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Programming Guilt During COVID-19

April Craig
Front End Engineer
・2 min read

Across the country and around the world, people are stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are spending their time working from home, helping their kids navigate online learning and or watching their thousandth hour of Netflix. No matter what part of the world you live in, I’m sure you feel the anxiety that I am feeling while living through this pandemic.

Amid the rising number of Coronavirus cases there is this pressure to keep grinding away at code in hopes of becoming a programming superstar.

Code faster! Learn more! Be better!

This has been the general messaging that I’ve seen across the internet, particularly on social media. During these past few weeks I’ve felt like if I haven’t learned how to speak 3 languages, become a master chef and cure cancer all while creating a new full-stack application everyday, then I am not good enough. That I've been wasting my time.

If this sounds familiar to you then STOP!

These are unprecedented times. We are literally living through a pandemic. We are being told to stay at home with no end date in sight. Going outside is scary. Breathing outside is horrifying.

As for myself, there are days that I am able to concentrate and I am able to study as much as I want. On other days, I barely open my computer for an hour.

It seems the world of tech changes every 5 minutes and if you can use this time to study and build projects, then more power to you.

But for those of us who are struggling to study due to living with the anxiety brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Whether you are a computer science student who is struggling with attending classes online, a working developer, or a self taught developer like myself, it is ok to not be ok right now.

It is ok to feel anxious.
It is ok to be unproductive.
It is ok that you aren’t motivated to finish your latest project.

It’s ok.

Discussion (3)

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Jasper Stephenson

Hustle culture is addictive, and trying to break out of that get-sh*t-done mindset often feels like I'm just making excuses to be lazy. I love that you took the time to write this article! :)

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April Craig Author

I am a New Yorker so hustle culture is definitely in the blood, but I would much rather be focuses on taking care of my mental health. Glad you liked the article.

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Lucas Bleme

Well reminded April! As Jasper well said: trying to break out of this "always productive" mindset is hard, especially if we stay surrounded by people who seem to be so addicted to learning, delivering and feeling that they are not "wasting" their time (as if watching a good Netflix movie was a huge sin).