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Are you coding more in your spare time due to COVID—19?

Ben Halpern
A Canadian software developer who thinks he’s funny. He/Him.
・1 min read

Discussion (90)

yaser profile image
Yaser Al-Najjar • Edited

I with my sis have been badly sick for a week or so, I thought it's the seasonal flu... been recovered and doing pretty well.

One week later, my father, mother, and aunt got sick but this time my aunt hardly breathed, took her to the hospital to find out we have Covid-19 at home!

Another week later after making them eat & rest well, they're all getting better and I feel the happiest person on earth that we passed this 😌

Realized after that small stuff like "having spare time to code" or "doing stuff you love" or even "breathing with no problem" are big blesses that we took for granted.

Stay safe and grateful for what you have ❤

snowie profile image

Oh no! Thank god they're getting better! You're right, we should always be grateful for health and things around us instead of looking for problems to solve. Hope your family will recover soon ❤

yaser profile image
Yaser Al-Najjar

Thanks Snowie 🙏

ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Personally the answer is a definite yes. Being more or less stuck at home I've allowed myself to just get deeper into coding in non-work hours. It's not necessarily a healthy thing to do, but in these times I'm just making the most of it all.

jagedn profile image
Jorge Eψ=Ĥψ

I'm spending more time in coding but I'm feel I'm less productive

egermano profile image
Bruno Germano

I know what you are talking about.

chechenev profile image
Maxim Chechenev

Not really, I found myself needed to do something else but not sitting in front of a laptop and writing more code. Since we are not really allowed to go outside and all activities are paused, I started to pay more attention to do more activities at home - more time for hobbies (unless coding is your hobby of course), doing yoga with online teachers, reading book, watching more movies, cooking, etc.

cbloss profile image

I so can relate. I feel like a horrible dev because I don't like spending a whole lot of extra time on my laptop after I'm off. I would rather walk the dogs, read a book, draw or do something off of a screen if I can.

chechenev profile image
Maxim Chechenev

But it doesn't make anyone a horrible dev - it's just different values and different hobbies.

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cbloss profile image

I never thought of it that way. Thanks for saying that!

arswaw profile image

Honestly I've been practicing piano more. It's brought me more satisfaction in recent months than programming has. I still enjoy programming, but music is a joy all its own.

Otherwise I'm playing Half-Life: Alyx and Doom Eternal.

patryktech profile image

I finally took the time to play with LMMS, as I don't have a piano.

Been needing a new hobby, and have missed making music. I played bass in a band, but that was almost 15 years ago.

If anyone wants a free / libre replacement for FL Studio, I recommend it. Works in Linux too!

arswaw profile image

Well if you want to buy a keyboard, which you totally should, then I have a recommendation.

The Yamaha DGX-660 is the one that has helped me return to music. It sounds like a real grand piano. It is difficult to distinguish a recording of this and a concert grand.

It also has some useful features such as recording and transposition.

It is $800. I understand we're in the middle of a plague and money can be tight, but at the point where you feel ready to start looking, you should really consider this one.


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patryktech profile image

Probably won't be for a while. I'm doing the nomad thing, so no room for a piano at the moment 😅😅

But I'll consider it when I settle down somewhere, thanks.

LMMS is fun, because it can synthesize everything from synths to pianos, drums, etc. Great for electronic music, but you can get some rock sounds too. And $800 cheaper than an $800 piano 😁

I'm sure there are other great tools. When I had an actual guitar, I used guitarix as a virtual amp.

pldeschamps profile image
Pierre-Louis Deschamps

I would like to play bass but I moved to the countryside without it. So I spend more time coding.
How can you play Half-Life? The screen makes me sick after 10 minutes playing!

arswaw profile image

I use the Vive to do it. What's your rig?

jasmin profile image
Jasmin Virdi

Yes, this is the best time to upgrade. I've started learning new tech stack which was there in my bucket list 😅

Apart from this, I am also attending a few meetups and conferences online. All this keeps me motivated to learn and utilize my time efficiently.

amruthpillai profile image
Amruth Pillai

I've been recently coding a lot and working on a personal project of mine. Those who are on DEV might have caught the post about Reactive Resume.

But while I'm at my maximum capacity, I've also been trying to get my girlfriend to learn Frontend Development. She had secured an internship recently, but due to the COVID-19 fears, the company withdrew the offer. I found this amazing post by another DEV member here, about Frontend Mentor. So I've been asking her to take up those challenges and try to mentor her through building these solutions. I feel much better about her future now, but knowing that the job market is going to be really difficult in the coming days, we have to do all that we can to sustain.

anshumansingh005 profile image
Anshuman Singh

Thanks for sharing

domenicosolazzo profile image
Domenico Solazzo

I think I am coding the same amount but trying to work out every day because I am not moving outside as much as before. As well as I increased my meditation practice since the Covid-19🦠 crisis started..

