Cover image for What's you favorite hobby outside programming?

What's you favorite hobby outside programming?

cilvako profile image Silvia Bogdan ใƒป1 min read

When I do not write code and I have free time, I like to paint/ make digital illustrations or go outside and take photos of buildings.

What do you like to do when you're not thinking about your next lines of code (feel free to show us the results of your hobbies)?

Image source: ArtHouse Studio/ @nick-bondarev on Pexels


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Excluding coding is kind of mean, since I do love my coding time a lot ๐Ÿ˜

Whenever I put down my headset, at least one of my 3 kittens is storming over to nearly suffocate me with snuggles and complaints about being hungry and bored.
Don't let the term kitten fool you though. While they are cute as buttons, they are already 10+ kg heavy and much bigger than the average house cat. And yet they will continue to grow for about 2 years. God help me.

Other than taking good care of my 2 Queens and 1 prince, I like to lift some weights.
Having a home gym came in super handy during the quarantine!

Last but not least, I do enjoy the occasional audiobook or game.


Maybe I should create a post where people can show off their pets :). I envy you for the home gym, that must be super nice :D.


Well.... It is, if you really have the drive to actually do something. If not, you always feel guilty walking past it :D
I put it into my living room, since that was the biggest room. Whenever I walk past it, I could swear it whispers "you lazy bum, do something!".

I absolutely support the notion of creating a post for showing off our coding helpers! :)


Gardening takes up my time in the warmer months. I love just being out there with my plants. Addressing their needs. Seeing them flourish or fail and learning from that mistake.

Outside of that, I am a big fan of strategy video games so those are great to kill hours of time.


Do you have land or you grow them in pots?


My wife let me take a 10x10 section of the yard for myself, the rest is for the dogs and the kids. I can get almost everything I want in that space but also have about 8 or 9 pots that I use.

That's nice. Maybe you could cultivate some vegetables:). I used to plant all sort of things (mainly vegetables) while living with my parents but now in the city I don't have anything else besides flowers in pots.

I should have specified, it is all vegetables right now :) I hope to add some flowers and other types of plants when I have some more space available.


The most interesting thing I do outside of programming is probably building closed terrariums

Other than that, I collect music CDs, listen to music, read books (SF and Calvin & Hobbes), sometimes play an electric guitar, and play PC games.


Nice. Do you have more of these photos? And do you make them and keep them?


I have some more on twitter:



I'm starting out so I'm currently keeping them to see if they'll survive the conditions. My plan is if they survive a month or two on their own to give them away to my friends and family.

That's how side business starts: first giving, whatever you end up selling, to friends and family :). They look very pretty and I guess it's quite complex to keep them alive.


Nothing fancy. I sometime doodle and try to learn music but the weekends are hard trying to decide what yo do. May be it is time to cultivate a solid habit outside work


You mean there are too many things you would like to do and you can't decide?


I think you are right If you put it that way.
Patience is the key when learning new things


It's also hard for me to decide what to do in weekend.


To be honest I have poor time management and often procrastinate, which leaves me with barely any time for hobbies. When I'm not working, learning, or writing (or trying to), I do essential activities such as rest, physical exercise, social (call/visit parents, catch up with friends), community/volunteering (pre-COVID anyway) rather than my actual hobbies. I hope to be more disciplined and focused so I could still do all those AND the hobbies.

My main hobby is music. Been playing (mostly self-taught) since I was a pre-teen, in bands since my mid teens, made original music since my late teens. Never been a full-time pro musician and everyone has always had day jobs, but throughout my 20s we've regularly gigged, toured, released stuff, occasionally got interviews and stuff. Unfortunately everyone has grown up and too busy to keep up now (not just me but my bandmates and most of our community/support system). Ideally I want to go back to making music someday, just not sure where to start. Well, I need to get my sh** together first.

My second main hobby would be reading. I used to be a huuuge bookworm as a kid and teen. I'd read everything and anything, useful and useless. These days I still enjoy reading, but not as much. Mostly programming, self improvement, and relevant current event topics (ethics, basic economics/politics). Oh well, sometimes I can't resist the temptation for some sneaky fictions, too.

