Powerlifting has made me a better developer. (Part 1: Interpersonally)

Kayla Sween on August 16, 2019

Powerlifting may not be your thing, but you can always find ways to take what you've learned from your hobbies and apply them to your work... [Read Full]
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"What hobbies do you have that have improved your skills as a developer?"

Rock climbing:

When you're on a wall, you zone everything else out and are just focused on the next step. Not only is that a great metaphor for what "flow" feels like when developing - but it's a great meditative activity which helps relieve stress, and lets you make better programming decisions later.

Try it out!


That’s a good one! I love bouldering, but we only have one place near us that offers it near us. It gets pretty tight if there’s more than 3 people there, so we go when we can while traveling.


I draw.
Drawing is very similar to programming. You are following a process, but creativity is always there. It's a mixture of objective observation and subjective analysis of what would work best.
When drawing you have to deconstruct your subject in simple interconnected shapes (just drawing what you see is prone to errors) then replicate those shape as perfectly as you want to. The relationships between these shapes are as important as the shapes themselves. That's the logical part of the drawing. It requires good eyes and analytical thinking.
The subjective part is choosing how to alter what you see. You choose how much details to render in each part and also how to alter the realistic measurements for a better overall visual impact.
How does that help me? In programming, you often only have just a big problem. You need the capability to break it down to simpler ones that you can solve easily. And the solving part requires a lot of subjectivity because you need to be mindful about the bigger picture so that you can choose the best way to implement it.


That’s a great way of thinking about it! I approach programming like that, but never thought about how that same kind of thinking would relate to drawing. Thanks for sharing!


I've only started learning swimming at 22 and I can say it has helped me so much, especially mentally. I also like what you said about lifting each other up. Seeing people who have worked hard reach a milestone is so satisfying.


True that Kayla.
Photography has helped me in a similar way. Whenever I go on the streets photographing, it makes me feel that no matter what we do, how hard we work, there will always be someone who is a great deal better than you in some way, you are just one from the millions. Thinking too much about this race to always stay ahead takes you away from your goal, takes your focus away from working on your own self and what you are doing instead is worrying about all the things you have absolutely no control over. Working on my hobbies has taught me how to love what you do without worrying about the external factors I have no control over.


Absolutely! We’re all different and are at different places in life. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking there are people better at you, but it’s important to take a step back and try to look at it from the outside.


Great article Kayla!
Very inspiring and informative.
Maybe I should try powerlifting


Thanks, Lewis! I highly recommend it. I love getting people into the sport. 😊

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