The Need for Goodwill Developers

After attending SXSW in Austin for a day and talking with some developers, or from even teaching at the school. I have noticed a trend happening a lot lately. This isn’t a good trend to have but one of a negative view on the developer industry as a whole. The fault might even be developers for the fact we allowed ourselves to be turned into a negative stereotypical image.

What is this stereotyped image? Well it’s the fact that we work countless hours, never get up for hours at a time or just never break away from the internet and we drink gallons upon gallons of energy drinks and our diet consists of non stop snacking and fast food. This isn’t a good image to have especially when you tell people “I am a developer and I build stuff” and their reaction is “so do you see daylight?”. People seem to think we are these endless coding machines and I think this look has to come to an end.

“A System of Cells Interlinked…”

With this negative view a few select developer friends and I have been pushing for reform. What reform you ask, the reform of getting paid decent and working normal hours. A few of my fellow freelancers have started to put into their contracts specific hours where they won’t be bothered. Like on the weekends, or if they are sharing a calendar their clients know they have their “me” time. Or one of my developer friends even has it in their contract they take a mid day nap cause they can code better after a nap and a tea. This might seem odd but maybe developers should break away from the stereotypes and live a little better.

Another way my friends and I are pushing for goodwill towards developers is moving away from the energy drinks, and focus on your mind. A clean body and mind leads to clean code. I know developers who do yoga, jog outside. They have designated hours where they get away from the computer and out of the damn chair to focus on their mental health.

“And dreadfully distinct against the dark, a tall white fountain played.”

Mental health is becoming increasing more and more important in this day in age and the stigma is slowly being broken. My friends and I are pushing for developers to put down energy drinks and go for more tea focused or organic coffee. A few people I know who have stepped away from the stress of work have noticed their health improve. It takes a long time to recover from the being unhealthy but it can be fixed. I have noticed personally I can code more and better if I work for 6 hours instead of 12. Or in some cases I will work for 3 hours, go for a walk and drink a tea and focus on clearing my mind and it helps me focus better on coming back and hammering out 3 hours of coding.

I think for the next SXSW I am going to be enlisting a few friends in the industry to hopefully spread the word about GoodWill developers to help push a healthy coding lifestyle and to break away from this self destructive way of eating poorly, never leaving the chair and always being in front of a computer. Hopefully my friends and I can help break the trend but we do have a long way to go.