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Discussion on: Can coding just be a job or does it have to effect my whole lifestyle?

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mariomeyrelles profile image
Mario Meyrelles

I was an engineering intern and I needed to code because of many calculations we needed to do on Excel to create a new sales proposal for each and every customer. At that time my focus was never on the coding, but only on the business. This knowledge of excel + coding helped me a lot. At that time, I was just an occasional and talented guitar player.

Then, when I was finishing my electrical engineering course, I notice that there were not so many secure/stable jobs for engineers here in Brazil. So I took the decision to move and become a professional developer.

It was a good and early career shift. I am very well employed and it's very difficult to find an engineer with the same salaries we have on development jobs. But there is a cost. Many many times I need to code only boring, complex, risky things and there is a clock watching me. The coding "science" itself has become a cornerstone of my career and to be honest, I have always wanted to use code as a power user / business analyst / process engineer that could bring a lot of impact to the company. Not what we have today - the "do the correct and well engineered code" instead of the "engineering mentality" of focusing solely on the problem, regardless of the code quality/standards. I have become a guitarist working on a professional and famous band, with deadlines and subject to approval/rejection of the customers and employers.

OF COURSE all the code quality and software engineering stuff is very important. But the thing is that I am really tired. For example: if we want to test a new idea or do some refactoring, usually the PR will receive comments deciding against that change because of the risk and of course, you would be punished by having to update/rewrite/recreate a lot of tests just to support this experimental feature.

I would say that becoming a full-time coder is good to build your family and buy house/car/pay schools etc., but this is rarely a pure creative occupation where you could truly have the pleasure of experiment, test, retry and get user feedback very fast. Becoming a full-time developer usually requires that you be a guitarist, not only play the guitar when you want. You will have to go full-time on learning, training, studying, rehearsal, etc. Not easy and yes, it will take all of your energy for the day.

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hjrobinson

I know I'm changing the subject here a little but It seems like many coders harbor rock star dreams. When I watch tutorials in YouTube the developer often has an electric guitar on a stand or hanging on the wall in the background. I love playing guitar. But the reality is learning to code has taken priority in my life for practical financial reasons and spending too much time on mastering a musical instrument is currently a risk. It's my dream to eventually crest the wave and become good enough expert at coding to where I can invest less time in programming and spend more time practicing guitar. But alas I have not arrived yet. I satiate myself by attending concerts every now and then.

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Kathleen Simpson

That is likely because there is a direct correlation between music and coding. Both are a type of language of their own both are mathematically based. I was part of a group many years ago that focused on how to find and develop folks to become coders and music a direct hit. This does not mean all coders play an instrument, but that all will have some type of a love of music. they may be musicians, they may be dancers, they may even be sound engineers, but they will all have a love of music.