Healthy mind and body for better Clean Code. 😆

imthedeveloper profile image

Less for me. Working half hours remotely at work but spare time is spent looking after the kids to remove some pressure from my wife. The routine right now ks necessary but I do miss having some time to code.

stealthmusic profile image
Jan Wedel

Seems to be that a lot of people here don’t have kids.

I'm working half a day, then my wife starts working and I care for the kids until we have dinner. There is not much time for hobbies (that includes coding) nowadays.

Stay healthy everyone 💚

daleran profile image
Sean M Davis • Edited

I seem to have the opposite experience as many people. I am coding much less in my spare time than before the stay at home order. Part of the reason is that I am coding much more during work hours with no meetings or distractions. I usually get in 8 solid hours of coding during the workday. Once work is done I feel burnt out with coding so I mostly just rest my brain.

carolskelly profile image
Carol Skelly

I think a lot of devs are. I've seen a huge uptick in user sessions on Codeply since the middle of March when significant stay-at-home restrictions started around the globe. I also mentor on CodeMentor, and am getting pinged constantly. I've been working for home for more that 8 years, and I think along of #newbies are seeing the benefits of a developer career!

barrypittman profile image

I modified a couple of python scripts, merged them, to make an Office 365 relay verification program, because, well, so many are working from home right now, gotta make sure your relay is a valid one!

remotesynth profile image
Brian Rinaldi

Definitely yes. Mostly on the weekends as it provides some needed distraction (and I can't play video games or watch Netflix all day long). It's been kinda nice too as I have made updates to a side project that I'd pushed off for months.

citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl • Edited

Not really. I already spent a big chunk of my time coding (work, FOSS, side projects), I don't think I could scale that up further. Funnily enough I actually reduced it a bit and spend slightly more time on other things again.

cguttweb profile image

Yep to a certain extent been looking at different headless CMSs and started my first project with Gatsby. I'm also attempting to write more with ideas for a couple of blog posts. They said so me days seem more productive yesterday I did little coding sometimes you need a break from it all.

peterwitham profile image
Peter Witham

Weirdly enough, yes I am spending my off-work time writing even more code!

I have found that I have a new focus on my side projects including apps and automation.

I am also taking the time as many others have mentioned to learn new things and play with tech that I normally don't feel I have time to work with.

roselle profile image

I am. The project I am working on at work is a real pain, and since I have more time working from home, I have time for both my not-dev-related hobbies and my dev side project. Coding in my spare time on some project I enjoy helps me to not be put off coding in general.

saurabhdaware profile image
Saurabh Daware 🌻

I am coding less than I usually do. I hardly go to college so physically my schedule has been the same but what is happening around is not normal so it's getting hard for me to focus on things and I don't want to force myself to be productive.

I am trying to spend more time sleeping or reading books and I even watch movies sometimes.

misselliev profile image
Elizabeth Villalejos

No. I've been having a hard time focusing in code lately because I'm overwhelmed by the situation. One of my aunts and cousin have been feeling unwell and at least 3 people in my household are in the vulnerable group so I have been taking extra care of all things and that has me worried all the time. I feel terribly unproductive but getting through all of the other non-coding deliverables for the moment. Even though I'm moving through my checklist, I still feel like it's not enough.
So that's kind of where I am at.

alais29 profile image
Alfonsina Lizardo

Deinitely! Since now I don't have to get up so early to go to work and I don't waste 2 hours a day going to work and returning home, I don't feel so tired so I'm able to actually study after work, before this I only had time on the weekends.

developarvin profile image
Arthur Vincent Simon

I have the opposite feeling. After rendering my work hours, the last thing that I want to do is to sit down in front of a computer and code. I already have budgeted time for career development pre-COVID but I don't plan on expanding that.

zgparsons profile image
Zachary Parsons

Yes - so much more. But that's because my employer (not a coding / webdev company - I am learning to code, and hoping to apply to jobs, maybe, probably, I don't know when or how...) has asked us all to stay at home and monitor emails. I'm spending more time than ever coding, and I'm learning a lot but also getting a bit burnt out at times. There are some days where I feel intense progression and I'm really pleased with myself, and others where I feel myself stall and not do so well... Overall I'm enjoying the opportunity to learn more and push myself!

thomashighbaugh profile image
Thomas Leon Highbaugh

While I think my neighbors might start shooting at each other any day now and half of the people I know are becoming nervous wrecks for no good reason as they are not in a cohort likely to have a severe infection, I think 'coding' and dealing with Linux are the reasons I am seemingly sane through all this.

As long as r/unixporn is still around, I will be plenty distracted come what may.

integerman profile image
Matt Eland

I'm writing a lot less. Part of that is using some of my evenings to help students stuck on assignments, but another part is this emotional aspect to things.

