re: It's perfectly fine to only code at work, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. VIEW POST


Though I think this is true, there are ways to incorrectly interpret or apply this idea.

Consider the carpenter analogy, it's a different domain of work and the range of specific skills is much narrower than programming. It's quite possible as a programmer that you're stuck in a job that doesn't developer a range of skills, and you become highly specialized. In this case, like in many jobs, you'll actually need to do outside education to break out of the mold.

Some people like programming and it is their hobby. Most of the people I know that write software in their spare time are not doing it as a continuation of their work. They have side projects, or hobbies, that just happen to also involve code. Technology is a diverse domain, and code is an amazingly adaptable tool. There's no reason somebody should actively avoid a hobby only because it uses similar tools to their jobs. To continue the analogy, that'd be like a carpenter that avoids taking up wood carving as a hobby.

As to passing judgement on skills, well, it gets tricky here. Somebody that write software day in/day out is more likely to know more things -- it's not a guarantee, but it's likely. However, somebody that just does their job 12hours a day is likely to be burnt out, undermotivated and locked into specific skills. It'd be foolish for an employer to not recognize achievements outside of work. This is true of anything though, not just coding.


I really like this response. You're absolutely right that this idea can very easily be interpreted to mean "you should never code outside of work". Which I believe to be equally as poisonous to a developer as "you must always code outside of work".

Everything in moderation, as they say.

I also mostly agree with your perspective around judgement of skills. More practice definitely makes a higher skill level more likely. But I don't know that someone who just works their day job is likely to be any of the things you describe. My experience (as described in my initial comment) certainly doesn't indicate that. Granted, that's not a massive sample size, but it's enough to challenge the assumption.

I'm certainly not suggesting that employers should not recognise achievements outside of work. They should. But they also shouldn't immediately dismiss a candidate for lack of recent github activity (or similar extracurricular activity indicators), which I've seen a little too much of lately.


I just meant to say there are positions where you'll end up stuck in a mold needing outside education to break out. There are many jobs where this does not happen, but there are many where it will happen. There's a large range of job quality in terms of career development.


Considering that most dev work still isn't done in the open, I also find it questionable that people judge others by their public contributions, like on GitHub, or open source projects. You can't really expect that everybody works in the open, or that even their public work reflects their business work.

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