc...Thanks for the reminder and thanks for voicing how overwhelming it feels to think you need to learn every new language, framework, etc...to be an employable web developer...that's been really bugging me. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

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Lukas Derksen

I am absolutely addicted to playing music. I play the guitar, the trumpet, the piano, blues harp and have taken up singing pretty recently. I still spend a lot of my free time reading about new coding concepts and all, but as you say, it's important to mix it up with other activities. I also have the advantage of being able to learn new technologies on the job, so that's a big time-saver.

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Nick Taylor (he/him)

Nothing super exciting in terms of hobbies or stuff outside of work. Just going to the gym, swimming lessons, snowboarding in the winter, reading (although most of the reading I've been doing lately has been programming related 🙃) and the usual hanging with friends. I must admit, I enjoy OSS and contribute whenever I can.

Rugby was a big part of my life for a long time, but I stopped playing in 2006.

Since then I've tried other sports such as dragon boating, ultimate Frisbee and soccer but I must admit, they all pale in comparison to rugby. I had a bad calf injury last fall which prevented me from playing indoor touch rugby last winter, but now that I'm all healed, hopefully I can lace up this winter to run around with my old teammates.

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Esteban Hernández

Skateboarding and biking which is great since I can't motivate myself to do any other form of exercise.

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Ashlee (she/her) Author

These are good for sightseeing too! :D

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Juneau Lim

This is absolutely correct. I used to play the drum but couldn't be doing it since I moved to study. Also, it is true that the amount of study is chasing and hinder me doing anything else, but I think it will be eating me alive someday if I keep doing it like this.

Will volunteering and meetups be counted? It's the only activity I am doing other than study. Thank you for the great article.

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David R.

Having young kids and openly enjoying quality time with family puts things into a different perspective.

Other than that, I enjoy photography and occasionally find me totally immersed by endless Lightroom sessions.

Cooking gives me back mental energy as well. 💯 The fact you'll have to eat anyway in combination with enjoying to "deliver" it is a huge win. 😜

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Tomislav Buljević • Edited

Well, aside from being a full-time dad to two beautiful handfuls, and a husband to an equally beautiful wife, I do like to dabble in card games. Magic: the Gathering and Vampire: the Eternal Struggle being the two weapons of choice.

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Doaa Mahely

I work out, read fiction and autobiographies and watch a lot of tv.

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Ashlee (she/her) Author

I've been watching a ton of Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Hulu lately 😬

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Bhupesh Varshney 👾

Me too
Almost over 😭

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Doaa Mahely

I've been a fan since the start. It's awesome 😄
Right now I'm binging 30 Rock. Also hilarious!

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Pierre Nilsson

This is a great truth I recently had to learn the hard way after a severe burn out. So I took up painting again, and a strict enforced a "no-coding policy" after work hours. It greatly helps doing other stuff.

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Miika von Bell

Running and gym all year, ice hockey during winters, golf and hiking during summer. Dog always involved in everything with wife's support. Couldn't agree more how important it is to have other hobbies aside from programming. That is atleast a necessity for me but I do not judge if someone spends all their time coding and practicing.

About coping with the amount of information. Yeah it's a really hard thing to master but one you should really learn. For me it has always been very easy to just focus on stuff that I am more interested in than the other. Once I truly get exited about something I can spend days/weeks just diving deeper into that area. For example at the moment I'm very interested about creating hexagon grids with CSS 😄

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Nucu Labs

I've started getting into a pixel art course recently and after I finish that I'll get into drawing. I also want to combine those tho with video games, making video games is much more interesting than your average coding project and since there's no pressure on me I can just work on my own pace and enjoy it.

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Oleg Aleksandrov

I collect foto with strange things on the street. Like that:

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Ashlee (she/her) Author

Woah! That's a really cool pic. Thank you for sharing. :)

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Amruta Ranade • Edited

Dungeons and Dragons! We play (almost) every Sunday afternoon 1-5 pm. I treat it as my sacred time and do not allow myself to schedule any work/side-project activities in this timeframe.

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Nathan Tamez

I needed to find non science and engineering interest. I do spend to much time reading and thinking about technology, space and programming. 🤷‍♂️

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Bilell Ghersa

Gamming

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Davis

Mostly watching some TV series which get me out of work mood and doing my side-projects, learning stuff I want to learn, still deciding on gym to apply to so that's in the works, too.
Would be playing with my dog and 2 cats but far away from them now (working in capital of my country, yet they are 4 hour drive away).
For the most part summer involved long night walks with some good lo-fi music in headphones.

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Paul Isaris

I think that any kind of daily exercise is a must. It boosts your health, helps you empty your head and you feel waaay better afterwards.

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OriginalJonze

Nice article 👍🏾

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Gift Egwuenu

I can’t agree more. I love photography and that’s what I do when I’m not coding.

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Louie Aroy • Edited

I go cycling, play guitar and learn piano and playing online game consumes a chunk of my time xD

I gave up my love for Anime and Korean Dramas because it eats so much of my time xD

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Ashlee (she/her) Author

I'm going to post pictures of two knitting WIPs and a cross-stitch WIP later on. :)

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Luis Miguel • Edited

I do mountain climbing. There's nothing more peaceful than climbing a mountain and meet nice people at the top.

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Eng Soon Cheah

I almost forget what is my hobbies.