Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

An enjoyable workday

Deer in front of the Flatirons Yesterday I had a one-day contract to teach a JSP class at a company in Boulder. I got up early and drove to Boulder, where the company is located. I left early because our Internet Access has been down (no MapQuest) and I needed to figure out where the heck the company was. The strange thing was that I really, really enjoyed my drive to work. Today I enjoyed my drive as well, but not nearly as much. What I noticed was that yesterday I was more alert of my surroundings. Granted, the Flatirons are pretty spectacular (as illustrated by my mophotos). However, the difference was that I was not contemplating my day. Today, I noticed I was planning my whole day on the drive. I gotta get those WebTests written (including reading all my apps links from my menu-config.xml file) ... I need to write more tests for the JSPs and all our actions ... damn, I'm only going to get in 9 hours today - how am I gonna get 40 in by tomorrow night ... etc. Yesterday, it was just - cool, I'm going to teach a class, should be fun.

What am I trying to get at with this rambling? I'm trying to say that some jobs are more finite, and therefore more enjoyable. When I did construction work in college, it was awesome because we'd always start cleaning up a 1/2 hour before 5 o'clock. With programming, I start to say "Oh shit, I gotta get going" at 4:55, and I don't leave until 5:30. Boulder's Flatirons With teaching, it was an 8:30 - 4:30 gig - a nice finite day. I found this to be incredibly enjoyable - just the thought of being done with no worries at 4:30. Today, if I don't get everything done by the time I leave, I'll think about it all the way home.

Is it just me, or does being a passionate programmer kinda suck? I know there's programmers out there that are much better about this - 5:00 means 5:00 and they don't think about anything after they leave the office. I need to find a balance, a way to shut it off when I leave, and to not think about it until I get here. By the way, the courseware for the class never showed up yesterday, so it was cancelled before it started - but I had that no-anxiety feeling for most of the day. Wierd.

Posted in General at Oct 08 2003, 07:37:59 AM MDT 4 Comments

I didn't do the Denver to Boulder drive often while I'll lived out there, but the Colorado Springs to Denver drive was always really pretty, and strangly more free of traffic than my Arlington to Bethesda drive.

Posted by patrick on October 08, 2003 at 08:06 AM MDT #

It's not just you. It's hard to find a stopping place when coding, cuz you know if you walk away the train of thought, you'll miss the train. If you don't do this already, write an index card or post-it with the line number of where you left off, and the goal/bug being fixed. Leave it on the screen or in front of keyboard. Gets me in the habit of trusting that I can continue just fine days later. As for the thinking ahead of things to do instead of enjoying the drive, that's where coding sucks. Cuz you have to do your most creative planning/problem solving when NOT in front of the computer, and while occupied with something else, like driving. You love teaching - keep teaching when you can in scenic places, create a balance of both worlds. World needs more teachers like you anyway. & Great photos, thanks.

Posted by Christina on October 08, 2003 at 11:50 AM MDT #

Matt, you've just discovered "sustainable pace", one of the tenets of XP. You are so right!

Posted by John Tangney on October 09, 2003 at 05:01 PM MDT #

Seems that with most of us is the same, but that stack of papers with notes what should be done , little todo commentaries , that stack can get into pile realy fast. I even installed SnipSnam localy on my PC so I can write todo's, and found bugs that I will correct when I finnish current screen/page, but I returnet to papers, and when the bosses secretary sees that I have spent all the papers she puts new pack at my desk again. And thinking after work could be dangerous (but when you are realy tired and were thinking hardly whole day), there are nunmerous times when I drowe from work, tired and exausted, and many times made a loud comment to myself : "Is that just car passed by me ???", Or when you have blanks for 200 meters , or you have a weird feelieng that somebody else drove you home.

Posted by domagoj on October 10, 2003 at 08:46 AM MDT #

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