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How much time on average do you spent coding outside of full-time work?

lennythedev profile image Lenmor Ld ・1 min read

If you're like me, I have an imaginary backlog full of ideas I want to test out, tech I want to learn next, articles and tutorials I want to explore, and projects I want to work on.

But between 40 hours a week at work, going to gym and trying to have enough time to rest, I'm finding it a challenge to hit the right amount of hours in a day / week that's a good amount.

I want to get an idea on how many hours devs spent on average, and no better place to ask than Dev.to 👨‍💻👩‍💻

I'll start:

Me: 16 hours a week on average, with varying focus and regularity

weeknights: 3 hrs per day, except Friday (rest day)

  • less focus: most of energy consumed during the day
  • regular: it's easier to get it going 4 straight days in a row

weekends: 2 hours per day

  • better focus: full brain power, since no work
  • irregular: because of errands, cooking, going out, friends, family. It's the weekend after all 😄 🛍️ 🏞️ 🚴‍♂️ 🏀

What about you?

(Details optional, main thing is the hrs per day/week)

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lennythedev profile

Lenmor Ld


webdev @ Autodesk | Someone used to call me "Learn more", and I'm spending forever to live up to it. You'll find me dabbling in random stuff 👨‍💻 or missing a wide open shot in 🏀


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For me (backend dev) it's around 0 hours. I have decided that I would not work outside of work.
I go to the gym, play Kin-ball and I also do target shooting (recurve bow). This mixed with the appartment, girlfriend, family and friends, I only have a little free time that I use to play video games.

I've found that I often overworked myself by programming outside of my work hours. I have regular "available" time at work which lets me work on pretty much whatever I want.
I also read a lot during my commute. That includes reading in dev.to.

The only thing that I've programmed outside of work hours this year was a small script to calculate my household expenses/budget.

Remember to have fun too!


That's a good rundown of a sustainable habit. Thanks!

Kin-ball is definitely something new to me

When I'm not coding after work, I'm online-gaming. And sometimes I would get really competitive and pissed on not winning that I look back at the 3-4 hours (sometimes more) and be like, "man I probably would have been happier if I just coded"

But yes, definitely a sweet spot to hit there with coding vs leisure


For me it runs in cycles. I have chronic insomnia, so on those nights, I can put 4-6h into a pet project. Right now it's work related and I'll use the tools for work, but it's the concept that I'm working through - essentially I'm mapping a 500k file code base to formulate a plan of action for redesign and consolidation.

I also do physical computing and recently I've begun thinking through a design for a knowledge capture model that doesn't consume my life with maintenance


Exciting stuff!

I admire that you can work through an insomnia.
I battle insomnia sometimes but coding would be the last thing in my mind.


I tend to spend some time on the weekends coding on side projects or doing studying on something I want to learn. No more than 5 hours total/week. I get paid to code, I don't particularly feel the need to code in my spare time.


That's a good point.
I'm still finding the perfect amount of hours per week that I would feel like I'm enjoying it like a leisure but not feeling like work. It's quite tricky.


Since having children, I'm lucky to have 1-2 hours a week!


Hi Liz,

I've got 2 kids and work 40 hours. And lately I've been wanting to work on a side project so badly, I decided I had to plan a set time of the day for this.
In the evenings the kids keep me busy, but after our youngest gets to bed, I do a minimum of 1 hour of coding before I go to sleep, on working days only. Every bit of time I got to spare in the weekend is a plus, but if I don't feel like it, I won't bother.

It's just that, because it's a set time, I find myself coding on my side projects every day. I got this tip from a podcast, which I'm thankful for.
And on average I'll put in about 8 hours every week, because of extra opportunities I get during evenings or weekends.


It still counts 😊
And good thing you still have some time to spend in the Dev community too. Thanks


Used to be more before the son was born, now with a toddler it's about one to two hours a week. Before that I did an hour per day.
Recently I started practising guitar again, so it's currently zero.


I imagine it's really hard to fit in when you have a family.

Thanks for your reply.

You reminded me of playing the guitar again.


The first year was super-productive, because of the weird sleep-pattern of the baby. But it gets more demanding after that.

Yes guitar is perfect for me to get in a flow really quick and forget about everything else.
This video of John Mayer lit the guitar-fire again.

Also I can recommend Paul Davids videos.

Thanks! I haven't found a guitar coach yet but some guitar-playing videos would get me going 👍


30+ hours I am a part time open source developer so I could almost every minute I can after work / weekends


Nice 👍
So much freedom 😀


As an entrepreneur, I don't "get" the concept of full-time work, so I spend a lot of time coding