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Jason Towle
Jason Towle

Posted on • Updated on

This is not the developer you are looking for?

I hope you don't mind me getting this one off my chest. Apologies for what may seem a minor rant.

I've seen quite a few job adverts grace my inbox over the years and another one came through yesterday which included a should have which I find irks me somewhat?

It's the kind of should that appears to suggest you can only class yourself as a competent and worthy developer (coder, programmer, software engineer, insert your favourite job description here) for this role if you're attending meetups, have a blog or contribute to stackoverflow, github et al. Basically I feel it suggests you need to live, breathe and intend to die for coding. Life therefore has nothing else to offer.

Now that's a fairly dramatic over exaggeration, admittedly, and let me be clear the activities listed above I am 100% behind. It's more the job advert suggestion that you can only do this job if you are also regularly doing these kind of activities. I only have a few repositories on Github, I don't have any activity on Stackoverflow and to be fair my very limited contribution into the "community" is here on Dev.to (2 posts including this one and the odd comment on others).

I also had a job interview once where it felt like the interviewer was almost trying to impress me with how much all of the "guys" code outside of work. Again, to re-iterate, I am all for this. I certainly try to find some spare time for keeping my skills up to date and learning new things that I can take into work with me. I just found it a bit of a turnoff and I suppose it's because if I interview someone for a developer role, I'm also interested in who they are when not in front of a computer developing the next groundbreaking framework/library. I need to know they can unplug.

I'm not sure if it's worthy of another post but is this then a kind of elitism issue in the industry? You're not cool if you're not jacked in 24/7?

I just want to close with a little disclaimer to make sure I've been clear throughout that I am not questioning what anyone chooses to do with their spare time. We all do what works for us individually and what makes us happiest and I hope you all aspire to that. I just question whether our suitability for a role should be marked against what we are doing outside of the work environment.

RANT OVER

Discussion (1)

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Peyton McGinnis

To start, a healthy lifestyle is often viewed as having a diversity of activities and interests, with which I mostly agree.

The problem I notice is that software changes so quickly. Especially in the world of web development, it seems like a new framework is coming out every week. It creates a feeling of needing to stay up-to-date and always active with it.

Now, this could extend into the realm of responsibility. While this potential employee certainly is productive at writing code, how much time are they spending doing it? Are they neglecting other responsibilities due to writing software? To me, spending too much time doing any one thing is never healthy and should be a red flag. As I always say, "everything in moderation."

I may sound like I am exaggerating, and for many instances I certainly may well be. But I know people personally whose lives actually like this. Life certainly isn't about creating software. Life is about experiencing all sorts of things. While creating software is definitely enjoyable, it shouldn't occupy every waking moment of our day.