I also enjoy gardening (just small herbs in containers as I don't have the land) but not that much. Like I'm happy watering the plants, propagating and transplanting, but I'm not that keen to do anything more complex... if that makes any sense?

I enjoy cooking and trying cocktail recipes when I have the time and mood--mostly bcs I love eating and drinking, lol. I don't really consider it a hobby, though.


Poor time management is something I also "suffer" from (there are so many thing I would like to do/ try and so few hours in a day). Although you seem to be doing quite a lot for such a disorganized person :).


My three longest running hobbies are reading ๐Ÿ“–, gaming ๐ŸŽฎ and playing the saxophone ๐ŸŽท, been doing all three since I was a kid (long before I ever learned to program). Since I got exposed to them in college, I've gotten really into 3D Printing, Tabletop Roleplaying Games, and Podcasts.

All just as nerdy as programming, but it's at least some variety!


I think any hobby is as good as any as long as it takes you away from the long hours of staring at the screen. First time I hear about Tabletop Roleplaying :).


Running each Sunday, I have the goal to attend 21 km non stop running but it still needs a lot of work and preparation, Gardening as well in my home buying and taking care of my plants daily, also I want to be practise fishing, camping .. it depends in my free time in the week-end :D


Thx for sharing, good luck with reaching the 21 km milestone :).


Photography. I enjoy it quite a bit ๐Ÿ˜Š
Selling some stock photos and so on, but my main interest is lifestyle & interior photography.
It would be cool to start working as a photographer full time as well - something I am thinking about in the last few months ๐Ÿ˜

I am also a Google maps contributor with over four milion views on my photos ๐Ÿค 



Wow, Norway is so beautiful. Oslo too (I always wanted to visit but the online photos I found weren't very convincing). So you're a developer wanting to be a full time photographer? That's interesting. May I ask what are you using to take your photos (I know it's not related to the quality of the photos but just curious).


Norway is pretty nice ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thinking about it, yes ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Instagram photos are 99.99% made with a smartphone.
I have a few cameras, but the one I use the most is Sony RX1.

Smartphone, nice :D. Your photos are very nice, especially the ones capturing buildings details.


I training my dog (big black german shepherd), and doing applied pistol and carbine shooting.


Awwwww, he is such a cutie, thx for sharing. I'm not sure I knew before that German Shepherds can be all black :).




Nice. I lacked the patience to train my dog and now it's too late :).


Itโ€™s never too late to train a dog :)

You haven't met my dog :D.


Cycling! And traveling, scuba diving, etcetera to a lesser extent, but that's all but halted because of COVID-19. But cycling trails and hills on my mountain bike is what allows me to explore, relax, work out and "get away from it all", as a necessary antidote to coding.


I guess I donโ€™t think of programming as a hobby. Itโ€™s how I pay the bills. But when Iโ€™m not doing that Iโ€™m either trying to create some art (I draw manga art-style, badly), gaming, or watching way too much anime. Or learning to speak Japanese. Also badly.


OK, I'll bite. Lol. Veg Garden, fishing, crawdad trapping, hiking. I am located rural. I start my day at 5 am in my veg garden. It's big so it takes time and is a great way to greet the fresh morning. It feels good. I have been picking berries for breakfast. Then I code. I use Alexa to set a one-hour timer. Every hour, I do physical labor in the garden. At lunch, I cook, all from scratch so it takes the hour of lunch. I usually watch someone from the intellectual dark web while eating lunch. Then, copy that routine for the afternoon, while ending my day, I grab my rod and craydad traps and drive a gravel road to the river to spend my evening. I like my life.


It's great you can organize your time in such a manner that you can do everything you're planning for the day. Sounds like you are very disciplined. Thank you for sharing.


Reading sci-fi! I'm also trying to branch out more. My partner reads a LOT (partially for work), and it's been a good influence on me.

I also like taking pictures! I like polaroid cameras, I have a modest collection ๐Ÿ˜ƒ but tbh I mostly just use a one of them: the Polaroid Sun 660 Autofocus. I use it as a way of documenting my life at the time, so most pictures are of friends.


I used to be a cinephile and to discuss and write a lot about movies back in high school. Now I'm at university, sitting all day at my desk, staring at my laptop and trying to learn something. I don't have enough time and energy to think about the use of light in the cinematography of Vittorio Storaro or whatever, so I'm quite CompSci-centric these days.


