What pulled you away from coding for a while?

Christian Vasquez on July 12, 2019

Maybe it was feeling burned out, anxiety, or feelings of not being good enough... I would like to know your story.

grabs popcorn

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Ironically, coding pulled me away from coding. There was a period in my life where I was involved in 3-4 projects and I spent almost all my time coding. I would wake up at 5 a.m. to code up until midnight, with small breaks to eat and shower.

Not my brightest idea that's for sure :)

 

Burn out is a real thing! Glad you're back. I find my interest in programming in my free time ebbs and flows and not forcing myself to do it is the best thing for me.

 

Definitely, now everyday I have a couple hours dedicated to movies/series, about anything but code. And my weekends are code-free as well. I'm still trying to find a balance :)

 

I minimised by coding workload to 15 hours a week freelance, and spend the rest of my time teaching meditation and sometimes yoga.

The results are in my blog. I rediscovered my love of coding last year and have turned it into a great job and an online meditation portal.

I have definitely burnt out and it's a good reason to stop coding in a particular way - you can read my dev.to articles about it.

 

Glad you found the balance!
It is a hard thing because of the inherent human ambition & social influence.

 

I met with the chairman/founder of a private equity firm while I was working on my own startup, which I had tried to grow for more than 1 year as a single founder, but it wasn't gaining traction; it was a company culture platform, yes I wanted to make company culture better for engineers (story for another day).

I joined the private equity company as an engineer, but because of the multi-tasking, getting things done, organization skills that I picked up as a failed entrepreneur, the company saw those as more valuable than my engineering skills, and asked me to take over a company they acquired. For the record my engineering skills are decent (medium.com/@khor).

As I had to grow the company, and I realized that some tasks like figuring the company roadmap, marketing & sales strategy is something that I have tried to delegate and didn't work well, so I took on those roles with slightly more success, but that meant I had to delegate more engineering & technical work, which was surprisingly easier to delegate. It made me understand how for-profit companies with no crazy funding view leadership skills vs. engineering work. The former is difficult to gauge (as in you can be completely bullshit and just be good at talking), and more prized, while the latter is easy to judge but considered extremely delegate-able. To be fair, this is only applicable to companies that are not research-based where it requires proprietary/patented technology.

 

From burnout + losing my best friend to an intentional overdose, I dropped out of school to become an EMT so that I could maybe stop someone else from meeting the same fate. I wasn't really cut out for the work...today I'd like to think I am emotionally mature enough to handle the pressures of the job, but at the time I repressed all of it and started getting PTSD symptoms. Coding turned out to be the cure for that, so I was able to transition into the industry pretty quickly.

 

Video games 😎

  • because I like the thrill of the kill
  • because I like to carry the team
  • because I like to be the #1 in the game
  • because I like to dominate the competition
  • because I like to be the best

Haha just kidding!!!

Mainly to play with friends and do something where I don't have to think too much 😆

(I am still pretty good tho in the game I play hehe 😉 )

 

My longer hiatus without writing code was when I transitioned to management in a Travel Marketing company. I have always supported the rationale that managers should not be doers.

 

Doing takes away time from managing and lead the team in the correct direction, I agree.
My boss would grill me if he sees me committing code.
Doing however gains respect from your subordinates as you really are part of the team instead of just declaring that we're a team during town-hall meetings, etc.
Admittedly it takes a lot of sacrifice to be a leader and doer.
Also admittedly there are leaders that are just charismatic, or have a great resume that people will just be in awe, and be willing to be led. However perhaps only as long as they see success trickling down to them as well.

 

@Khor thank you so much for your response.

To follow up, Leaders and managers are often mistaken by one and the same because we live in a world infatuated hierarchical structures.

A manager for me is more like a load balancer trying to help resources balance their workload.

A leader in the other hand, is that one who actively helps you to be better. People tend to bond and respect leaders more than they respect managers. And that's because there are plenty of bad managers out there.

As you can see this can go on for hours. There is no silver bullet, no one-size-fits-all when it comes to management and leadership. Some people are comfortable being leaders, others are comfortable being managers.

It is those who are willing to take the discomfort of doing what they do not like-to -without hesitation– who can truly become great.

After all, we have been told before

*Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm. *

The only thing missing from that quote is to learn to manage resources.

There is no silver bullet, no one-size-fits all
Yes! It takes a great person to play multi-role and adapt it to the team dynamics. A super tough role that is under-appreciated.

Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
Thank you for this. I'll share this during the board meeting.

 

Exams. It's easy to get sucked in to dev work, which can be dangerous if you have exams around the corner.

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