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Burned out

At work, 8 hours a day, I play with Ruby code. Well mostly Ruby code. I also play with lots of SQL queries, some funky survey-collection languages called Blaise and Manipula and Cameleon, SPSS code, old legacy MS DOS batch scripts, a few old Python scripts, a couple Perl tools, and a few websites worth of CGI and HTML. And it's pretty fun. I couldn't ask for a better job.

And then I go home, at around 5. Assuming I can stay awake until midnight, that gives me 7 hours at home each night. One hour is taken up by cooking and eating. Add in another hour maybe for catching up on forums that need posting to and news sites and web comics that need reading. Let's give at least an hour or two talking to my girlfriend.

Assuming I do nothing else, e.g. reading some books I've been wanting to read, or playing a video game or two, that leaves me maybe three hours of "free time" each night. Assuming I can even stand to look at a computer screen full of source code after doing it all day, how in the world can I get anything productive done in three hours? I have all kinds of ambitions of things I want to do away from work. I'd love to contribute to some open source projects. I have ideas of projects I want to start on my own, some of which I have actually attempted to start in the past but lost interest. It's hard to stay motivated on something or keep an idea in your head when you can only potentially work on it on Saturdays and Sundays. I have two web sites including this one that should be updated much more frequently than they are. Etc. etc.

Where do people find the time to churn out large-scale, quality open source projects outside of work? I really wonder. Is it all college students working on them? Unemployed people? Or are people masters of multi-tasking and time-management?

June 13, 2007 @ 4:35 AM PDT
Cateogory: Programming
Tags: Ruby, Rant


Quoth gregf on June 13, 2007 @ 9:59 AM PDT

Only real tip I can give you is unplug and walk away from a while if you are feeling this way. Get out after work do not come home and sit in front of the computer or even a video game. If you're like most geeks a few weeks of social interaction will bug you more than staring at the screen when you get home. Just my personal opinion I guess. As far as large projects take them one step at a time. No one turns out anything over night. Also has to been something you really want to work on. Usually meaning you have self gain in doing so. Most large projects outside work are to get something out of it personally not as much as a fun aspect. I am not one for coding a lot in my spare time but I do have my share of projects going on. Everyone of them are because I want something out of it myself not because I think it's cool. Cool is usually a side effect. Just my thoughts on all of it. Biggest tip out of all of it is to unplug though. Everyone feels like that I think from time to time.

Quoth Brian on June 13, 2007 @ 2:43 PM PDT

Unplugging for a few weeks. That sounds nice.