I try to do gymnastics, I was always thinking that those 2 (programming & gymnastics) won't match but I was wrong. Sitting for 8 hour shifts at a chair means youre not tired and then you can hit the gym HARD


I want to be a Game developer so if always i'm learning something that helps me to reach that goal, not only technology but arts too. I love music, i Play guitar and violรญn. I love stories too. Animations, movies and others things. Recently i started to read Drรกcula, because horror un arts is interesting to me.


I'm a serial hobbyist. Get ready for a long list!

Guitar - I used to play as a kid through to my teens. Picked it back up in lockdown and loving it so far. I'm following some courses to pick up where I left off.

Video games - I don't play many, but I try to fit in a few good ones every now and then.

Pixel art - I've always loved drawing but I'm not particularly good at it. I've been trying to learn to create pixel art which I find fascinating. May even use my creations to make a game of my own some day.

Reading - I read a lot of fantasy books. Currently reading The Witcher and The Last Kingdom series'.

Running - Picked this up in lockdown as well. I'm on week 9 of Couch25k.

Photography - Love going on walks with my partner and taking photos. I have a Fujifilm x-t30 which I take everywhere.

Walks - National Trust places in the UK are my jam.

Whittling (Wood carving) - Also a lockdown pursuit. It feels really nice to create something physical after spending most of my day working with code.

Writing lists - Can you tell?


Hockey, like the true Canadian I am.

I would play up to 6 times a week before COVID. Both to stay fit and as a mechanism to go from the work day into the evening.


6 times a week? Wow! When do you have the time?


It sounds a lot harder than it was (is?). An ice time is about 75 minutes, I live in the city core so it's about 25-30 minutes to any of the rinks in the surrounding areas, often less, and about a half hour to get dressed and undressed/showered.

So basically it's the same as a 2.5 hour gym session - excluding commute - 6 times a week.


How nice you enjoy drawing and making illustrations in your spare time! I can only do basic wireframes but I always want to improve my skills in the design aspect. Any advice? ๐ŸŽจ

Answering your question, I climb a lot when I am not coding. It is not only fun but can really take your mind off of work since you have to be extra focus on your moves and foot placement, etc. (There are even studies that show climbing can help depression.)


I love reading books, playing video games with friends, go to the gym, mountain biking, any activity on the water.


Physical activity, nice. I think it's very important since we spend so much of our time sitting in front of a screen.


Yes, staying 8+ hrs a day in a chair is not very good for our health. I try to comoensate with physical activities and I really enjoy solo sports.


Doodling in meetings
Complex origami because... Geek :)
Freeline skating. Maybe not what you think. I wish I was as good as this: youtube.com/watch?v=2IrzSGIDYgQ


What are thooooose? I can barely keep my balance on a once piece skateboard :)).


What that woman does with them is totally insane! It's taken me a year to be comfortable cruising around and occasionally lifting a foot :)

Didn't even know they existed until today. Impressive if you can ride on such things :D.


Recently I've been getting into woodwork, very fun and rewarding.. though you do get a splinter or two ๐Ÿ˜‹


Love woodwork, although I never did anything fancy myself. Are you doing it on a basic level (asking because I am curious how big the investment would be if I would like to try and see if I like it) or are you actually building usable things? Thanks for sharing.


I'd say more of a moderate level. I jumped into a massive project haha, I built a boiler enclosure/ cupboard that spans the whole wall, followed that up with creating a few hexagon 'floating' shelves and looking to build a bed next! I must say it is very challenging and can be expensive when initially starting out to get all the tools, etc. A word of advice if you start, don't buy your wood from B&Q or the equivalent, go to a timber merchant ;). Best of luck!

Thx for the tip. If I'll ever move into a bigger apartment I will definitely try to improvise a small workshop. Good luck with the bed ;).


Well, my hobby is umm.... Reading. Although I am not able to read from a months because of shortage of books(my father stopped buying me books cause I was reading too much๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜…)


Haha, can someone read too much?


