Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
misterwubwub

what do programmers do on their off time?

36 posts in this topic

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

This.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recommend taking up a martial art.

This is excellent advice... it gives you the chance to completely loose yourself in the flow of movement that comes with any good martial art.

 

Aikido (as Glass_Knife) mentioned is an excellent choice, and I'm a huge fan of capoeira. It really comes down to personal preference, but there is a martial art out there for everyone.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to go to the gym. I now go jogging with my dog. I have a half-Miniature Pinscher half-unknown to take care of! Self-preservation really.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If working out typically bores you (as it does to me), having a workout buddy really helps in keeping each other motivated and in check.

 

I find myself DJing on the computer sometimes (I used to have some actual turntables but had to sell them off). That's relaxing to me, and currently is probably the most creative outlet I get out of myself. It feels kind of like making collages, but with music. Going by your avatar, you should probably try that :P

 

Interestingly I don't like to play many games as I used to... Strategy RPGs used to be a big time sink. But more often they make me think "this is time I could spend making a game instead" biggrin.png

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0