Neil on Hard Work

No one wants to work hard. Presented with a choice between being given something for free, and working for something, most people prefer getting something for nothing. When people learn that they must work hard to get something, they tend to look for something else that is easier to attain. While this might be acceptable for the general population, professional software developers must work hard to learn technical skills and keep those skills sharp, while also producing high-quality code under tight time constraints.

Software developers will often confuse working long hours for hard work. Some developers will brag that they worked overtime to complete a feature, but never admit that they spent most of those hours wasting time. Most developers can only manage around six consecutive hours of hard mental work a day, but companies often consider six hours of highly productive hard work less impressive than twelve hours that yields next to nothing. These corporate cultures will eventually teach hard-workers to stretch their work over long hours, which ultimately leads to laziness as developers become accustomed to not working hard.

Lazy software developers who do not want to work hard are commonplace, but you can choose the type of software developer you want to be. Are you happy doing the minimum and playing the game of appearing to work when you are not or do you want to push yourself to become the best version of a professional you can be? Choose wisely, as lazy software developers will tend to find it very difficult to have long, successful careers as their ability to produce large volumes of high-quality work diminishes and disappears due to a lack of use.

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