Of course ๐Ÿ˜…๐Ÿ˜….My father snatched my phone away when I started downloading free ebooks from the net. I can read read and read for hours-anything and everything except my school books๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

School books are important too.


before coding I spent time learning foreign languages and art. Sometimes I still do, but not as much as I used to do. These days, I do more creative writing if not coding.


Hm, that's interesting, having learning new languages as a hobby. How many do you speak/ managed to learn? Any tips on how to learn a language faster (I"m really struggling with German :D)?


I speak two right now. Working on language three still.


D&D by far because it's cheap and I love being a DM, though my automotive hobby is ramping up recently too.


Baking bread. Here is a sourdough I made earlier.



Get outta' here, that's so cool. I love home made bread. Funny question, did you buy a bread maker after the COVID craziness started? I have a friends who owns an online shop and he was saying he sold a gazillion bread makers into the UK after the pandemic started :).


Ha, yes I have heard the same thing. I have been bread baking for a long time (before covid ๐Ÿ˜œ). Whist I do have a bread maker, I have never baked in the machine, I only ever use the needing functionality it provides.


Kids. Kids and cycling. But mainly kids.


Depends completely on the state I am in. My hobbies are way more than my hobies, and they keep changing.

I used to play in a semi-professional band and write music. Then there was this phase when I was into balkony-gardening. In the last years, I worked in specialty cafe and making a good latte art was my hobby.

These days, I am strumming my guitars again. :-D


I don't have a favorite as such, because pretty much anything can be interesting when you put your time into it. It is also hard to say what I'm doing and when, I don't like to structure my free time too much. I want to avoid overworking myself since I've had a burnout in my life and I had that one when I didn't have a job so I guess that tells enough about how good (or bad) I'm into always having things to do and how much passion I put into it.

Stuff I do as a hobby:

  • Lots of sites, most of them failures that do not exist anymore :)
  • The only notable Finnish Tolkien site and online community / forum with a wiki which has content that resulted into changes and additions to the Finnish translation of the books. The community merged with the Finnish Tolkien Society some years ago which now takes care of holding regular real life meetups about four times a year in addition to the other more generic ways of keeping Tolkien visible. The past ten years (or about half the lifetime of the community) I've been close to minimal effort with stuff as work is in the way.
  • I've been translating games to Finnish which is a never ending thing to do as I picked up Civilization V and VI, and added Heroes III of Might and Magic into the mix this year... Civ 6 is a pain because it still has regular updates :)
  • I've also modded games and figured out how their file formats work, resulting also into sidepaths like creation of a map generator or drawing pixel art.
  • I also do some gardening work and all sorts of home maintenance little by little.
  • I have some world building ideas of my own that I did some work on last year. I guess that could eventually result into writing an actual story, but there is the same old issue of not having enough time.

Recently I've also tried streaming gameplay. However I lack contacts to gaming community so getting viewers is hard, and then there is that in short bursts I'm not very entertaining person to watch so random viewers often just go away immediately. Plus if there is no chat interaction going on it is hard to stay motivated.


Digital artwork and music production!


Sourdough/wild-yeast bread and other forms of baking. I blog about it at therapeutic-baking.blogspot.com/ . I cycle as much as I can. I volunteer at and through my church.


Backpacking in the Pacific Northwest!


D programming language (dlang.org). Like JavaScript but all powerful


You can usually find me either at a poker table or at a soccer field (if I am not injured, haha)


football and soccer or trading card game fosho


Video games! Specifically JRPGs


Digital sketching, learning Japanese, playing the guitar


Kayaking, running, watch ice hockey (before covid) and flying my drone!
Now I just need more time in the day, for side projects :)


Playing Soccer โšฝ๐ŸŸ๏ธ๐Ÿฅ…


I do sports, read books.

I watch movies.

I read 54 books in 2019. My goal is 100 books in a year. But it's not possible for me for now.


I hike and, when I can, I sail. I need something physical and demanding to turn my brain off the normal loops :)


Nothing much, just read some business books, and surf the net. A few times, I do some physical activity.


Reading when bored, playing guitar when kids around, running when tired. Simple as that. : )


Can we count these as hobbies? If so, I'm a huge fan, especially of sleeping :D.


Since I'm a dog owner, my hobby is visiting the toilet... alone :)