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what do programmers do on their off time?


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#1 misterwubwub   Members   -  Reputation: 129

Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:43 PM

I find my self needing a break from time to time, but i also have a project im working on, with a few people involved. Now, there is no time quota its all hobbyist stuff, but i do feel the need to always be learning more about programming, since i am the java programmer, and i am fairly new, learning about programming and programming theorys and concepts for about 7 months now, and the actual syntax of the java language for 4 months now.

 

Now back to this break i was talking about... i use to, well play games! all the time... if i wasnt eating sleeping or trying to hack the lastest andriod, id be on My Xbox roaming the wastelands of Fallout 3(aweeeesssooommee game, my favorite... i want to create one of the likes one day) untill my eyes were bloodshot...

 

now i have sold my xbox because, yes i did get tired of it, and it sat doing nothing for about 6 months, collecting dust... with my new found hobby of wanting to create and program games!

 

but Now i find my self not knowing what to do, to relax and get my mind off the next problem at hand, or wanting to test some new code i have written down. i try getting on youtube and watching funny cat videos, epic fail compilations, or people doing this new found harlem shake(disturbing i know!) but i always end up getting sidetracked with a little voice telling me"hey, you really should learn how to do_____"<- fill in the blank". And i go and look up random tutorials on how to do, whatever i need to do at the moment for another hour, just getting my self back to the mind set of"Damn i need a break!" And the horrible cycle continues

 

what do you do for relaxing? I know it sounds corny but its becoming a real problem! like i really cant seem to relax like i use to. Any sugestions would be much appreciated.

 

Sorry for boring you with my personal life and its problems if you just dont care xD.



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#2 jbadams   Senior Staff   -  Reputation: 17247

Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:24 AM

Maybe you should try something out of the house or away from your computer?  Do you have any other hobbies?

 

Sports or other exercise?  For for a walk or jog?

Building something?  Lego?  Electronics?  Carpentry?  Paper mache?

Reading?  Fiction or non-fiction, comics, magazines?

 

smile.png



#3 tom_mai78101   Members   -  Reputation: 568

Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:46 AM

Eating, watching Youtube videos, doing part-time jobs, tackling OpenGL ES 2.0 on Android, sleeping, listening to neighbors fighting and arguing, pay monthly and service bills. And my cum box.

 

Just your average day, no less.   :/


Edited by tom_mai78101, 02 April 2013 - 01:47 AM.


#4 Waterlimon   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2361

Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:16 AM

Beat Dwarf Fortress?

Waterlimon (imagine this is handwritten please)


#5 Glass_Knife   Moderators   -  Reputation: 3459

Posted 02 April 2013 - 05:47 AM

I recommend taking up a martial art.  As software people, we sit way too much, and need the exercise.  It is a lot of fun, and can really help you get your frustrations out.  And it is great for confidence, which we know programmers need :)

 

There is something very comforting about entering the dojo and training just like people did hundreds of years ago.  Wearing the same clothes, feeling the same things, couldn't be father away from the computer.

 

I've studied Aikido for years, but any one would be good.


I think, therefore I am. I think? - "George Carlin"
Indie Game Programming

#6 Yrjö P.   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1412

Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:01 AM

Whatever gets you out of the office is good. (If you do work-related stuff from home, then home also counts as "the office" in this fashion.)

Another way to put it, go somewhere that has no computers. Some form of exercise is a must.

 

IMO, fighting sports kind of suck if you can't commit to training at least twice a week, and preferably more. Injury risk goes way up whenever you are out of practice, and getting back on the wagon is hell.

 

Lifting (as in powerlifting, kettlebell lifting, etc.) is very efficient time-wise for building general health and fitness. You can attain great results training just once a week, or progress faster by training more. It rewards patience and understanding, so it's a good fit for programmers. Unlike with most sports, you constantly see your objective results, which is motivating not unlike beating your high scores. At least for the first year or so, the results will just constantly go up. It takes very little effort to become stronger than, say, 90% of people. You have to concentrate fully on the lifting when doing it properly, which clears the head. I taught myself from books and some internet videos; it's not hard to get started.



#7 minibutmany   Members   -  Reputation: 1479

Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:21 AM

Building something?  Lego?  Electronics?  Carpentry?  Paper mache?

 

Try breadboarding a Z80 microcomputer. When you feel like programming again you can learn assembly code and make it blink an LED!


Stay gold, Pony Boy.

#8 minibutmany   Members   -  Reputation: 1479

Posted 02 April 2013 - 09:44 AM

Sometimes I also like to just play a record, put on my headphones, and just sit there for a few hours staring at a wall with the sounds going through my head. Pretty relaxing when it's Bach, not so much when it's Devo.

 

Three years ago I got my amateur radio(ham) license. This is really fun, you can talk to nice people locally or all around the world. While the process of studying for the exam, setting up your equipment, and getting on the air for the first time can take a while, anyone can get started having fun with a shortwave radio. It is surprisingly relaxing to listen to the old guys on HF radio talking to each other and if you tune around you can pick up music from shortwave stations all around the world.

 

Or you can run. I'm the dude that runs around wearing formal shirts and Khakis, but you should try sweatpants and T-shirts. It makes it easier, but you don't look as interesting. 


Stay gold, Pony Boy.

#9 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2095

Posted 02 April 2013 - 11:07 AM

I advice against brain-demanding hobbies if your job is already brain-demanding.



