I code at home, alright I code a lot at home. but I don’t do it all the time and sometimes I take months off from doing it. I can code at home because I don’t have kids, or a lot of out of home activities Monday through Friday, but you’ll rarely find me coding on weekends. But sometimes I feel like I code more at home then at work.
So what go me thinking of home coding? It was an article on Slashdot that pointed to a blog post by Ted Dziuba who’s written articles on The Register, one of my favorite tech sites. Ted’s blog was titled “I Don’t Code in my Free Time” and it’s a decent read, but not really NSFW if you have web filter looking for choice words.
What I did realize while reading Ted’s post was that the line of thinking that, software developers must programming on their spare time is a job requirement, is found in no other industry, inside and outside technology. Before I started developing software I was a systems administrator, and I was learning development in my spare time. But I wasn’t building servers at home or setting up routers and switches. If someone told me that I had to do those things at home I would have branded them nuts. Is it a requirement for mechanics or engineers to go home and practice their craft? In other industries is a thought like that even mentioned?
Since moving into the software side of things it’s something that I do sense a lot of and have heard a number of times. Much like Ted I love solving complex business problems, but I’m not in love with code, it’s just a means to the end. When I develop at home it’s working on a product that solves a problem for me or just a business problem I found interesting. Telling someone, or thinking, that development at home is a requirement for a job I think is very short sighted, and quite frankly wrong.
If someone does develop at home, great for them and more power to them. What is important and a focus for them now may not be by tomorrow. Although I think Ted’s blog post has a little more venom to it then I normally like reading, I know quite a few people who code at home and are great parents, it does contains a nice nugget of information. In relation to work, leave peoples personal life that, personal, it has no baring on how good they are at their job.
Now if you’ll excuse me I have some P=NP development work to do at home.