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I think it helps a lot to have an outside activity completly different than programming. At the end of work day I'm pretty burned out. The last thing I want to do is look at another computer when I get home. For me I like to work on my old hot rod, a 1933 Ford Pickup.
What I enjoy is working with the vintage technology and seeing how the old engineers figured out the problems without computers.
Hmm. I'm primarily too interested in too many things. I can sort-of play the violin, I dabble in writing short stories, I build ugly but useful items from wood and now have a forge for building ugly but useful iron items. I'm also playing around with smelting brass.
My most loved hobby is, a.t.m. playing with Arduino. Love it.
I am one of those savant types who has the ability to easily master just about activity I put my mind to where logical order is applied to achieve a successful end result, even if it doesn’t appear logical to others. I can play several instruments, Guitar very well, the rest I can play once I figure out the how to make it create noise but hardly consider myself a master. I enjoy building things out of wood and can find my way around a metal shop. Drawing, composing music, programming, repairing electronic devices and appliances and creating mechanical contrivances. Used to do all my own auto repair. (Age dictates that when the physical recovery from doing the work outlasts the time to do the work now means I hire someone else to do it).
I think it all boils down to putting things to an order that satisfies you. Or fixing things that are out of order. It is a mindset talent that easily transfers to other activities that require order.
I take one creative class at our local art school every semester - keeps me on track with having a hobby apart from coding! This year I am focusing on drawing. I think having some kind of hobby is necessary to prevent burnout, don't think it has to be creative. I do think developers have a strong creative streak - all the ones I know are either musicians or artists or crafters of some sort.
Now that I've got the tricky parts of the "Dad" thing down,
I can return to my hobby of programming. Art#1
On a midi sequencer with bits of it like guitar hero,
... but for piano and for REAL. Art#2 http://pianocheater.com/screenshot.html[^]
This is in competition with my day job, but, eh,
during the 8 hr days the day job has priority.
I do notice that when I'm writing some pretty decent code at work,
I tend to be doing the same at home.
Not sure why the "synchronicity" happens. But I've definitely noticed it.
Of course, the work code is pretty booooring in comparison.
But, eh, the home code won't pay the mortgage, sooo...
I don't know about everyone else, but I find if I don't have a creative outlet and am not learning something new, I'm not happy. Sometimes those aspects get filled through what I'm doing at work, but often not. When work doesn't do it, my hobbies fill the gap. I've been surpised at how my hobbies interact with my day job, sometimes being directly applicable, but often giving me insights I wouldn't have otherwise.
Current hobbies are chainmail, diesel mercedes maintence and photography. Past hobbies have been RC cars, woodworking, minor electrical engineering, Linux (back before it was cool and distros were downloaded to thirteen 3.5" floppies), and drawing.
Some of the oddest things have applied.. like drawing when I needed some icons and the company couldn't affort to hire an artist, or the RC car interest, when we found an old radio controlled camera platform in a back room and it was essentially a large RC car. Even my photography applied in odd ways. I work for an immersive imaging company, so it applies in an obvious way, but through that hobby I've also learned about color spaces, how to do some pretty sophisticated things in photoshop & gimp, and even some inner workings of the JPG library, all of which have been invaluable in my day job.
So Mrs C logs into her GMail account yesterday and gets a 'unusual activity detected' warning and has to reset her password (via a neat SMS to her phone). Turns out someone must of obtained her password and tried to use her account to send spam. We can find zero trace of any virus or malware on her laptop and she hasn't accessed her account from anywhere else. Plus, she was using a strong password and runs the latest version of Firefox (which has a pretty good rep when it comes to phishing, etc.) She's very computer savvy so this has come as a real blow.
WTF? Should I blat her machine and reinstall XP anyway? She runs Avast but I've downloaded Malwarebytes and AdAware and even scanned it with the MS Security Essentials tool - no sign of anything dodgy.
I've just finished setting up new desktop boxes for me and the wife, turning my old desktop into a server, turning the old server and the wife's old desktop into network render nodes (network rendering 3d graphics), and finally, building a new machine for our realtor.
I really don't want to install windows again for a long, long time.
If a reinstall is necessary I'm going to throw caution to the wind and install Linux - she only uses the laptop for the web and we have another laptop (my personal dev machine) that she can use for anything that Linux can't handle easily (like syncing her iPhone).
Speaking of experiments, I bought 'Creating a Hackintosh' and an OsX DVD when buying all the stuff for the new machines. I have an unused (for the moment) hard drive in my desktop box and I'm going to try and get OsX installed there. That'll be neat, if it works.
I got a similar message to that not too long ago. Basically it was due to someone from China trying to access the account. They suggested changing the password just to be safe. But, I didn't get the impression that there was a virus installed, etc.