My productivity has gotten a bit back to normal recently with a shift to finishing up contract work and talks I've committed to give.

I want to clear those out so I can move on to something fun and recharging like building a small game.

aralroca profile image
Aral Roca

No in my case... I spend more time programming, but less productive than before. The reason is that normally I train sport outside and is perfect to me to change the context and then concentrate again in programming. Now, I lose the focus easier than before.

joeattardi profile image
Joe Attardi

About the same as usual for me, though a couple of my other projects were put on pause while I worked on building a (yet another) coronavirus dashboard (see my post about it here.

Haven't worked on my book in about two weeks now. I really need to get back to that before I lose any more momentum!

juliang profile image
Julian Garamendy

Not with my children at home all day.
Two working parents taking turns to work and look after small children. I have even less "free" time than before.

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦

I don't think its possible for me to code more than I do. I am at the max.

codingmindfully profile image
Daragh Byrne • Edited

I've been writing - poetry and articles (including my Burnout Survey article that I posted yesterday), exercising and reading for the most part.

It's been a fruitful time, but I've also been mindful to rest and process emotionally as best I can and as much as I need to.

wolfhoundjesse profile image
Jesse M. Holmes

I'm not sure, really. I'm definitely not coding extra, fun things outside of work, and I feel my productivity has gone down a lot now that I am unable to escape the constant context switching with a three-year-old at home and two parents working during the day. We're doing the best we can, of course.

I am still reading and learning as often as I can, so I'm not completely burned out!

ubarua123 profile image
Udayaditya Barua

Yes I am doing more coding but I feel my efficiency has gone down.
I learnt kotlin though in this time. :D

mayankjoshi profile image
mayank joshi

Yes, being stuck at home full day, I am trying to implement the core algorithms, for example toady I am learning and planning to code key generating service.

fokusman profile image
Ferit 🌟🕌

Not really, as I have two kids at home calling for attention, playing etc.
I've some more time on the weekends now but rather reading books or playing games :D

jizavala profile image

Read a ton of articles about how configure a production "ready" flask api and doing it step by step counts as coding a lot? Is yes, well Hell Yeah!!!, if not well I think I'm doing something to improve a little.


brandelune profile image
Jean-Christophe Helary

Much less. I can't seem to be able to focus on work. All this is losing a lot of its purpose.

citizen428 profile image
Michael Kohl

All this is losing a lot of its purpose.

I know I'm just a random person from the Internet, but if things get overwhelming and you need somebody to "talk", my DMs are open.

olegthelilfix profile image
Oleg Aleksandrov

Nothing has changed for me, cuz I've been working at home since 2018.

demetrakopetros profile image
Petros Demetrakopoulos

Yes, totally.
Actually, during COVID-19 quarantine, I have coded some amazing projects like this and this one

pldeschamps profile image
Pierre-Louis Deschamps

great! can you write new Beatles songs? and the bass scores?

iksaku profile image
Jorge González

Actually I’ve been able to finish work that I was wanting to do on side projects. It was able to improve styling of 2 important side projects in about 1 day. Also, during last week, I was able to finish my blog’s dashboard implementation. I was looking for months to do it, and took me just a couple days, and was able to implement CommonMark markdown renderer finally (previously was just using GitHub API to render it for me).

It’s been a couple of pretty productive weeks.

barelyhuman profile image

I can say yes but it has also brought me to the point where I like the free time and am not as tired as I'd be compared to the round trip I'd generally make.

markbloomfield profile image

What is this "spare time" thing you speak of? 😬

vvo profile image
Vincent Voyer

Yes! I have published two COVID related projects:

joshuawoodsdev profile image

Right now I am not I am watchiong a 2 year old all day though I was able to teach him how to use youtube to watch babyshark videos.

godcrampy profile image
Sahil Bondre

Yup, Absolutely! With no classes on, I can spend almost the entire day on coding which is like a dream come true 😄
Hope everything gets back to normal tho. Stay safe guys ❤️

sharadcodes profile image
Sharad Raj (He/Him)

Literally 8-9 Hours 😂

elasticrash profile image
Stefanos Kouroupis

Nope. But I am soldering more. I started three new projects semi complete failure (judging from the smoke)

jlohani profile image
Jayant Lohani

Trying to make these days as productive as possible. Currently working on a project as an intern but also working on a side project based on python and also pursuing a JS course by Maximilian. ✌️

teekatwo profile image
Tori Pugh

On the weekend I've found myself working on a new side project pretty aggressively. Since the weekend could be pretty boring with nothing to do it is been a great distraction.

rosejcday profile image
Rose Day

I have been coding much more but mostly due to the much shorter commute, I gained back at least 3 hours a day for the time being and have been using it to work on my own projects.

nitinreddy3 profile image
daviducolo profile image
Davide Santangelo


updated my personal website

released/improved two products:

Forem Open with the Forem app