I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I thought I would toss these thoughts out there in case others may find them interesting. I’ve come up with a new term for myself “Armchair Developer”.
You may think that this means I’m like an armchair football player or armchair politician where all you have to do is yell at the TV and tell everybody what to do and you qualify. Not so. An armchair developer is somebody who develops stuff while watching TV or listening to some tunes while sitting on the couch or armchair. It’s that guy that puts something together in his spare time (or girl of course) and then releases it to the world 6 months later to make a million bucks, like this guy.
The thing is, it’s really easy to be an armchair developer and I know for a fact that there are millions of us out there. Makes me want to start an Armchair Developer group or something.. but really, if you think about it there are millions of dollars of production time going into armchair developing, or designing for that matter, and there is something to be said for it.
When I sit down at my desk with my huge monitor, printer beside it, desk lamp, papers strewn about, books stacked high of both reference and study, phone by my side, skype running and all that, I can’t help but easily get sidetracked for brief moments of time, or at the very least other items will nag at me in the back of my head vying for attention in the immediate future.. now actually. Work is work. You have a list of items to do, research to complete maybe, tests to try out, servers to connect to and mess with perhaps and all kinds of things that will compete for your immediate attention. All because you are in work mode.
By sitting down on the couch you’ve now escaped work (unless you have a very regular habit of sitting on the couch to work..) and your mind frees itself up of all that stuff and suddenly it’s possible to concentrate on just one item. That pet project you’ve wanted to build. A game perhaps, some new technology getting implemented into something or whatever. It’s rarely something mundane, it’s actually something you WANT to work on. Not only does it just plain rock, but it’s most likely something that you have to put some skills towards and of course in turn makes you better at your job. Essentially, you’re making money by increasing value.
It’s an invigorating and self-inspiring feeling to know that you are accomplishing something in your spare time. No need to think that you’re doing it because you don’t have something better to do, half my time working on our pet project was done because I had my daughter packed up in a Snugli on my chest. Not a heck of a lot of things you can do with that going on. Which to me makes it all that much cooler that I can do that, whereas I would watch many around me just give up and sit around or something (don’t get me wrong, there’s definitely something to be said for sitting around and relaxing).
I see it like a snowball going down a hill. Once you get started on that path you just build more momentum. So I proclaim today that I’m an Armchair Developer, and I’m proud of it