Gym and Programming

It’s the first day of my sabbatical, and although I was looking forward to it, it really didn’t feel anything special.

That is, until I setup my default schedule.

I’m now able to go to the gym at 3pm and boy, it’s a huge difference compared to going to the gym at 7pm.

It’s not just the amount of people. It’s the people’s attitudes.

You don’t get a lot of those lazy gym-goers that will leave the weights around. They’re all mostly very focused, and there’s a lot less chit chatting and more iron pumping.

I’m guessing it’s because at 3pm, most people are at work and the only ones that can go to the gym are either those who have the luxury of time to go at such an hour (like me) or those who make a living out of body aesthetics. Unlike for example those who go to the gym at the end of the workday; you’d have a greater spectrum of people from casual “I go to the gym when I feel like it” to the hardcore “I just came back from dinner, time for my fifth workout.”

Maybe it’s the same in programming?

There’s a lot of new programming languages out there: Elixir, Go, Crystal, Rust, Nim, Swift, etc. Those that learn these new languages likely have the luxury of time to learn a new language (probably because they have enough expertise in their careers that they can take a hit in productivity).

It used to be the same in Ruby where a few years back, if you programmed in Ruby you were one of the elite. Now that Ruby has risen in popularity, the community’s skills spectrum is getting wider.

That’s not a bad thing per se, but it can be troublesome if you were used to gauge an employee’s ability by the language they know. It used to be that knowing Ruby was a great litmus test for programmer ability; since very few programmers knew Ruby that time (it was mostly Java or PHP that was the popular language back then) it was a good signal that the programmer is a continuous learner (or at least has the brain capacity to be able to program in different languages).