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Ben Halpern for CodeNewbie

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What Are Some Hobbies That Are Beneficial to Coders and Developers?

It's important to take breaks from work and engage in hobbies that not only help you relax, but also complement your skills. Here are some of our favorite hobbies. What hobbies to you enjoy that complement your career of give your brain a much needed break from time to time?

  1. Playing Strategy Games like chess, poker, or board games require critical thinking, problem-solving, and strategic planning โ€” skills that are essential in coding and developing.
  2. Building and Fixing Computers can give you a better understanding of how computer hardware works, and this knowledge can come in handy when working on software projects or debugging issues.
  3. Learning a New Language can expand your cultural knowledge and improve your communication skills, and these are great skills to have when working on a team or communicating with clients.
  4. Creating Art or Music allows you to exercise your creativity and problem-solving skills.
  5. Writing can help you organize your thoughts and communicate ideas clearly.
  6. Photography can provide you with opportunities to see the world in a new way and capture moments that inspire you.

What hobbies do you enjoy outside of coding? Share your favorites in the comments below!

Top comments (45)

gingerkiwi profile image

Iโ€™ve been knitting since I was six. Every time I watch a tutorial Iโ€™m knitting.

โ€œKnitting is, at its fundamentals, a binary code featuring top-down design, standardized submodules, and recursive logic that relies on ratios, mathematical principles, and an intuitive grasp of three-dimensional geometry.โ€
~ Kim Salazar on Knit List

blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder

I tried and enjoyed crochet after getting creepy cute crochet as a present for my sister; and having to buy myself a copy too ๐Ÿ˜
I guess knitting has similar principles to crochet but I've never tried it.

The Jacquard Loom was a precursor to the first 'computer'; so working with thread is more important to computing than some people might think ;)

chrisgreening profile image
Chris Greening

Wow I love that quote!! I was talking to a friend that knits and I was really drawn to the underlying math/rules of it so that quote really speaks to me lol thank you for sharing!

dougmckechie profile image
Douglas McKechie

I have found Toastmasters to be quite beneficial. If you have not heard of it before its a supportive club/group to help you learn and practice public speaking. Its also a fun social event every couple of weeks where you can meet people from completely different walks of life.

Part of the reason I got my current job is because the owner of the business had heard of it before and thought it was great that I am a developer who can actually speak with people.

I also like to do a bit of music - bass, synths - in my spare time.

lawrencek1992 profile image

I've been really into building 3D shapes with tiny magnetic balls (Speks, Neoballs, Buckyballs, etc). I have to think carefully about polarity and the stability of a shape and what smaller shapes/sub-units I can make and put together to create larger and more complex designs. It's surprisingly challenging and really makes me think about planning and controlling small details. The part of my brain that loves programming loves playing with those dang magnets!

leob profile image

anything NON computer related ... :-D

but yeah for me it's going out and enjoying nature, essentially just to reset from work

blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder

Origami. When you're folding from diagrams you're interpreting instructions and following a logical process. It's also good for manual dexterity and a good distraction if you want to give up smoking ๐Ÿ˜…
If you're creating and diagramming models then you're trying to define clear instructions that are easy for someone else to interpret. There's also quite a bit of math/logic involved.
I haven't got much past following diagrams; but can manage more complex models. This is always a favourite ๐Ÿ˜
Image description

chrisgreening profile image
Chris Greening

:O I love that!!! Do you have any recommendations for getting into origami for someone that's never done it before?

blindfish3 profile image
Ben Calder

First recommendation is start simple ๐Ÿ˜
Second recommendation: find some suitable paper - Muji (do they have outlets in the US?) have good, and cheap, origami paper ideal for beginners.
Once you're comfortable with the basics I would start with traditional and other simple models (note: the number of steps is a good indicator of complexity); then work up to more complex things like Yoda; though he's more intermediate level.
Third recommendation: learn to read diagrams instead of following videos. In my experience following diagrams is way faster than start/stopping/rewinding videos. IMO they're only useful for getting help with a specific tricky step.

For advanced stuff I would look for more modern diagrams - e.g. recent Robert Lang. Modern design techniques often result in a simpler folding process; or at least less layers of paper to contend with. Lang has an excellent book on designing models as well as software for defining bases. If you get to extreme level then Satoshi Kamiya is definitely worth looking at.

Thread Thread
chrisgreening profile image
Chris Greening

Ahh thanks so much for such a comprehensive response! It's one of those things I've always wanted to explore but the timing just wasn't ever right. I'm going to use this as the nudge I needed to look into the basics and see where it takes me ๐Ÿ˜Ž

One of my favorite memories from middle school are these little origami creations one of my friends made me when I was like 11 years old, he ended up moving away and we lost contact but I still have some of the little origami monsters and flowers on my shelf at home - definitely a great skill for spur of the moment gift-giving!

vulcanwm profile image

I really like playing and creating music.

louiseann93 profile image
Lou Willoughby • Edited

If Iโ€™ve had a hard day of coding at work I struggle with screen time at home whether watching tv or playing games so thatโ€™s when Iโ€™ll stick an audiobook on.
Otherwise I like to read, go for walks or play video games. I find I burn out quite quickly otherwise so I only code in my spare time if I know I have the mental capacity ๐Ÿ™‚

purple profile image
  • Running, dancing, walking my dog, or other physical activity to offset all the time sitting
  • Crocheting, drawing, listening to/playing music for creativity
  • Cooking
  • Programming things that are very different than work

I think people should have hobbies that make them happy. Happy people become happy programmers.

chrisgreening profile image
Chris Greening • Edited

I've got way too many hobbies ๐Ÿ˜…

The ones I'm most invested in these days though are

  • fermenting foods/drinks (mostly mead, beer, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kefir)
  • fly fishing
  • gardening
  • cooking
  • whittling and woodworking
  • mountain climbing
  • distance running
  • rollerblading
  • digital photography/art

I typically try to focus on learning transferrable skills and complementing across all of my hobbies i.e. I carve my own kitchen utensils to cook the fish I caught with a side of sauerkraut fermented from garden vegetables and a pint of homebrew IPA ๐Ÿ˜‹ running, hiking, and rollerblading all complement one another w cardio/physical stamina and I focus on cooking healthy, energetic meals

I approach all of these very analytically and data-driven so I always find a way to tie them back to coding in some regard i.e. programming a Raspberry Pi to track ferment temperatures, databasing water temp, weather, fish size, DOY etc. to maximize my fishing game, etc.

baenencalin profile image
Calin Baenen • Edited

For example, making digital art and posting it to a site like DeviantArt.
This is beneficial because it gives devs a backup occupation in case they're out of coding work. Plus, they can play two roles in the gamedev game.

joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR ๐Ÿฅ‡

Never drank beer in a sauna but at first sight it looks good to me ๐Ÿ˜‚

livelong_ponder profile image
Live Long & Ponder

I like learning new songs on piano and guitar. I find it helps me stay creative and process the day in a more manageable way. Plus it helps me continuously learn and improve on something I really enjoy doing!

symon profile image
Symon Michael • Edited

In one word: sleep.

adam_cyclones profile image
Adam Crockett ๐ŸŒ€

Lego robotics and model rail!!

jaguililla profile image
Juanjo Aguililla

I think that the best hobby for us would be any physical activity... As you must compensate the long hours just seating in front of a screen.

And, as we also do a very isolated work (and sometimes, remote work), I guess team sports would be the best option :)

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