Thread: To those for whom programming is more than hobby, what does your downtime look like?

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    To those for whom programming is more than hobby, what does your downtime look like?

    It seems to me anyway, that if you are in the industry, or trying to break into the industry, learning is a never-ending task. I can only watch a movie or surf the web in my downtime, my brain is too fried to do anything else.

    I could be underestimating the ridiculous amount of time that single life affords one. I married early and I've got two young kids. When I do on rare occasion game, I find myself thinking I should just: A. Stare into space or veg out with a movie and save the mental energy. B. Go do some programming.

    Am I the only one who feels like if they aren't conserving their mental energy for some programming, or actually programming, they are "falling behind"?
    I made a pair of "Braille Gloves" which have 6 vibration motors in six finger tips and vibrate in the relevant patterns. I have used this to read stuff while out walking. Given there is a fairly well defined programmer-oriented Braille encoding I should imagine it would work in this situation. Diagrams could be a pain still.

    Note: I am not blind but have learnt Braille fairly easily so for me it works quite well

    Disclaimer: I haven't tried this while driving yet...

  2. #2
    Master Apprentice phantomotap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Staying polished and keeping up with trends is a process that has no real end, but that doesn't make it a literal constant battle.

    If you can't find a way to resolve "falling behind" by balancing your life you are going to "burn out" hardcore.

    I'm not saying that I don't feel that I'm at the top of my fame from time to time. If I spend an entire day doing "nothings" I always feel that I should have some programming or writing or something. I'm not going to say that my approach will work for everyone, but I'm going to tell you what I do anyway! I split up my day into a lot of chunks. Yeah, it is obvious; it also really works for me. Even if I just spend 20-30 minutes at my workstation reading journal articles I feel like I'm doing something to stay up to date.


  3. #3
    Make Fortran great again
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    When I was younger, I used to kill myself going as fast as I could at the job. If you're doing this, slow down a bit, it's not worth that fried feeling at the end of the day.

    Kind of missing the target of the thread here, but with a wife and kids, I'd worry more about them then how good of a programmer I am.

    Also, you may opt to simply read programming books instead of doing actual programming; it's less taxing on the mind.

  4. #4
    Registered User VirtualAce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Spending time with my family.
    Video games.
    Programming on personal projects.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2003
    I try to do as little work as possible during the weekends. If I do any coding at all, and it's rare, it's for a personal project that's unrelated to work in any way. I firmly believe in a separation of work and play, or you will burn yourself out so fast. My weekends are my time. If I really feel like coding, I'll do it, but if I don't feel like it I'll do something else instead.
    You ever try a pink golf ball, Wally? Why, the wind shear on a pink ball alone can take the head clean off a 90 pound midget at 300 yards.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Wish i had done that. About a couple of years ago it seemd to be a good idea to combine my hobby programming c/c++ with my job and write some programs in my spare time to get the job done a little faster. Well I'm on sickleave now for almost 2 month ...

  7. #7
    Officially An Architect brewbuck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Portland, OR
    I shift slowly through phases, usually a few weeks in length. In one phase, I do a lot of programming during my off hours. In another phase, I read about programming, math, and physics but don't do much of it. In another phase, I do nothing but watch TV shows and read. In another phase, I abandon it all and vanish into the mountains. This is just a thing I do, I don't plan it out or schedule it.

    As far as trying to stay on top of it so I don't become obsolete, I don't really worry about it because the code I work on professionally is, and always has been, very specialized and not something that is going to decrease in value any time soon. If I was cranking out web apps or writing enterprise back-end code I would probably feel much more pressure to stay up to date on current technology trends. That said, I find such things completely uninteresting, as I am more interested in computing devices as the "whole enchilada" and not whatever the current hot topic is. Topics are hot and then they are irrelevant.

    If I could support my family appropriately, I would walk away from it all in a microsecond and just live in the woods, survival style. I love technology but it rides shotgun. The driver of this vehicle hurtling into unknown locales is Mother Earth.
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);

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