DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for How it Feels to be a DEV Father

How it Feels to be a DEV Father

Jan Wedel
Senior Software Developer + Group Lead + Father + Musician + Loves Technology
・2 min read

Usually, as a DEV, when we talk about parents and children it's about a tree data structure. But this not about programming. It's about life and the balancing act of being a father and a developer.

I am a proud father of two gorgeous little girls (1 + 5 yrs). And I am a DEV, too.

I did not become a developer because I thought it was a good idea but because I genuinely love developing software. In fact, I started programming in 5th grade and it soon became one of my hobbies that turned into a well-payed job as a side effect.

But with the wonder of getting children, you need to adjust your priorities a bit. And you're going to spend your time for different things.

But at some point, late at night in the quiet of the evening, I sometimes think about the things I'd love to do and I have no time for:

  • Learning a new programming language (each year)
  • Writing more blog posts (I have so many ideas in my head)
  • Reading more blog posts
  • Reading books (especially tech books)
  • Trying out new technologies
  • Starting a podcast

Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining and I would never even hesitate to get kids if I get a second chance. And luckily I have a great job that allows me to learn new stuff along the way and work from home. But there are times where I just wish to have some additional 24h appended to each day.

How do other DEV parents handle that?

How do developers without kids think about that matter? Are you looking forward to getting children or is it something you fear?

Discussion (10)

Collapse
bias profile image
Tobias Nickel

ohh, I can absolutely feel with you. As a dad of a little angle(1+). and yes, the time goes bye do quick. I want to spend as much time as possible with her.

Sadly, I have a very long way to work. 1.5 hours, two times a day. so that mother in law can take care of the child during the day.

In Subway however I use the time well. Writing my posts, reading articles, reading books. Coding on the way however does not work for me.

I wanted to do an update for my xml parser for more than 2 months. last weekend I finally took the time, to get it done.

I want to migrate my personal website to eleventy, but that will wait for some more time. At least the current page made with hexo 4 years ago still works good.

I also do not worry about personal development. There is enought time for me for reading and doing some experiments. and experiments don't need to end up in company projects.

Today, setting priorities are much more important than before. And I like to give people today the advice:

don't be patient

Collapse
stealthmusic profile image
Jan Wedel Author • Edited

3 hours a day? Wow! I just moved to reduce my commute from 1,5h/day to 45min. I usually spend the time in my car listening to podcasts. But then corona came and I am working from home since March this year without an exception. I wonder why that doesn’t work for you?

And I can very much relate with your personal site (which is nice BTW). I just updated my personal site to Bootstrap 4 which was a larger effort that I had expected. That’a time I spent after my kids were in bed and my wife wanted to watch some cheesy series on Netflix 😜

Collapse
bias profile image
Tobias Nickel

I would be allowed to work from home and I tried. but I get to little done. I am in Shanghai China, and the big slow firewall in combination with company VPN, makes working very slow. 5 minutes for each click on jira.

To be honest, I enjoy having the time on subway. on the subway I don't need to concentrate on traffic and can not do much there. I never never finished so many books as today and I get some kind of regularity into my blogposts. (at least publushed on dev, my website will catch up).

When talking about how much more time I like to have for personal projects, I absolutle wanna say this is not a complained. I say, having time occupied with my little girl is great 😊

Thread Thread
stealthmusic profile image
Jan Wedel Author

Interesting! Another thing we have in common, I was living and working in Shanghai in 2007. I loved the people and the food.

Where do you live? I was living in Pudong and I could walk to the office, luckily so no need for a long commute.

But I understand that you enjoy the time that you have on your own. Sometimes, when I need to drive for a while I also enjoy listening to podcasts again.

Thread Thread
bias profile image
Tobias Nickel

I live in minhang destrict, near line one, since you where in town 😉 the city has changed a lot. I was 2012 the first time in shamghai, as a student, and the traffic is much less crazy and much more quiet. I am happy that the last virus case is very months back.

My work office is almost on the other side of town in pudong. but,... kind of everythink on this side of the river is called pudong and it has extended very much.

it is very impressive, first I wonder what big roads they build into empty land, now there are lots of appartment towera and such.

What I like most here, is as you say the people. There is a very good attitude and the strong believe and feeling, that things get better.

Thread Thread
stealthmusic profile image
Jan Wedel Author

I remember when I left, they had almost finished that tower with the rectangular whole at the top. And after that I saw they’ve build a couple of even more towers.

I was living in an apartment building in Changyi Lu, somewhere around Taolin Lu. Our office was right in the center of the financial district.

The traffic on pudong side was never really a problem, back in the days but the tunnels were jammed even at 3 am. I was usually taking the bus as there was no Metro or just walking home, grabbing some Sheng Jian Bao on the go :)

Collapse
frosnerd profile image
Frank Rosner

It helped me to get a job that involves blogging, reading papers and books, and learning new languages and technologies. This way I don't have to spend week ends or evenings.

Collapse
stealthmusic profile image
Jan Wedel Author

Interesting! What kind of job is that?

Collapse
frosnerd profile image
Frank Rosner

So far any job I had. I started out as a researcher, then switched to software engineering, then data science, then data engineering, now I'm an IT consultant at codecentric.de/.

So far all my employers gave me the freedom to do all the things you mentioned. It also benefits them to have employees who are learners and engage in communities.

You gotta sell that as a trait of yours during the job interviews, that you want to spend a bit of time each week reading papers, learning new technologies, engaging in developer relations / marketing / community management. So far this was always an open door for me, even a big plus.

Thread Thread
stealthmusic profile image
Jan Wedel Author

Ahh, Ok, that’s generally also true for my job. It just sounded like the job actually is to blog and read papers... codecentric seems to be a nice place, I‘m listening to the Autoweird podcast ;)