Recently I found a new hobby: online texas hold’em.
I’m not spending big money on it (I mostly play free tournaments in an italian poker room and a free online game on my iPhone) but I’m finding poker very relaxing and I also find some similarities between online poker and programming, plus something more… Poker teaches you to be a better programmer…
There’s always someone better than you
You can be the best coder among your friends and colleagues, but you’re not for sure the best developer around. The same happens in poker: you can be the best player in your friends pool, but you’re not the best player in the world. Remember to code, code, code, exercise and study, try and fail. This is the only way to improve yourself and prove you are the best.
Math is useful
I see a lot of people around telling “I don’t need math”. In poker (and in programming) you need a lot of math, even for simple operations. Maybe you already know that, but pick five minutes to test (and improve) your math skills. You can find some tests and exercises here.
Be fast and precise
In online poker you can’t think hours for your next move. If you are a programmer you should be fast-thinking and precise. Fast and no errors. Simple, isn’t it?
Apply lateral thinking to approach your problem
Sometimes the best solution is just around the corner. Be creative!
If you want to try poker there are a lot of free poker games on Facebook, iPhone, etc… Don’t waste your money. The fun is the same.
P.s. Online gaming is an hobby, but it could easily ruin your life. If you have problems with gaming & gambling visit this site.