One Reason I’ve Improved as a Developer

I’m pretty sure that there is a direct correlation between the time I started really growing as a developer and the time I stopped subscribing to television. Since then I’ve been able to spend a lot more time on projects, coding and reading. I remember when working on projects before that time. I always seemed to not have enough hours in the day to work on them. I still feel that way, but I’m actually putting in way more time than I was before I was TV-less.

There are times when I wish I had cable television, but they’re far and few between. Most shows I watch, I can catch online with a day or two of their airing. Sports on TV are the only times I miss my idiot box.

I think it takes a lot of discipline to really try to improve as a software developer. By freeing yourself from “time-sucks”, you’ll be able to spend more time improving your craft. What are some other time wasters that people could consider removing from their life?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I’ve had a similar experience too. Over the past couple of years (coincidently also the time my OSS work has boomed) I’ve stopped watching TV completely, except for a dedicated “TV night” where I spend a few hours catching up with my favourite programs. This effectively means two things, I don’t miss out on the TV shows I enjoy, and that I can plan around it. I’m now down one night instead of several smaller time-chunks throughout the week, which while the actual time is probably similar, not losing focus every few hours is great.

  2. Posted by Jeremy Wiebe on November 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    I find that reading blogs and technical materials online can suck up alot of time. Those are good, but I think you also need to read and write code alot more in order to “internalize” what you read and learn about.

  3. Posted by Greg on November 21, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Move into a condo or apartment and avoid yard work.

    Don’t get married. Skip women (or visa-versa) all together.

    Don’t have children, especially if you aren’t married.

    Avoid any social life.

    Avoid heavy drinking or anything that could make you incapable of studying Microsof’t’s next data access pattern.

    Hire someone to clean your condo or apartment.

  4. Kind of extreme Greg, but to each, his own. :)

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