Outside of Work: Coding, Learning, and Burnout

Whenever I was in college, I discovered that the best way for me to learn the crazy world of coding was to work on projects outside the classroom. Fast forward a little over three years, and that’s still true today.

Sometimes I feel like it’s crazy the amount of time I spend working on things outside of normal work. If you ask my soon to be wife, I’m sure she’d tell you that I need to stop working on websites so much and pay more attention to her.

She’s not wrong, but I also feel it’s important to keep learning new things. After all, the web is forever changing.

Projects

For the most part, I learn through trial and error the best. That’s something that I decided back in college, and is the main reason why my anime site has gone through so many revisions. Trial and error takes time though; lots of it.

Screenshot of an anime on RandomAnime.org

For example, the past three years I’ve spent probably way too much time working on stuff outside of work. The only “real” project I can show for it is the anime site. You might be wondering how the site can soak up so much time and, believe me, I’m with you.

Content takes quite a lot of time, but the other significant amount of time is put into improving the site. I’ve re-coded it probably six or seven times now.

It makes me dizzy just thinking about the amount of total hours I’ve logged into that site.

Learning

Working on projects is a way of learning, but you’re a little restricted. You can’t play too much with experimental technologies if your website is meant to be accessible to all. What I found is even though my anime site has given me real world challenges and experience, there is still a need to learn other things.

Best practices, new technologies, different methods, etc.

Cat furiously typing on a laptop

It’s amazing the amount of different ways people can come up with to solve a single problem. That’s why I’ve started watching Lynda, or I guess it’s LinkedIn Learning, videos again. For the most part, it may be re-iterating stuff I already know, but there’s always a chance to learn something new.

In fact, more than a few times since I started watching these videos again, I’ve had quite a few “wait…you can do that?” moments. Even if it’s stuff I already know, there could be something small that catches my attention. A little detail can go a long way.

Burnout

Honestly, I’m a little burnt out on coding at the moment.

Maybe it’s the accumulation of three years of working on stuff. I’m not saying that I don’t still love what I do, or have lost passion at work. It’s the after hours time that has been getting a little bit rough lately.

I’ve found that I’m not in the mood to work on stuff as much as I used to be. I have constant updates to my anime site, but I also have plans for a few other smaller projects. Mostly things have stalled out a bit since I just can’t get in the mood to work on them.

I’ve also discovered that when I’m burnt out on a particular day, it makes me rather uncomfortable. I’m not sure what to do with myself, and sometimes I just sit at my desk blank faced, not knowing what to do.

Takeaway

I’m not really sure what the point of babbling about all of this was. I guess it’s just the accumulation of thoughts that have been swirling around inside my head.

With everything going on in my life at the moment, especially my wedding coming up, I have to let myself be okay with not always working on something after I get home.

After all, there’s always plenty of other stuff to do…like dishes.

Thanks for reading along with my nonsense!

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