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

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Erik Tank

I like the carpenter analogy because it helped me get to the core of my understanding of this topic.

I agree that carpenters don't spend their off hours building houses just to build them. However, when something needs fixing I'm willing to bet that they are doing it themselves - since this is their wheelhouse. Also, when they go to their favorite home/building supply place they will check out new tools and occasionally talking shop with friends. All this to say they are not building houses, but they are honing their base skills continually (knowingly and unknowingly).

The base skill of a programmer is problem solving. This can take the form of building your own accounting system (because the available software just didn't do it for you - yes, I have control issues) or doing a jigsaw puzzle.

I agree that as programmers we should seek out employers who help us grow 'on the clock' because that makes us happy and therefore a better employee. However, I would be wary of a programmer who refuses to 'walk the aisle' at Home Depot or who doesn't challenge their own approach/thinking to scenarios.

Who am I: I've been coding for over 20 years and during that time have worked as plumbing/heavy repair for a large pool company (believe it or not - just for fun).