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

FULL DISCUSSION
 

I’ll try and wrap this all into hopefully a cohesive comment which will probably go on a tangent or two and may or may not ruffle some feathers. This probably should be a blog post as it already feels lengthy in my head, but I’m not in a headspace to write a blog post right now.

I’ll preface this with I do enjoy coding outside of work, I do contribute to OSS, enjoy blogging etc. I consider myself a passionate developer and I enjoy my craft. I have mixed feelings about all this.

I don’t think you need to contribute to OSS and just because you don’t, doesn’t mean that you’re not a great developer.

However…

Unless you're super gifted and never have to put any effort into anything, if you want to improve your skillset or add a new skill, there’s no other way than putting in the extra time. Maybe it’s just the places I’ve worked at, but none of my employers have ever given me free time at work to learn tech that we weren’t using unless there was a need to incorporate this tech. So, if I want to learn something new, I have to put in the time outside of work.

We weren’t using React at work at a previous job, but I wanted to learn it in the hopes of using it at a future job. I started reading up on it, doing some tutorials etc. Once I started coding, I decided that a great way to keep learning would be to contribute to an OSS project. I could learn from others and potentially help others. I was glad I did because I’m enjoying working with React in my professional tool belt at the moment. To get there though, I had to go the extra mile.

This doesn’t just apply to software. It applies to anything, even carpentry. Apologies in advance, but it’s so easy to relate this to sports. When I was playing rugby in university, we practiced 2 hours each day, Monday to Friday and had games on Saturdays. Aside from practices, myself and others would do additional practices on our own to better ourselves. It could be passing a ball to hit a target consistently, going for an extra run and/or hitting the gym to become stronger to be able to take and give a beating on the field. I did all this because I loved the game, didn’t want to let my team down and I just always wanted to be better. Alright end sports analogy.

Having said that, I must admit that I struggle with work life balance on a daily basis, but I still try to find time to do other things. Family, hanging with friends, 5 à 7’s, snowboarding, camping, going to the gym and a few moons ago, rugby (which I miss a lot, but my body is done with getting beat up 💪). The easiest way for me to clear my head these days is getting into a squat rack at the gym. Anything that’s bothering me big or small, just vanishes when I exercise.

Everyone is different. Just try and find what works for you and at the same time keeps your sanity.

If you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening to my ramblings. Now it's time to head to a friend's birthday 🍰. Ciao for now.

 

Hello!

I can relate to not ever working on a place where they give you time to study, unless is something worth for them - and even that was rare. I recall one time a former boss said to me I was wasting time studying. His exact words were: "Don't you think you should stop reading and do some work?".

So, when I was out of the office, I was, usually, studying stuff for my job - not improving skills the way I wanted, not earning knowledge for my mid term goals.

So, after one event where I got burnt out and lost interesting on almost everything - including playing as a scrum half -, I decided I would dedicate less time into "work" and enjoy more my free time.

Nowadays, sometimes, I do feel guilty for not having side projects or studying that much. But on the other hand, if I'm tired after a stressful week, I just spend the weekend doing things I like (which, until last year, playing rugby was part of it).

Having that in mind, I do agree with the sports metaphor as in putting extra effort for self and collective improvement. However, if the said improvement comes in the spent of your mental health and creating impossible standards of performance, I believe a step back is a better choice.

Be that just plyaing touch or beach rugby for leasure, be that not worrying about you are not committing to any side project.

Cheers!

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