Every time I interview, I always get asked for some code that they can look to. Sometimes they have me do a little coding test, sometimes they simply ask for a reference to a github account, or pull requests on other people’s projects. Honestly, having code for a side project is one reason I decided to formulate this blog as a static site (though I don’t think the coding I’m doing here is going to impress anybody, but still).
Here’s the thing though: I don’t really enjoy coding in my spare time. I don’t really like being on my computer in my spare time. I don’t think I’ve quite figured out what to do with it. I don’t have a ton of burning questions, I’m not a huge gamer, what sites should I be looking at? Seriously, after I peruse the news, I’m completely out of ideas; though my friend thinks everybody should be watching more of the hydraulic press channel.
I don’t think it’s necessary to have side projects that are code related. Sometimes people have other interests. I enjoy reading books, on real paper. I also have an unhealthy fascination with sitting on my couch, watching television, visiting trees, and spending time with my husband.
Technology is my job, but it’s not my vocation. I’m not sure what my vocation was, but if it became my job, I’d probably get burnt out by it. That’s what happened with dance when I was doing it 6 days a week. I’m pretty decent at my job, and I can get things done at work. But I’m not going to go home and spending time working on a side project – particularly when I don’t have a project or an idea that I can think of which requires me to code.
Maybe one day I’ll have an idea and I’ll work on it in my spare time. But I shouldn’t feel badly that I don’t have any technological innovations on my plate, or have a server farm in my house (you know who you are). It’s ok, and it doesn’t make me bad at my job. I’m glad to hear it come from somebody else that it’s ok to have priorities. I often have worked with people who write entire project infrastructures at a Wendy’s, or love what they do so much they are online every night late, commenting in Slack channels.
It is tough mentally to get past those people, to feel like you’re doing something wrong, or worse, feeling something wrong. So it’s nice to hear from the other side too. That it’s not bad, or it doesn’t make you terrible at your job if you don’t spend your spare time writing the next unicorn app.comments powered by Disqus