#10 FableFox   Members   -  Reputation: 487

Posted 02 April 2013 - 01:53 PM

I advice against brain-demanding hobbies if your job is already brain-demanding.

 

This.


Fable Fox is Stronger <--- Fable Fox is Stronger Project

#11 Ravyne   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6765

Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:26 PM

Drink.

 

 

Seriously though, I recommend doing something that scratches another itch. Read books, do something, anything, outside, do something creative, or build something physical. Give your programming synapses a rest, and let the others out to stretch their legs.



#12 Madhed   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2493

Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:34 PM

Playing in a band. If you are really into the music you can turn off your brain for a while and just let it go on autopilot.



#13 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2095

Posted 02 April 2013 - 02:51 PM

Playing in a band. If you are really into the music you can turn off your brain for a while and just let it go on autopilot.

Unless you want to play your own songs and/or not all the members in the band want to go in the same direction. These can mean a lot of stress too.

If you don't live in a crappy place, exploring the city on foot can be a lot of fun.



#14 tychon   Members   -  Reputation: 652

Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:36 PM

It might seem a little odd, but I've found motorcycles to work for this. Nothing like a little fresh air through a wooded trail that demands your full mind and body focus to avoid an accident to take your mind off of work stresses. Mileage may vary.



#15 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6107

Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:37 PM

Sorry, I'm not understanding the problem. You enjoy working too much to slack off? So keep working. 



#16 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 6791

Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:58 PM

Sorry, I'm not understanding the problem. You enjoy working too much to slack off? So keep working. 

Indeed, this.

As to what I do with my off time;
- gym 3 times a week
- watch tv/films to relax
- play games to get rid of The Rage which builds up
- mess about making 'music' which exercises a different part of the brain to my normal 9-5 brain stuffs
- read books (non-technical... although I read technical ones as well... often pre-bed)

(and a few times a year I head back to my home town, meet up with mates, get confusingly drunk, walk up to random people and declare 'I have an awesome beard... go on... stroke it!' which works surprisingly well.... happy.png)

Edited by phantom, 02 April 2013 - 03:59 PM.


#17 Zipster   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 552

Posted 02 April 2013 - 04:25 PM

Pick up an Arduino and start working with the hardware side of things. You'll learn how to make blinky shit that lights up. Everyone loves blinky shit that lights up.



#18 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 18874

Posted 02 April 2013 - 06:29 PM

Sorry, I'm not understanding the problem. You enjoy working too much to slack off? So keep working. 

 

I mostly agree with that.

 

If you are working because you like work, that is fine.  It is generally good to do what you enjoy.

 

If you are working because you are feeling compelled to do it, perhaps by stress, OCD, or something else, then it is an unhealthy situation.

 

 

 

 

Now i find my self not knowing what to do, to relax and get my mind off the next problem at hand, or wanting to test some new code i have written down. i try getting on youtube and watching funny cat videos, epic fail compilations, or people doing this new found harlem shake(disturbing i know!) but i always end up getting sidetracked with a little voice telling me"hey, you really should learn how to do_____"<- fill in the blank". And i go and look up random tutorials on how to do, whatever i need to do at the moment for another hour, just getting my self back to the mind set of"Damn i need a break!" And the horrible cycle continues

 

When I read this, I don't see it as someone who simply enjoys programming.

 

He doesn't know how to relax.  He feels compelled to study some specific topic, to the point of interrupting other activities, and this continues in a "horrible cycle".

 

 

My suggestion would be first the self-help method.  Like those above, do something COMPLETELY different.  The only activities the OP listed in his life were sitting at a computer doing work, or sitting at a computer doing play.

 

I agree with martial arts or other physical exercise.  It gets you away from the computer.  Photography (working outside, not studio stuff) can also be good for many of the same reasons.  Someone suggested music, which is also good.  

 

 

 

But sometimes that won't work.

 

If self help doesn't work, it is likely that something else is going on.  Perhaps you conditioned yourself into a specific thought pattern.  Perhaps some past experience makes you think you must know something to avoid a disaster, perhaps from a failed class or something.  Perhaps there is some other triggering behavior or triggering belief, you just cannot see it because you are too close to the situation.

 

In that case, professional help is a good thing.  A few months with a good behavioral psychologist can help identify the triggering behavior or belief, and help modify the responses to it.


Check out my personal indie blog at bryanwagstaff.com.

#19 misterwubwub   Members   -  Reputation: 129

Posted 02 April 2013 - 07:47 PM

Thank you all for your responses! Alot of great ideas from many different perspectives and good advice, alot of things i have never thought of.

 

yes for some odd reason i do LIKE to work, depending on what it is. I believe if it is constructive, teaching a new skills, somehow gonna make me money now or in the future, or helping me or others in some kind of way,then yes i do enjoy it. But alot of things i am lazy on... like... cleaning cups... and... cleaning everything else xD.



#20 szecs   Members   -  Reputation: 2095

Posted 02 April 2013 - 10:05 PM

I believe if it is constructive, teaching a new skills, somehow gonna make me money now or in the future, or helping me or others in some kind of way,then yes i do enjoy it.

What about enjoying it at the moment, enjoying programming itself?

 

I'm not a professional, but when I'm doing programming, usually I do enjoy it on the spot, not only because of some future and/or indirect benefits. I don't feel bad if something that I do doesn't have any benefits.






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