Coding on Vacation

I have traditionally been a big holiday coder. I've had a ton of fun projects start or finish on vacation. It's a great time for these projects. But what might we be missing on vacation if we're always coding?

Waiting for This Moment

You've had an idea in your head. It's been percolating for a while now as life has continued on in its usual way. Your time has been filled with other things, some good or bad, essential or yawn-worthy. But no more -- now you're on vacation. There's a national holiday and you've taken an extra day or two around it. This will be a perfect time to start coding what has been just an idea into existence.

Coding with Headphones

Now you're sitting in the living room at a relative's home, headphones donned. And trends being as they are, they probably look like giant speakers tied to the sides of your head. Across from you, on the other couch are members of your family. You haven't seen them in a while. You've all gotten together for this occasion because of the shared holiday. What's happening around you? What are you missing inside of your headphones?

Quiet Time

There is something therapeutic about coding. You sit silently, absorbed in a problem. You make something out of nothing, and your idea comes to life. For the combo creative and introvert, it's a great pasttime. We need that alone time to recharge. So, yes, vacation time is a good time for coding. There is also value in building relationships with those around you.

In The Same Room

As you code with your headphones on, who's across the room from you, sitting on the couch? Your gathered family might be there. Your long-unseen friends might be there. Your children might be there. Your spouse might be there. Like developing projects, vacations are a great time to develop relationships. These are real people. They are a real major part of our lives. They have much more inherent value than our projects and ideas. We will be much more satisfied in our successful relationship development than we will with our software development.

Finding Time

If vacations provide special circumstances to be with people with whom we value relationships, where will the time come from to start and finish our coding project? Try 5am. On a regular day in a regular week, no one will mind if you code your project at 5am. And you won't feel like you're missing out on anything -- the world's asleep. 5am on vacation is similarly available.

Collaborative Coding

Another way to work on your ideas and to build relationships simultaneously is to involve other people in your projects. Or get someone to code with you. Make something that you and your friend or relative are interested in using together. Or engage someone with complementary skills who can help your project be better in other ways.

When do you find your time to code? Do you code on vacation? How does it make you feel when you code while people are around and with you? How will you adjust any of your practices to make vacations more valuable?

Ok, I'm going to stop writing and go talk to someone. :)