I was mid walk in the beautiful English Peak District with my family when it hit me;
I wasn't there.
Even though I was surrounded by some of the most stunning scenery that the UK had to offer, my mind was somewhere completely different. It was trying to solve a software development problem that I'd been working on 4 hours previously.
And, unfortunately for my family, this isn't uncommon. Neither is it uncommon for the family of any software developer.
I remember once seeing a meme showing a worried couple, each with thought bubbles.
The first person was worried that their partner was preoccupied. They worried that their partner had been distant all evening, not engaging and being heavily distracted. They worried that their relationships was in trouble.
The second person was simple thinking "Why doesn't my software code work?".
Its almost anecdotal that software developers will spend 99% of their time wondering "Why doesn't that work?".
With the remaining 1% wondering "Why did that work?"
So much of software development is problem solving. And sometimes it can be difficult to disconnect from trying to solve that problem.
And I can personally attest to making real breakthroughs when out of the office - because my brain has the time and space to work through the problem.
But relying on out of office time to solve those work problems can be a dangerous thing for the software developer's mental health.
The software developer should be relaxing and recharging when outside of the business. Not continuing to solve business problems. It simple isn't healthy.
So a business owners; we need to think about how we ensure that we are providing the time, space and environment for that work to be carried out within works time.
So that when the software developer is with friends and family they can be present and enjoying the scenery.
During September, I'm running a short survey to establish UK Executive's attitude towards custom software development survey.
Does it return ROI? Does keep pace with business? Is it difficult to recruit or retain staff? Does it have sufficient quality? Is it predicable?
I'd welcome any participation or sharing of the survey.
Please have your say here
In this episode I continue to look at professionalism in software development.
I take the fifth oath from the Programmer's Oath by Uncle Bob Martin, introduced in episode #51, to explore further:
"I Promise that, to the best of my ability and judgement: I will fearlessly and relentlessly improve my creations at every opportunity. I will never degrade them."
Thank you for reading and stay safe, Mark